The Communicative Aspect Of Teaching A Professional Foreign Language


This article discusses the translation reference role and place in the modern teaching system of future specialists in the economic sphere for professional foreign language discourse in the framework of practical classes in a foreign language from modern linguodidactics’ point of view. The following of modern professional linguodidactics principles leads to the effective teaching of a foreign language in the professional area. The specialist’s readiness for professional communication in a foreign language is determined by the formation of a foreign language professional communicative competence not only in special, but also in crosscultural and everyday activities. Professional linguodidactics helps to provide a qualitative process of foreign language teaching for professional purposes in the shortest time. Particular attention is paid to the features of the teaching process in relation to economic specialties. The article presents a study of this problem, the relevance of which is currently increasing due to the constantly expanding volume of foreign language information.

Keywords: Translation referenceprofessional discourseforeign language sourceabstract


Nowadays, the ability to navigate in an increasing volume of information and, in particular, foreign-language information is of primary importance, especially in the current situation, in the context of constantly growing demand for the professional level of specialists in all areas and, in particular, specialists in the field of economics. It is the factor that determines the constant need to improve the relevant competencies of future specialists.

In this regard, the formation of the ability to select and analyze information in a foreign language becomes an important link in teaching foreign language in the professional sphere. Identification, generalization and systematization the most essential features of the original foreign language material is the main goal of the act is to identify, generalize, and systematize the most essential features of the original foreign language material, and their reconstitution in oral or written forms in the translated language as well, in other words, to create an abstract. A large number of researchers understand the reference process as various types of compression of a text as a result of its analytical and synthetic processing (Brandes & Provotorov, 2001).

Many researchers, such as A.A. Vejze, E.I. Dubovik, E.M. Kuzminskaya, Y.I. Retsker, in particular, emphasize that mastering the translation reference plays an ever-increasing part in foreign language teaching. As an example to this, as Anisimova (1999) said, reference teaching should be regarded as the central connection in the act of teaching professional writing, which is an interjacent milestone from reproductive speech teaching to its productive form. What is more, the text conducts itself as the role of the basis for teaching abstract translation, multilingual abstracting, rendering, that is, a brief transfer of the main meaning from the mother tongue to a foreign language, with a special exegesis and recalls (Brandes & Provotorov, 2001, p. 99).

Problem Statement

The research goal is to identify ways to optimize teaching professional discourse by using the skills of translation analysis and translation reference, highlighting the stages of this process, and developing a system of exercises for each stage of training. Thus, the problem of increasing the competence and the qualifications of university graduates is solved and their competitiveness in the modern multicultural space is ensured.

When we talk about translation reference, we mean abstracting, conducted on the framework of foreign texts. Nowadays, translation reference occupies a special place in teaching professional discourse. Its difference from the usual is determined primarily by the requirement of a certain level of knowledge of a foreign language in order to fully understand the content of the source. It is also necessary that the student possesses professional competence in accordance with their speciality, to which the source text belongs, and is able to separate the necessary information from irrelevant.

Since the process of translating abstracts has been considered by most researchers as a process of restructuring the content and transcoding a foreign language source into a text translated into another language, it is necessary that the secondary text meet the accuracy of the information presented, not allowing meaningful distortion of the foreign language document, preserve its semantics, and also reflect its purpose, nature and specificity (Malyuga et al., 2018; Sibul, 2013).

In addition, in the process of forming the skill of foreign language text reference, one of the tasks is also the accumulation of a professionally oriented vocabulary of a foreign language. In other words, in the process of mastering the skills of translation reference, future specialists need to evolve a definite linguistic skill as we speak about the professional communication. Gak (2004) wrote, that we do not have a write to regard linguistic issues to the end, missing the issues of thinking and facts of extra-linguistic reality, pictured by thought and denoted by language (p. 466). That implies the necessity to account for the pragmatic value of speech. Consequently, students’ ability to produce pragmatically loaded discourse, which makes the necessary effect on the recipient, becomes one of the major parameters of communicative competence; therefore, developing the skill of making up communicatively effective discourse must be regarded as a priority within the scope of linguodidactic objectives (Khramchenko, 2019; Ledeneva, 2017);

Research Questions

In this study, we consider the teaching of translation reference in relation to the French language. This process is carried out in various directions: both from French to Russian, and from Russian to French; both are in written and oral forms. In addition, at a certain stage, the development of French-French reference is realized. This helps to master the skills of compression and text paraphrasing.

Abstract text can be of various types. This can be an informative abstract, indicative, abstract-summary, abstract-synopsis, review, etc. In the classroom, students mostly perform informative, less indicative essays in writing and orally. The informative abstract summarizes the range of the main problems considered in the primary document. Such an abstract can act as reference material. An indicative abstract only point to the central questions of the source text. Other types of essays in the learning process are almost not practiced, they are used more often in research activities.

As a practical material in a foreign language on economic topics, various media articles, agreements, reports and other open access documents related to the activities of economic enterprises are used.

As we have already noted, the task of the essay is to convey the meaning and main content of the original source in such a way that, when its structure and composition are changed, the reliability of the information is preserved, and the secondary document eliminates distortions of the primary meaning (Vermeer, 2003, p. 77).

Purpose of the Study

As we consider the process of teaching translation reference to students of economic specialties, it is vital to point out some text pecularities on economic topics that are used in the classroom as the original primary sources in a foreign language for the implementation of abstracting.

In such texts, economic terminology is widely used, as well as numerous concepts and clichés related to various economic specialties. In addition, such texts contain information relating to all aspects of the economic activity of enterprises and institutions. In this regard, at this phase of teaching, an advanced level of foreign language knowledge among students is considered, and a specific level of their professional skill for the capability to choose the most beneficial and useful data and the capability to pledget a text without missing its continuity as well.

The necessity of this approach to translation reference is stressed by many scientists. So, Leontyev (1979) stresses that a holistic text is a text that, that allow you to pass from one successive grade of semantic compression to a deeper one, each time preserves for the perceiver a meaning sameness, missing ultimate elements. In other words, only that text is really significant, the general idea of which is conveyed in an any short form. Thus, the essence of the essay is the creation of a meaningful secondary text, in a seamless and coherent form, transmitting the content of the original foreign-language document. This process is impossible without the highest level of understanding of the content of the text.

Research Methods

In the methodology of teaching students professional foreign language discourse, translation reference is finding an increasingly significant place. It becomes a universal method of processing foreign language information.

As we have already said, at the Faculty of Economics of RUDN University this discipline is part of the curriculum (Panicheva & Pankova, 2018, p. 22). Using the methodology of translation summaries, students learn how to translate professionally oriented texts, learn to retell them and summarize the content. For a fairly long time, the teaching process has been developed and successfully implemented in the classroom, a standard model of special texts’ reference. The application of this method of teaching professional discourse and its effectiveness is analyzed by teachers of the department of foreign languages ​​(Polyakova & Ivanova, 2014; Sibul, 2013; Vetrinskaya & Dmitrenko, 2017).

Learning translation summarization involves the formation of certain translation analysis skills of a special text, such as highlighting a main topic or problem, classifying facts by their importance, isolating keywords, determining causal and investigative relationships between facts, identifying the structure of a text and assigning it to a particular genre, paraphrasing basic ideas, and building a logical chain of fragments.

Considering the algorithm for compiling an abstract, researchers cite the requirement to compile references in that manner that when they are used, the consumer does not need to refer to the source (Vejze, 1985).


All surveys in the sphere of teaching students of the Faculty of Economics at the RUDN University of translation reference conducted in the framework of practical classes in a foreign language allow us to conclude that the results of this teaching depend on the following factors:

- the level of knowledge of the studied foreign language;

- the grade of professional skill in the sphere of the studied specialty (economics);

- the grade of accessibility for professionally directed text comprehension;

- the general cultural level of future specialists;

- students’ motivation.

Students' motivation and the interest plays a big role in achieving the best results. This is achieved by selecting special texts related to the future specialty of students. Consequently, a favorable situation is created for the intersubject integration of the studied disciplines: a foreign language and economics subjects.


All the conducted studies and the obtained results confirm the relevance of using the training methodology for translation reference, as well as its effectiveness and advantage over other methods in the teaching of future specialists in professional foreign language discourse.


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08 December 2020

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Linguistics, modern linguistics, translation studies, communication, foreign language teaching, modern teaching methods

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Panicheva, E. V. (2020). The Communicative Aspect Of Teaching A Professional Foreign Language. In V. I. Karasik (Ed.), Topical Issues of Linguistics and Teaching Methods in Business and Professional Communication, vol 97. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 152-156). European Publisher.