Modelling Of Professionally Oriented Educational Material On The Principles Of Anthropological Linguadidactics
The research approaches the issue of designing professionally oriented academic content in teaching the Russian language for international students according to the principles of anthropological linguoadidactics. The main task of professionally oriented academic content design is to optimize the teaching-learning process within the frameworks of the foundation course at pre-university departments in Russia and, as a result, to free up learners' working time for better preparation for universities. The means of optimization is a teaching strategy for the integration of academic content that covers learners' communicative competence and ensures their success during the first year of study at the chosen department. This teaching strategy is based on three principles of anthropological linguadidactics; 1) anthropological; 2) communicative; 3) cognitive. The implementation of the model involves a comprehensive consideration of the academic content from the point of view of learner's personality. The originality of the research lies in the integration of the foundation course academic contents according to the spheres of communication (educational and professional, sociocultural and everyday communication) and building an integrated instructional design model of professionally oriented teaching Russian for international students at pre-university departments. The research was carried out on the academic content and educational activities of: a) the first term first year students of the Department of Philology at Pushkin State Russian Language Institute; b) learners doing their foundation programme to pursue a degree in Philology. anthropological linguodidactics, basic principles, professionally oriented education, students of Philology, instructional design model for integration.
Keywords: Anthropological linguodidacticsbasic principlesprofessionally oriented educationstudents of Philologyinstructional design model for integration
This research is based on the principles of anthropological linguadidactics, a discipline, concerned with a humanistic orientation towards language teaching and learning. The main task of anthropological linguodidactics is to facilitate, without reducing the quality of education, learners' life in today complex, informationally overloaded world (Kant, Ushinsky, Tolstoy, Carl Rogers).
1.1. This task is really important for Russian pre-university departments, preparing international learners for entry into a Russian university undergraduate or post-graduate course (Muhammad et al., 2019). This means that all professionally significant subjects (special subjects) are taught in Russian, which makes it really hard to study in a non-native environment.
1.2. The most difficult period for foreigners is the first period of their living in Russia and studying at Russian universities, because most of them come to Russia without knowing the language, even unable to say "Good afternoon" or "Hello" and not knowing the Russian alphabet. Still, they are faced with the task of integrating into the Russian cultural and linguistic environment (that is, to feel comfortable, and to overcome without too much stress the first and very important period of their living and studying in Russia (not without reason called the "survival period").
All these challenges need to be overcome. The implementation of the educational model designed within the frameworks of our research assumes: 1) focus on the existential needs of a learner's personality; 2) developing professionally relevant personality traits and orientation to the learner's future profession as his / her main existential need; 3) saving individual's time and energy by means of academic contents integration.
This article offers a solution to three major challenges in teaching the Russian language to international students during their foundation year at Russian universities.
The most important challenge faced both by teachers and learners is due to academic overload. The foundation course syllabi of Russian pre-university departments are overcrowded with an enormous amount of academic content which makes them unmanageable.
The second challenge is especially relevant for the initial stage of learning (Muhammad et al., 2019). During this period (which lasts maximum one month), a foreign learner is required to learn 780 (!) lexical items "in order to overcome difficulties of survival". This sort of "survival" plays the opposite role. After the first language test which is taken in the midterm, most of learners are very much stressed. Some of them decide to leave university and return to their countries immediately, others plan a trip around Russia and go travelling. Only a few students accomplish the goals of their foundation course successfully and enter Bachelor's and Master's Degree programmes of their choice (Мuhammad et al., 2019).
The third challenge comes from underestimating the need to develop a particular presupposition providing learners' success in mastering the Russian language. This presupposition is an integral part of a learner’s cognitive architecture in terms of his / her language awareness. It should be considered in two aspects: 1) operational (dynamic); 2) conceptual (relatively static). To be developed, this presupposition should be consistently and comprehensively shaped throughout each period of foundation study, with a special focus on the professional component. The common practice is to launch special subject courses in the second semester of foundation year, professionally oriented academic content not being integrated enough into the teaching-learning process. As a result, an "average learner" appears unable to cover the syllabus and fails to achieve the goals of the course. Obviously, this has a negative impact both on the quality of learning and learners' condition.
The object of the research is to design a professionally oriented pedagogical model of teaching the Russian language for international students who are going to enter BA and MA course in philology, during their foundation year in Russia, according to the principles of a humanistic discipline – anthropological linguadidactics.
The subject of the research is to enhance the teaching-learning process by means of optimizing selection and organization of academic content, ensuring learners' successful communication in the Russian language – both in and out of class.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the research is to develop a pedagogical model of professionally-oriented teaching-learning process according to the principles of humanistic orientation to language learning, which would take into consideration a learner's personality, his / her existential needs (including communicative needs), psycho-physical capabilities and intellectual abilities. Achieving this goal requires solving the following tasks:
4.4. To determine the possibilities of integrating the content vertically: taking into consideration the transition of the language awareness of the learner (its cognitive architectonics) from its usual (ethnocultural) state to a more complex state, which is connected to interaction of contacting cultures and languages.
4.5. To determine the possibilities of integrating the content horizontally: according to the spheres of communication.
In creating of the model providing the solution of the tasks and in achieving of the goals of the research is its relevance.
The research methods are based primarily on the chosen
However, out of several variants of communicative activity-based approaches we accept the one proposed by Leontiev (Leontiev & Koroleva, 1988; Leontiev, 2001; Muhammad et al., 2019), which is based on the personal-active approach. This approach has become the basis of the modern anthropological linguadidactics. The instructional design model is implemented by three interconnected educational complexes which are realized in three aspects: 1) anthropological; 2) communicative; 3) cognitive.
The development of the instructional design model, and subsequently the corresponding educational system based on the principles of anthropological linguadidactics, requires applying the following methods:
The method of extrapolationin determining the challenges of teaching Russian as a foreign language at pre-university departments, as well as the ways to solve these problems. The method of deductionin considering theoretical literature in the aspect of the needs of a humanistic orientation to learning languages. The method of inductionin choosing the basic pedagogical strategy for each of the three periods of learning Russian at pre-university department. The distributive analysisin modelling of academic content for each of the three periods of learning Russian at pre-university department.
As it was noted before, out of several variants of communicative activity-based approachs, we have chosen the one that is the basis of modern anthropological linguadidactics (Leontiev & Koroleva, 1988; Leontiev, 2001; Muhammad et al., 2019). We also pointed out that anthropological linguadidactics is based on three main principles: anthropological, communicative, and cognitive ones. And although all these principles implement the teaching-learning process in their totality, we should consider each of them separately, from the point of view of their value in the implementation of the model.
The anthropological principle in creating the humanistically oriented model of teaching foreigners follows from: 1) the main principle of modern humanistic disciplines (Kant, 1966; Muhammad & Wang, 2016, etc.); 2) the concept of personal-active approach to teaching (Leontiev, 2001). This principle is implemented according to individual's existential needs.
The communicative principle is one of the main principles of modern communicative methods: both the communicative-active and communicative-behavioral ones (Arutyunov, 1989; Leontiev, 2001; Shchukin, 2017). The unit of communicative teaching system is: 1) the statement; the text; the discourse in both its forms - dialogical and monological ones (Arutyunov, 1989; etc.). The task of forming the communicative competence requires differentiation of final communicative competence and midterm communicative competences (Arutyunov, 1989; Muhammad et al., 2019, etc.)
The cognitive principle is the basic one in the personal-active methods of A. A. Leontiev, Z. N. Zimnaya, Amonashvili etc; (as cited in Leontiev, 2001; Bespalova & Chubarova, 2017; Muhammad et al., 2019; Starodubova, 2007, etc.). We have to take it into consideration because we need to form a presupposition, a "common field of intellectual activity" that allows communicants to understand each other in the process of communication.
Certainly, all the three principles we've considered are interrelated in real educational process, but the anthropological principle that ensures the priority of an individual in this process is the central one. Since the formation of a presupposition ensuring communication in a non-native language is directly related to consciousness / language awareness, we can ask a question: “Does education not interfere with an individual's consciousness?” In order to avoid this, we should put the anthropological principle in the leading place when creating the educational model.
We will try to explain in a few words the mechanism of interaction of the basic principles in the model we are considering. It is obvious that within the framework of anthropological linguadidactics, where the main principle is the anthropological principle of philosophy (and other humanistic disciplines), manipulative technologies in formation of the cognitive component of the language personality are absolutely unacceptable (Kant, Feuerbach, Man, Anthology). The pedagogical principles of anthropological linguodidactics, implementing, among other things, the cognitive principle, focus primarily on the following main ideas: 1) a person is the main value of modern civilization and is not a means but a goal in human communication, including educational communication; 2) a person is a complex of natural and social sides; 3) pedagogical strategies implementing the cognitive principle among others rely on the human / intellectual resource of an individual, actualizing this resource for the purposes of the conscious development of an individual (Kant, Feuerbach, Man, Anthology) (Leontiev, 2001).
We would like to emphasize that we do not mean adaptation to the foreign culture, including the language and environment (which would mean the loss of certain personal qualities and values), but integration, which helps to save one's personality in non-native cultural environment (Muhammad). As we can see, it is necessary to ensure the relationship and interaction of the basic principles in the modelling and implementation of the humanistically oriented educational process. This is especially true for the formation of a cognitive component in the teaching-learning process – a component directly related to an individual's consciousness, to his / her world perception.
Further, we have to move from the methodological level of the created model to its executive level. It should be noted here that each of the above-mentioned principles (as we have already partially noted) implements one aspect of the educational process. Thus, the anthropological principle, taking into consideration the learner's personality, is unthinkable without taking into account the learner's national language personality, his / her psycho-physiological condition at the "entrance", as well as the development of an individual in the process of educational communication in Russian. The implementation of the communicative principle means the provision of a language personality with the necessary tools – in our case, language/speech means in order to help him / her in cross-cultural (including professionally oriented) communication in Russian, in at least three spheres of communication: 1) everyday; 2) sociocultural; 3) educational and professional spheres. The implementation of the cognitive principle in the teaching-learning process is carried out: a) taking into consideration the cognitive architectonics of the learner's national language personality (at the beginning); b) relying on the universal language / speech units of two languages: native and Russian; c) enrichment of the thesaurus of the learner's national language personality due to Russian means of communication, as well as the formation and formulation of thought in Russian (Мuhammad et al., 2019, etc).
Certainly, the selection and the organization of teaching material depend on the implementation of each of the basic principles.
Following Arutyunov (1989), we suppose that when selecting educational material, we should focus on the concept of final communicative competence (Azimov & Shchukin, 2018). For learners of pre-university departments, the main point of final communicative competence is that after the end of the pre-university period they can enter the chosen department, and after that they do not experience insuperable difficulties in the academic Russian-speaking environment. They can successfully study, because, as practice shows, obtaining a future specialization is the learner's main existential need.
We suppose that the best way to select educational material for providing final communicative competence is to analyze and model the academic discourse typical of the teaching-learning process of a particular department (Muhammad, 2006). In our case, it is the department of Philology. The basis of this discourse is the text library of the department of Philology for students of the first semester of the first year of tuition. Our practical research shows that almost at all the departments of Philology in Russian universities such subjects as linguistics, rhetoric, folklore, literary theory, and history are taught. Certainly, there are a lot of subjects, the material is presented both orally (lectures) and in writing (presentations, textbooks, Internet materials); moreover, foreigners must be proficient in the main types of speech activity, at least at the B1 level as they study at the department of Philology together with Russian students. As we can see, the tasks of pre-university departments trying to prepare foreigners to study at the main departments are serious, but the study time is only two semesters. And in this short time, we suppose, an international learner has to progress from level A0 to level B1+ (Requirements, Programme).
The main task of this study is to find ways of optimization of the educational material, which would allow us to minimize significantly the material and to retain the quality of education at the same time.
The analysis of the philological academic discourse (the text library) of the first semester of the first year of study has shown that the basis of educational texts/microtexts of this period is hyperintense
The analysis has shown that all texts with the intention "General characteristic of an object" have the same invariant basis, and this basis can be considered as a platform that integrates educational material which has to be learnt and assimilated by a student's personality and, as a result, forms the necessary presupposition on this basis.
Thus, we should consider the hyperintention "General characteristics of an object", realized in different texts / discourses, as the main unit integrating the teaching-learning process of both the main stage (the first semester of the first year) and the initial stage (pre-university departments).
We can minimize the educational material by finding the invariant part of these texts / discourses in each of the three main periods of the beginner stage, depending on to what degree a learner's personality is ready to learn the material necessary for further communicative progression.
First, let us consider the invariant part of the text library of the first semester in the first year of students-philologists (those texts that are based on the intention "General characteristics of an object"). For this purpose, it is necessary to consider these texts in the dynamics of their development. The analysis has shown that the invariant part of philological texts (as well as texts of other specialties (Izarenkov, 1995) consists of the following
In addition to this invariant model reflecting complete microtexts, the implementation of the intention "General characteristic of an object" also involves separate typical microtexts such as description, narrative, reasoning, prescription (the instructive miсrotext) (Vasyukhno, 1996).
Thus, the main task of the third period of the beginner stage (at the pre-university department), when the final communicative competence is being built, is to form a presupposition - a professionally oriented cognitive component - of the semantic microfields which were indicated above. And certainly, learners should learn not one, but a lot of verbalizations of each semantic field.
The implementation of this pedagogical strategy, as practice has shown, is feasible for learners, because: 1) synonymous constructions are numerable; 2) according to the proposed strategy, they are learnt gradually. For example, we can turn to the "Location of an object" semantic field. Thus, in the first period (in the first month at pre-university department) when learners meet the category of case, they learn the prepositional case in synonymous constructions:
We have presented the pedagogical strategy of selecting and modelling educational material in the third (and last) period of the pre-university course. Next, we will consider the pedagogical strategy of selection, modelling and organization of educational material in the first, and the most difficult, period from the point of view of forming learners' motivation. As already mentioned, in this period learners are at a starter level.
As we have already noted, from the very beginning the learners' existential needs lie in the sphere of their future profession. On the other hand, a foreigner who comes to Russia and does not speak the language experiences real difficulties in the everyday sphere of communication: he / she needs “to navigate in the field” to find the canteen, the library, the bank or the laundry. Not without reason this period of preparation for midterm communicative competence of level A1 in other words is called the “survival” period.
In view of the above, we can make a conclusion that for learners two spheres are equally important in this period: 1) the educational and professional sphere of communication (orientation at university, as well as in the educational process); 2) the sphere of everyday communication where they have to “survive”. In order to solve the existing problem, it is necessary to redress radically the existing programmes and tests (Requirements, Programme). Both programmes and tests include the situation “purchases”. The main intentions of the buyer and ways of their verbalization are described. However, this material does not help beginners to survive, because in every city or town there are supermarkets where they can choose anything they need. But the intention "orientation" and the ways of its verbalization are a real problem for them. Thus, it is very problematic for foreigners to understand Russian people trying to help them find their way, and not only in the first but also in the second period.
Regarding this period, the best decision is to integrate the educational material not only according to the spheres of communication mentioned above but also to the language / speech material that can be most easily learnt. This material is represented by semantic categories that are common to both native and foreign speakers. Minimization in the selection of these categories can be carried out by grammatical material, which is already minimized. For example, the universal categories of place, time, subject, object, speaker, addressee etc. should be mentioned here.
The selection and organization of universal material (as it is represented in Russian grammar) also depends (as it was pointed out before) on the learner's personality and on the ethnoculture in which this personality was formed. Thus, German learners should be taught by initially actualizing the categories of subject, action and object in their minds, i.e. by presenting a minimal sentence structure, such as
СТУДЕНТ: Я тоже пишу букву А.
It is very important to help extroverted Indian and Turkish learners navigate in the location that is why the first indirect case that we introduce when we work with this category of learners is the prepositional case. Usually we do this work in the first (or second) lesson, but in three stages.At the first stage, the teacher demonstrates the location of different objects:
СТУДЕНТ (gives the phone to the teacher): Телефон.
Beginning with this primitive discourse, the teacher introduces possible answers:
The second stage also takes place in class, but now we work with the map of the university campus (vocabulary: shops, groceries, vegetables etc.):
ПРЕПОДАВАТЕЛЬ: Это университет. Справа – кафе. Слева – киоск. Прямо – улица. Это улица Волгина. Здесь – магазин. В магазине – продукты: овощи, фрукты…
The third stage is held out of class in the form of a "field lesson". The teacher shows students where objects are located.
On the whole, the development of the cognitive-communicative component of an individual with the analytical type of thinking (for example, a German student) can occur in the following directions: 1) microtext-narration with verbs of the indicative mood (this microtext can be called "work in the classroom"); 2) microtext-prescription with verbs of the imperative mood (the verbs which were learnt before are combined into an oral discourse-prescription, for example,
A learner with a synthetic type of thinking (for example, a Chinese learner) is able to identify meanings based on microtexts. Since it is very difficult for a Chinese learner who uses hieroglyphic system to learn sound-letter writing, we should at first present the microdiscourse in its oral form, but with identification of this discourse and its elements in written form. It is necessary because a learner of this type identifies the basic meanings better in a clear and complete text prepared before. And, for a start, it is better to work with this material in the classroom. For example:
TEACHER: Это аудитория. Слева – дверь, справа – окна, напротив – экран. На экране – схема.
Then this text is presented in written form:
After this type of work, the teacher speaks to learners asking such questions as «
In this case it is easier for a Chinese learner to move to a scheme that shows where the library, the canteen and the shop are located (integration by spheres of communication).
As we can see, due to the pedagogical strategy of integration we can (although in different ways) select painlessly and effectively the educational material for learners representing different ethnocultures from the very beginning, aiming the teaching-learning process at mastering the final communicative competence.
The main task of the initial stage is minimization of language material. It should be solved by using the pedagogical strategy of integration.
As we have seen, in the second period of the teaching-learning process at pre-university department, a completely different principle of integration is preferable. This principle follows from the analysis, on the one hand, of texts with the basic intention "General characteristics of an object", and, on the other – texts-descriptions. Thus, our research has shown that the semantic structure of the macrotext "General characteristic of an object" (in its invariant) is most similar to the structure of a text-descripton. This means that at the beginning of the educational process, working with texts-descriptions, we can integrate the process both according to the sphere of communication and the level of the language. And although, as we noted before, all four types of texts play an important role in preparing for the department of Philology: description, narrative, reasoning and prescription (Vasyukhno, 1996), it is description that implements the "General characteristic of an object" hyperintention best of all.
The integration described below is possible both in the first and second period. The choice of the appropriate period depends primarily on an individual's personal and ethnocultural characteristics:
1. Educational and professional sphere of communication (neutral style discourse): description of the classroom. A minimal structure:
1.1. Identification of an object:
1.2. Location of an object: Наша аудитория находится на втором этаже.
1.3. Composition and structure of an object (with indication of its location): Слева – дверь, справа – окна, напротив – доска и экран. Рядом – компьютер. В аудитории есть столы, стулья и т.д.
2. Educational and professional sphere of communication (professional discourse): description of the word structure. A minimal structure:
2.1. Identification of an object. «
2.2. Location of an object: Эта словоформа находится в предложении и обозначает объект действия.
2.3. Composition and structure of an object:
3. Everyday sphere of communication (neutral style discourse): description of a room in a dormitory. A minimal structure:
3.1. Identification of an object:
3.2. Location of an object: Комната находится на пятом этаже.
3.3. Composition and structure of an object (with indication of its location): Вот дверь, напротив окно, справа– шкаф, стол и стулья. На столе – компьютер. А слева – кровать.
These, integrated, descriptions, presented in the first and further in the second periods of study at the pre-university department, are gradually expanded with new lexical and grammatical units which are learnt through the method of integration, as well as by means of special vocabulary, such as structure-forming words that verbalize the semantic field "An object and its components" (
Thus, the instructional design model presented in this research has been developed according to the principles of anthropological linguodidactics. It allows:
7.1. To focus on learner's existential needs, improve his / her professional personality and make the teaching-learning process less painful and more efficient due to the integration of academic contents.
7.2. The key vehicle to achieve this goal is a particular way of language items selection and structuring, as well as applying professionally oriented academic content integration strategy. This helps to gradually modify learner’s cognitive architectures, his or her language awareness;
7.3. To free up learners' working time in order to give them an opportunity to cover the academic content; to spend most of learning time on communication: a) in class; b) out of class, using the language environment as a learning tool; to design virtual education platforms that allow to enhance language-oriented and professionally oriented environment in order to further develop learner’s cognitive thesaurus;
7.4. To address the issues of academic overload, overcrowded and unmanageable syllabi, makes the task to survive “the survival period” achievable and facilitates the foundation year teaching-learning process helpful to improve an individual's self-image and self-actualization.
The prospect of the research is to develop in detail a language teaching system on the basis of the instruction design model described in this article.
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08 December 2020
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Muhammad, L. P., Ippolitova, L. V., & Stoletova, E. K. (2020). Modelling Of Professionally Oriented Educational Material On The Principles Of Anthropological Linguadidactics. 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. 473-484). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.12.02.64