Formation Of Psychological Readiness To Voluteering Among Students – Future Foreign Language Teachers

Abstract



Keywords: Emotional and value sphereformation of personal potentialsinterdisciplinary approachmotivationalvolunteer activitypedagogical technologies

Introduction

The volunteer movement is a powerful creative force that contributes to building a more humane and fair society through mutual assistance and cooperation (Bochanova & Chernuhina, 2015) not only in Russia, but also abroad. Currently, volunteering is becoming a form of international cooperation (Pervushina, 2014) and public diplomacy.

Forms and methods of public diplomacy are aimed at the development of interstate cultural and humanitarian relations, including use of civil society institutions' potential, international cultural and humanitarian cooperation development as means of establishing an inter-civilization dialog, reaching agreement and mutual understanding among peoples as well as promoting the creation of Russia's positive image appropriate to its culture, education, science. (The concept of the Russian Federation foreign policy, 2018, p. 13)

The development of voluntary activity is beneficial not only from the position of the state, but also from the position of each person, since voluntary activity is an effective way of forming young people's personal potentials (motivational, value, intellectual, volitional, emotional, communicative, spiritual and moral). Young people who have volunteering experience, have formed a civic position, conscientious about their work, demonstrate initiative and commitment. And this is especially valuable when it comes to educating future teachers. Participation of young people in social movements will allow them to acquire new knowledge, experience in managing social projects, teamwork skills, and awareness of responsibility for the final result of their activities (Bochanova & Chernuhina, 2015). Most often, young people become volunteers at the call of the souls, having neither knowledge nor skills for volunteer activities.

Moreover, beyond academic activities volunteer work is the only effective way of forming the most essential structural components of educational competence at the 1st stage of future teacher professional development.

Literature review

Theoretically and methodologically, the research presented in this article is based on the scientific works of Holland, Milman, Hertzberg, Maslow, Murray, Vygotsky, Bim, Galskova, Winter, Polat, Shchukin, Harmer, Johnson, Johnson and others.

Domestic and foreign researchers note that the highest goal of pedagogical education is to educate a spiritually-moral and responsible person who is ready and able, among other things, to volunteer, which is in great demand in modern society.

The main goal of volunteering is to help children and elderly people in difficult situations (in families or social institutions). The main areas of volunteer activity are:

  • helping orphans and deprived children in hospitals;

  • escorting children from orphanages and hospitals on walks;

  • collecting of hygiene items, special baby food, and raising money to buy them;

  • organization of holidays in rehabilitation centers, boarding houses and nursing homes;

  • holiday and birthday greetings to disabled children;

  • support and assistance to foreign citizens;

  • participation in international projects (Adventure projects, Erasmus European volunteer service projects) (Romanova et al., 2017), etc.

The results of the study of psychological characteristics of people who participate in volunteer activities showed a high level of altruism, friendliness-the desire to establish friendly relations and cooperation with others; a greater focus on work rather than receiving material benefits and remuneration; greater freedom in choosing a profession, interests, fuller meaningfulness of life: volunteers perceive life as more interesting, emotionally rich, and full of meaning in comparison with non-volunteers (Sorokoumova, 2010).

It is well known that formation of the motivational sphere is a general psychological mechanism for the development of readiness for any activity (Sorokoumova, 2010).

It is the motivational-value component that determines the development of all other aspects of the personality. Consequently, ensuring the development of the motivational sphere is the basis for the formation of students' psychological readiness to volunteer.

Besides, volunteer work involves intensive interpersonal interaction and activities in emotionally charged situations that are not always positive (for example, with disabled people, the elderly and sick people). Therefore, the important parts of psychological readiness for volunteer activity are both communicative and emotional-volitional components.

The most productive from the point of view of forming psychological readiness for volunteering seems to be an interdisciplinary approach. Osmolovskaya and Krasnovaassume (2018) that the signs of an interdisciplinary approach, specifically in the sphere of education, include common subject of study, complementarity of methods, and significance of the obtained result for all. Psychodidactics is considered the most studied area of interdisciplinarity in the field of training (Savenkov, 2012). One of the problems of psychodidactics is the problem of developmental foreign language education (Gibelgauz & Krutsky, 2016), the solution of which will turn foreign language learning into a mechanism for the development of socially valuable qualities of a student's personality. This is especially true when it comes to training future teachers who should be psychologically ready and capable of selfless service, which often takes the form of voluntary activity. Besides, volunteers are often involved in work with foreign citizens. That is why teaching a foreign language should be an important component of readiness for volunteer activities (Ariyan, 2017).

Modern technologies of teaching foreign languages (technology of foreign language communication training, cooperation, discussion, role-playing and business games, project, social development and case technologies) form socially valuable personality qualities in future volunteers and provide motivational readiness for volunteering.

Participation in communication trainings, discussions, business and role-playing games in a foreign language contribute to the formation of such qualities as psychological flexibility, confidence and the ability to overcome difficulties in non-typical communication situations (Ariyan, 2017).

Intercultural interaction contributes to the formation of social and cultural observance and the ability to choose a socially acceptable style of behavior, which is especially important in volunteer activities with foreign citizens.

In the teaching and learning process in foreign languages, students were asked to discuss socially acute problem situations in which they had to show their own social and moral position. In disputes and discussions in such "axiogenic" situations (Karasik, 2019), as well as in discussions based on value-rich texts, students acquire their own value orientations. In the hierarchy of personal values built by future volunteers, an important place belongs to the values of volunteerism: social activity, awareness of involvement in what is happening in the city, country and the world, goodwill to all people, understanding the value and uniqueness of each person, kindness, and mercy. It is well known that in recent years, case technology has become widely used in teaching foreign languages (Shepetova & Satdyhov, 2018).

Analyzing real problem pedagogical situations that allow different solutions, future volunteers chose the only acceptable way to solve the problem. Such work required high intellectual and emotional concentration and tension, use of modern psychological and pedagogical knowledge, as well as life experience and emotional experience as part of it. Case technology creates favorable conditions for the formation of a person's motivational and value sphere.

Among various methods for developing the components of psychological readiness for volunteering we consider psychological training to be the most effective one.

Problem Statement

The problem of this study is the way to educate spiritually-moral and responsible persons – future teachers, ready and able, among other things, to volunteer, which is an important characteristic of the teaching profession and in great demand in modern society.

Research Questions

In this research the authors put forward and offered solutions to the following questions:

  • What are the most significant characteristics of people involved in volunteer activity?

  • To what extent is a targeted preparation for volunteering necessary?

What is the potential of an interdisciplinary approach and modern pedagogical technologies for students-foreign language teachers' preparation for volunteering?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of our research is to show the importance and ways of forming psychological readiness of students – future foreign language teachers to volunteering, the importance of forming the motivational-value, emotional-volitional and communicative components of volunteer activity and offer some ways to achieve the goal.

Research Methods

We explored the influence of a formative program on the motivational-value, emotional-volitional and communicative components of psychological readiness for volunteer activities of students-future foreign language teachers. The study was conducted in 2019–2020. The target group included 100 first and second year Nizhny Novgorod State Linguistics University students. This study involved two groups of students:

  • an experimental group (EG) – 50 students participating in the volunteer training program,

  • a control group (CG) – 50 students not participating in the volunteer training program.

To study the motivational and value component of psychological readiness for volunteer work of future teachers, we used a questionnaire of terminal values compiled by I.G. Senin. To analyze the motivational-value component, we selected three indicators-Terminal values: Creativity, Active social contacts, and Self-Development.

To study the emotional-volitional component of psychological readiness for volunteer work of future teachers, we used the personality questionnaire "Adaptability" (MLO-AM) compiled by Maklakov and Chermyanin (2001). For the analysis of the emotional-volitional component, we also used three indicators – Neuropsychic stability, Value orientations, and Moral normativity.

To diagnose the communicative component of psychological readiness for volunteer work of future teachers, we chose the test of affiliation motives by Mehrabian and the emotional Empathic Tendency Scale (EETS) questionnaire compiled by Mehrabian, adapted by Orlov and Emelyanov. To analyze the communicative component, we chose the following indicators: affiliation Motivation, Empathy, Attachment, and rejection Sensitivity (Burlachuk, 2006).

The significance of differences was assessed with the help of Student's t-test; correlation analysis was performed using Spearman's Rs-test.

To prepare students for volunteer activities at the formative stage of the study, we developed a program aimed at forming motivational-value, emotional-volitional and communicative components.

The training program for volunteer activities consisted of information and practical blocks. The information block included the history and directions of volunteer activities, the role of volunteer activities in society and in the formation of personal potentials, and the psychological characteristics of people who participate in volunteer activities. The practical block included: social psychological test (SPT) for the formation of basic communication skills and abilities, i.e. making contacts, effective listening and hearing, competent argumentation of one's own point of view, etc.; team-building training based on game techniques, when a team had to solve various problems or do creative tasks, in which the entire team is involved; conflict management training including training to find ways out of conflict situations; training in social design technology; thematic classes in the areas of volunteer activity; quest- game "Event recipe", which defines all the main volunteer functions in large events. This method allows one to be an administrator, responsible for the stage, for the participants, for logistics and allows future volunteers to independently determine the functionality that will be of interest to him in the event.

We also used foreign language classes to develop students' psychological readiness for volunteering and formation of socially valuable personality traits.

Participation in role-playing in foreign language classes provided future volunteers with the experience of playing the roles of kind, selfless, fair people and enriched their life experience significantly. It is not the fact of the adoption of a role that has an educational effect, but the speech and non-speech behavior prescribed to its carrier. Role-playing allows one to form an important ability for the volunteer to navigate in life situations, to evaluate them from the point of view of universal moral standards.

In addition to the above, it should be noted that modern pedagogical technologies of foreign language teaching create favorable conditions for the development of students' emotional sphere, which is of particular importance in preparing for volunteer activities. According to Vilyunas (1984), emotions help to navigate in life situations, because they come ahead of awareness of the situation and allow predicting the course of events.

Social and emotional development of future teachers provides them with a wide range of ways of emotional response in various situations of volunteer activity. They gain the ability to better understand and manage their own emotions, and it is easier to establish and maintain emotional contact with people. In foreign language classes, during business- and role-playing, students gain experience of using encouraging phrases and comments, as well as speech intonations that have an optimistic coloring. Tasks that stimulate a particular emotional state require the student to realize his/her adequacy to the situation and predict the emotional reaction of the interlocutor, have special emotionally developing value (Johnson & Johnson, 2006).

Here are some examples of tasks of this type:

  • what do you feel in the situations which...;

  • what do you feel when you learn that...;

  • what will you do and say if... .

Listen to the story of a woman whose only son placed her in a nursing home and never visited her. What do you think could justify him? What would you advise this person? How would you behave in such a situation?

Imagine that you are a very elderly person. Tell us about your family (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren). Make it clear why you are proud of them.

Role play. Student 1: a volunteer working in a shelter for homeless animals is sure that it is necessary to helps such animals. Student 2: a person who is essentially kind, but he does not like cats and dogs and does not think they need help.

Complete the project on the topic: "All children deserve parents". It will allow creating a system of work to support orphans. Go ahead!

Findings

The results of the control stage of the study allowed us to draw the following conclusions:

  • The level of psychological readiness for volunteer work among students-future teachers in both EG and CG is low.

  • The indicators of the components of psychological readiness for volunteer activity in EG and CG do not show statistically significant differences.

  • To develop the motivational-value, emotional-volitional and communicative components of students' psychological readiness for volunteering, purposeful formative work is essential.

Table 1 presents the results of diagnostics of motivational-value, emotional-volitional and communicative components of future foreign language teachers' psychological readiness for volunteer activity in the form of average level indicators (ALI) for EG before and after the formative stage of the study. Since no changes were observed in students-future foreign language teachers we considered it possible not to demonstrate their results.

Table 1 -
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The analysis of the data given in Table 1 shows that for all the studied components of psychological readiness for volunteer activity, future foreign language teachers in EG have positive changes in the development levels of motivational-value, emotional-volitional and communicative.

Data from the control diagnostics of the motivational and value component of students-future teachers' psychological readiness for volunteer activity showed positive changes in terminal values. ALI in EG for terminal values: creativity 2.40 vs. 1.70 before the formative program; for terminal values: active social contacts 2.50 vs. 1.80 before the formative program; and for terminal values: self- development 2.30 vs. 1.70 before the formative program. The significance of the observed differences is high (p≤0.01). This means that the program of the formation of psychological readiness for volunteer activity described in this paper had a positive impact on the development of the motivational and value component of students-future teachers' psychological readiness for volunteer activity. It can be assumed that thanks to the program most students in EG expressed more desire to establish friendly relationships with other people, were not shy to communicate with other people, began to strive for self-improvement and realization of their creative potential.

The data of the control diagnostics showed significant changes in the communicative component of psychological readiness for volunteer activities. The number of EG students with a low level of affiliation motivation decreased three times (the significance of differences p≤0.01. ALI in EG= 2.40 vs. 1.70 before the formative program (significance of differences p≤0.001).

The analysis of the results of repeated testing of the communicative component indicators in EG: empathy, accession tendencies, rejection sensitivity allow us to speak about positive development of the communicative component of psychological readiness for volunteer activities. It can be assumed that thanks to the program the majority of students-future foreign language teachers in the EG began to more understand and share the mental states of other people, to express the desire to make friends, join a group of peers, to perceive other people's judgments as a possible source of encouragement.

Data from the control diagnostics of the emotional-volitional component of psychological readiness for volunteer activities also showed positive changes. ALI in EG: for neuropsychiatric stability vs. 1.85 before the formative program, value orientations 2.50 vs. 1.90 before the formative program, moral normativeness 2.30 vs. 1.70 before the formative program. It can be assumed that due to the program of psychological readiness formation for volunteer activity, the majority of students-future foreign language teachers of EG have become more familiar with their own emotional states and emotional-volitional processes.

The results of the study of the formative program influence on the motivational-value, emotional- volitional and communicative components of students-future teachers' psychological readiness for volunteer activities allowed us to come to the following main conclusions:

  • The most important parts of psychological readiness for volunteer activity include motivational- value, emotional-volitional and communicative components.

  • The ascertaining stage of the study showed low indicators of all components of psychological readiness for volunteer activity and the need for their targeted formation.

  • The developed and tested program of psychological readiness formation, including some interdisciplinary elements, showed a positive impact on the motivational-value, emotional-volitional and communicative components.

  • Quantitative results of the formative stage of the study, their statistical and qualitative analysis showed significant changes in all the components of psychological readiness for volunteer activity.

Conclusion

The formation of the motivational sphere is a general psychological mechanism for the development of readiness for volunteer activity. The development of the motivational-value component determines the development of the emotional-volitional and communicative components of psychological readiness for volunteer activity. In accordance with this, ensuring the development of the motivational sphere is the basis for the formation of psychological readiness of students to volunteering.

The use of an interdisciplinary approach in the training program of students-future foreign language teachers to volunteer activities allowed to fully realize the personality forming potential of a number of academic disciplines, in particular, psychology, foreign language teaching methodology and language practice.

The development of young people's volunteer activities will result in increasing socio-economic stability in society, and increasing its spiritual and moral potential.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

27.02.2021

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2021.02.02.8

Online ISSN

2357-1330