Innovative Dictations As A Means Of Increasing The Motivation Of Foreign Students

Abstract

The paper describes various types of dictations intended for teaching Russian as a foreign language to students of the preparatory department of a technical university and reveals the most effective types. Dictations are considered as a means of increasing students' motivation since the Russian language is not the major subject but only a means to achieve certain objectives. Dictation is an integral part of any Russian language lesson. The classification of actual types of dictations for students is provided. Attention is paid to online dictations, a new form of dictation. The types of dictations that have been tested are considered in detail: creative, selective dictations and dictations with cards (grammatical chain of dictations). Creative dictations are defined as a mixed type dictation, which includes a traditional dictation with elements of creativity. Particular attention is paid to the dictation with cards. This dictation employs the following methodological gradation: Level 1 – words are given in the required prepositional-case form, but in a chaotic sequence, the task is to arrange the words in the correct order; Level 2 – words are given in the initial form, but in the correct sequence, the task is to make sentences changing the form of words, but not changing their sequence; Level 3 – words are given in the initial form, but the sequence does not correspond to the grammatical structure of the sentence, the task is to make sentences, forming the correct forms and arranging the lexical components in the correct sequence.

Keywords: teaching RFL, students of technical specialties, creative dictations, selective dictations, grammatical chain of dictations

Introduction

Increasing the motivation of foreign students is one of the priorities in the methodology of teaching the Russian language and requires educational material of a new type, a new structure of educational activity aimed at increasing its efficiency, and a didactic system to ensure high-quality mastering of modern technologies, increase the cognitive activity of students through acquisition of skills of using modern scientific and technical potential (Karpov, 2015).

In higher education, the development of creative and research competencies and skills of students is currently of great importance, which corresponds to global trends in the development of education and academic research (Karpov, 2015, 2017a, 2017b). Teaching language for the students of non-philological faculties causes the problems of an integrated approach to the content of education, the main part of which is the formation of oral and written scientific speech culture (Kirsanova et al., 2018; Scorikova et al., 2019).

Students studying at the preparatory department of technical universities are not always highly motivated, since the Russian language is not their major but only a means to achieve certain objectives. In this regard, the teacher has to constantly improve traditional methods and find new approaches to teaching academic language.

Problem Statement

Studies available in scientific and methodological literature, textbooks (Konstantinova et al., 2014; Zyryanova, Polyakova, 2007; Mustafina et al., 2017; Kolesnichenko, Raskhodchikova, 2013; Pinevich, 2013; Prashchuk, 2008; Miksyuk et al. , 2010; Orlova, Brodzeli, 2016; Frolova, 2014) and teaching experience confirm that dictation is an integral part of any Russian language lesson, since it provides a wide range of opportunities for explaining educational material, systematizing, training, revising, control, creativity, memory improvement, increasing mental activity, independence, which means it can be a means of increasing motivation.

In addition, dictation is also an excellent tool for enhancing the literacy of foreign students, since the systematic writing of dictations contributes to memorizing new vocabulary and comprehending complex grammatical material.

Based on the above, the authors consider it relevant to describe the most popular types of dictations and present practical examples on the use of those types that have proven to be a successful means for teaching the Russian language to foreign students of the pre-university stage of preparation at Bauman Moscow State Technical University.

Research Questions

Scientific and methodological literature provides the following definition of dictation: Dictation (from Latin dictare – to dictate) is “the type of written work, writing the perceived text” (Azimov, Shchukin, 2009).

The classification of dictations is quite diverse, it includes more than 60 types, including innovative dictations described by E. Chernega-Meinert (Chernega-Meinert, 2020).

In recent years, Total Dictation has been very popular, everyone can write the dictation and check the level of knowledge. On the website you can find materials for the TruD test (a total dictation for foreigners). In 2020, people in 150 countries of the world wrote this annual literacy test (Ryabova, 2017).

Distance learning has enriched the methodology of teaching Russian with online dictations or interactive dictations with online check.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to describe the optimal types of dictation that contribute to increased motivation in foreign students and broaden the knowledge of students in the field of Russian grammar.

Research Methods

The following methods were employed to solve the problem stated: analytical method, comparative-contrastive method, and experimental method that enables verification of the theoretical provisions formulated in the paper.

The experiment involved 33 students (pre-bachelors, pre-graduate students) of the preparatory faculty of an engineering university. All students had different levels of language proficiency. Some of them attended short-term courses (5 months).

Findings

The authors of the paper, who work in the preparatory department in the engineering classroom, developed and tested various types of dictations. The textbook was used for teaching the Russian language in the classroom (Dubinskaya, 2014). The most popular types of dictations among students and teachers were creative and selective dictations, and dictations with cards (grammatical chain of dictations).

are mixed type dictations, which involve writing a traditional dictation with elements of creativity. In this case, the teacher first manifests creativity in the task formulation and then the student continues the creative process.

During the experiment, the students were offered the following dictations:

  • one-time listening to words, phrases or sentences and writing on a smart-board by one of the students, followed by a joint analytical check carried out by the group and the teacher. During the check process, the following tasks can be assigned: indicate the plural of the word, list the antonyms, determine the gender, case of the word.

Task. Listen and write the words.

Действие, сложение, минус, вычитание, сумма, умножить на, плюс, деление, множитель, слагаемое.

After writing the dictation, students may be asked to group the words and name this group.

  • Listening and writing the dictation on the board by two students. The group writes the dictation with a pen in small tear off notepads with a copy paper attached. After writing, one sheet is immediately handed over to the teacher, the other one remains with the student, the boards are opened and the class check the task. There are quite a few advantages in this type of work: students check the dictation in the notebook while one of the students explains the material at the board and correct the mistakes; students can refer to the dictation at any time. The teacher also has a copy for assessment that does not need to be returned, which is also important since the teacher can analyze the mistakes and choose the most difficult words for subsequent dictations.

Task. Listen and write the sentences.

Это кабинет черчения. Здесь студенты делают чертежи. Это чертёжный стол. Здесь чертёжная бумага. На столе карандаш, циркуль, линейка и угольник.

After writing and analyzing the mistakes, students may be offered to write down other drawing tools and types of pencils, write words in the plural.

  • listening and writing words with subsequent compilation of phrases according to the task assigned.

Task. Listen and write the words. Make up phrases according to the scheme: what + what; what to do + where.

Монитор, процессор, устройство, внешний, клавиатура, внутренний, системный блок, находиться, современный, стол, дисковод.

  • listening and writing words with subsequent transformation (word formation task).

Task. Listen and write the words. Combine the paronyms into groups.

Наименьший, физика, частица, химический, меньший, физический, вещество, химия, вещества, меньше, часть.

  • listening to words, phrases, sentences and writing them with subsequent abbreviation. For more advanced learners, this task may be complicated by asking students to write down the abbreviated version immediately.

Task. Listen and write. Write the abbreviated forms of these words.

Алюминий – это химический элемент. Он находится в 13 группе периодической системы химических элементов, в 3 периоде. Алюминий используется в самолётостроении. Он обладает лёгкостью, высокой теплопроводностью и электропроводностью. Алюминий имеет серебристо-белый цвет.

  • listening and writing dates, numbers, formulas, chemical, mathematical, physical signs in words or words as signs.

Task. Listen and write numbers in words.

314,1000,289, 541,780, 999, 632, 0, 184, 856.

are dictations, which involve choosing and writing words, phrases, less often sentences, to check knowledge of a certain rule.

During the experiment, students were offered the following selective dictations:

  • listening to words and completing the table to group them by gender, by parts of speech, by meaning (antonyms, synonyms), etc.

Task. Listen and write nouns that denote the properties of metals only.

жидкость, прочность, хрупкость, поверхность, пластичность, плоскость, теплопроводность, плотность.

  • listening to phrases or sentences with their subsequent completion.

Task. Listen to the phrases, write their beginning and complete.

свойства …, изменение агрегатного … …, температура …, сила …, химическое …, плотность …, плавление … .

Answer (options are possible): свойства серы, изменение агрегатного состояния вещества, температура кипения, сила тяжести, химическое явление, плотность железа, плавление металла.

are dictations with lexemes provided in the cards. The teacher dictates the cards to the students. The cards in the form presented in this paper are given to foreign students only at the beginning of working with dictations, so that students can learn the principle of work and understand what they need to do. In terms of the structure, this type of dictation is not similar to other dictations presented in the classification above, since the authors considered not only the structure of the dictation but rather the peculiarities of its use in the educational process. Therefore, the tasks presented below are a grammatical chain of dictations, that consists of three 'links'-stages with a gradual increase in the level of complexity.

These dictations employ the following methodological gradation:

  • a 'puzzle' in which the words are given in the required prepositional-case form, but in a chaotic sequence, the task is to arrange the words in the correct order in accordance with the grammatical structure of a sentence in Russian;
  • telegraphic dictation, when the words are given in the initial form, but in the correct sequence; the task is to make sentences, changing the form of words, but not changing their sequence;
  • the final and most difficult stage: the words are given in the initial form and in a sequence that does not correspond to the grammatical structure of the sentence, for example, first nouns, then verbs, then adjectives, etc. (the presence or absence of prepositions, conjunctions and particles is optional in the task, however, it is recommended to exclude only non-derivative prepositions, leaving derivative prepositions, conjunctions and particles); the task is to make sentences from these words, forming the correct forms and arranging the lexical components in the correct sequence.

At first stage (students of pre-university training of Bauman Moscow State Technical University with A1–A2 levels of RFL), the students are offered the following card:

Task. Make sentences from these words. Do not change the form of the word!

университет – это. учатся – здесь – студенты. кабинет – это – математики. математику – здесь – задачи – студенты – и – решают – изучают. физики – кабинет – это. преподаватель – изучают опыты – здесь – тексты – показывает – а – формулы – физику – пишут – студенты – читают.

The correct answer written by foreign students should be as follows:

Это университет. Здесь учатся студенты. Это кабинет математики. Здесь студенты изучают математику и решают задачи. Это кабинет физики. Здесь студенты изучают физику, читают тексты, пишут формулы, а преподаватель показывает опыты.

At level A2–B1 (second stage), the students receive a card with the task:

Task. Make sentences from these words. You can change the form of the words, but do not change their order!

Физика, это, наука, о, природа. Она, изучать, явления, природа, свойства, вещества, и, тела, строение, молекулы, и, атомы.

Вещества, состоять, из, молекулы, а, молекулы, состоять, из, атомы. Молекула, это, наименьший, частица, вещество, который, иметь, его, свойства. Молекулы, иметь, масса, и, размер.

The correct answer written by foreign students should be as follows:

Физика – это наука о природе. Она изучает явления природы, свойства веществ и тел, строение молекул и атомов. Вещества состоят из молекул, а молекулы состоят из атомов. Молекула – это наименьшая частица вещества, которая имеет его свойства. Молекулы имеют массу и размер (Dubinskaya, 2014).

Tasks of the second type of dictations to make sentences from the words without changing the order of lexemes are often found in RFL textbooks, which is due to the effectiveness of using tasks of this type to improve the knowledge of foreign students in the field of Russian grammar at levels A2–B2.

The final, third type of the dictation, in our opinion, should be used for used with the 2nd certification level of RFL proficiency, since this task is of increased complexity. To simplify the task for students, the lexemes are divided into groups in accordance with their part of speech; however, within each group, the words are given in the sequence in which they should be used in the sentence. When compiling dictations of this type, we adhere to the sequence of part-of-speech groups that helps foreign students quickly navigate and build the correct sentence structure, namely: nouns – pronouns – verbs, short adjectives and participles – full adjectives and participles – adverbs, adverbs – numerals – conjunctions, connective words, prepositions, particles.

For example, first year students are assigned the following task:

Make sentences from these words. You must put the words in the correct order and put them in the right grammatical form! Add prepositions where necessary.

закон, взаимодействие, заряд, электростатика – изучать – неподвижный, электрический. закон, электростатика, физик, Ш. Кулон, год – быть, установлен – основной, французский – экспериментально – 1785. опыты, сила, взаимодействие, тело, квадрат, расстояние – он, они – показать, пропорционален – проведённый, точечный, неподвижный, заряженный – обратно – два – что, между.

The correct answer written by foreign students should be as follows:

Законы взаимодействия неподвижных электрических зарядов изучает электростатика. Основной закон электростатики был экспериментально установлен французским физиком Ш. Кулоном в 1785 году. Проведённые им опыты показали, что сила взаимодействия двух точечных неподвижных заряженных тел обратно пропорциональна квадрату расстояния между ними (Dubinskaya, 2014).

The dictations that make up the grammatical chain are aimed at generalizing, revising and systematizing the grammatical knowledge of foreign students in RFL, and the lexical material selected for dictations is associated with the scientific style of speech to enrich the vocabulary of students in their future specialty.

The results of the experiments show that students who regularly attended classes and wrote dictations in the scientific style of speech have deeper knowledge and greater vocabulary than those who did not do these tasks. This form of classroom work usually causes fear and boredom in students, however, different types of dictation used in the classroom arise interest and expectation of new interesting tasks.

Conclusion

Thus, a combination of traditional and non-traditional (innovative) types of dictation is one of the solutions to the problem stated. The authors plan to continue this study in order to test the existing types of dictations and choose the most effective ones for teaching academic language to students of technical universities, as well as to create new types of dictations that help increase the motivation of foreign students and expand their knowledge in the field of Russian language.

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17 May 2021

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Cite this article as:

Pinevich, E. V., & Kalinina, I. M. (2021). Innovative Dictations As A Means Of Increasing The Motivation Of Foreign Students. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization, vol 107. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2800-2807). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.371