Modernizing Language Courses In Digital Education: A Coup Or Changing The Scenery?


Improvement in any area, including socio-economic sphere, is determined by human factor, the formation of which is connected with the educational system. Digitalization penetrates into all spheres of reality, becomes a key factor in effective interaction between the state and citizens. Digitalization of educational environment is the response to the challenge from the state, which aims at making the scientific and pedagogical staff transform education from the process of transferring and receiving knowledge, cultural values ​​ into driving force of the country's social and economic progress. Digital technologies determine the informational and educational environment of a person. However, the impact of digital technologies on the acquisition of knowledge, skills of the graduate of the humanitarian areas of universities remains controversial. The authors consider the issues of effective methods for competencies formation connected both with the content of philological disciplines and the use of digital environment in professional activities of graduates. Experience of teaching different philological disciplines reveals the following points: ways of information literacy development among students (information needs, analyzing content, assessing the relevance of the source and content, ability to correlate the content of different sources, etc.); issues of teaching students the professional communication in digital environment; creating digital content within academic disciplines.

Keywords: Digital environment, digital technologies, philological disciplines


Digitalization radically changes not only the economy, but also the lifestyle of a person, and therefore, both the content of education and its organization should be changed. The need for digital environment in the system of higher education is recognized by the majority of the scientific and pedagogical community. Higher educational institutions must solve the tasks set by the state that are most important for the development of society: the availability of quality education, the development of the abilities of schoolchildren and students in terms of their language training, the formation of communication skills in the Internet environment; ensuring the global competitiveness of Russian education, introducing new methods of teaching and upbringing, educational technologies, increasing student motivation for learning and involvement in the educational process, as well as updating the content and improving teaching methods. In addition, a student must develop competencies related to the ability to use digital technologies in professional activities, and the ability to independently master new knowledge and work with information.

Problem Statement

The digital transformation of education as a global trend gives rise to a range of diverse problems. Despite the seemingly high efficiency of digitalization, it brings challenges and risks (Kiselev, 2020; Shityakova et al., 2020). They may be associated with a decline in the quality of education. That is why representatives of different sciences take part in the discussion of the formation of an electronic-digital environment and education under new conditions.

Thus, the philosophical understanding of the information and digital era is revealed by Markov (2021), who notes the technical superiority of new media and lack of control over their content.

The results of research related to social engineering in the era of digitalization were presented by Ermolaeva (2019) when she reviewed the speeches at the section “Social construction in the digital media environment” at the IX Grushin conference. The role of media in the processes of social construction in the context of digitalization was emphasized by Smirnova et al. (2020).

Reflections on the possible priorities of the development of the humanities and education in Russia in the context of information and communication transformations of the modern world are presented by Vorob′yeva (2019). The author notes that the social and humanitarian aspects are not sufficiently comprehended in the documents of the state in the field of science and education. Severina (2018) also reflects on the role of humanities in the implementation of strategic programs for the development of the digital economy of the Russian Federation.

The impact of digitalization of society on philological education is studied by Ivashkina (2021), who determines the educational potential of digital technologies, taking into account the multilingual training of students. Ivashkina (2021) notes that “digitalization is often perceived only from the perspective of a fashionable educational trend, and when its superficial implementation seems to be quite satisfying” (p. 273).

An essential change in the educational paradigm presupposes the presence of a wide range of digital educational resources. A number of researches are devoted to the description of such resources. For example, the study by Asmolova and Livskaya (2018) is devoted to the analysis of Internet platforms and their didactic potential for creating projects.

In the context of the development of digital education, a change in the educational paradigm requires the modernization of academic courses. So, Yanchenko (2020) suggests the ways to modernize the course “Introduction to the methodology of teaching the Russian language” while maintaining its substantive depth and strengthening the fundamentality. The integration of media education technologies into the learning process of future journalists is revealed by Mikhalkina (2011).

The qualitative transformation of the educational process during the transition to digital education requires training highly qualified personnel. According to Gordienko et al. (2019), highly qualified personnel not only have a good command of modern technologies, but can also produce new technologies in the future.

The media competence of teachers in Russian universities was assessed by Frolova et al. (2017). The authors note that modern teachers have the skills of media educational activities in the classroom, however, the lack of time greatly limits such activities. The phenomenon of a teacher's media culture as one of the characteristics of teacher’s “qualification portrait” is highlighted by Boronenko et al. (2018).

Many works contain a description of the attitude of students at the university to the digitalization of education. Thus, Prokhorova et al. (2020) emphasize new opportunities after the intensification of educational process, and note many risks in the transition to distance learning, connected with the loss of communication skills and teamwork. The authors talk about the contradiction between the desire of students to study remotely and their need for live communication with a teacher.

Research Questions

The article is devoted to the actual problem of determining the place and role of the digital environment in teaching philological disciplines. The authors, on the example of the active use of the digital environment in teaching philological disciplines, determine how expedient and necessary it is to use digital technologies for the humanitarian disciplines. The results of the questionnaire survey of students of 1-5 year of study of different fields of training are analyzed in order to determine the attitude to digital technologies of all participants in the educational process.

Purpose of the Study

Analysis of the practice of application and the impact of digital technologies on the effectiveness of formation of the necessary competencies for the professional activity of a graduate in the field of philological disciplines.

Research Methods

The research was carried out using theoretical and empirical methods. The analysis as the main theoretical method made it possible to determine the features of the impact of digital technologies on the formation of students' competencies in teaching philological disciplines. Empirical methods, such as observation, a survey in the form of a questionnaire, generalization and presentation of the results were used as well.


Digitalization in education has led to the renewal of the entire system, in this series, the repertoire of curricula, the development of competencies related to informatization in accordance with the latest educational standards, the introduction of information technologies into the learning process, the design of a digital educational environment. This is relevant to all levels of study.

Reference to various educational resources, electronic libraries with video and audio materials, and with the possibility of testing, has become an obligatory part of the educational process. Digital technologies should be actively used both in the classroom and in self study of bachelors. Thus, the courses “History of the Russian language”, “Historical commenting on the facts of the modern Russian language” are referred to the philological disciplines of the historical cycle, which are considered the most difficult for students. This is explained not only by the complex content of the discipline (formation of the phonetic and grammatical systems of the Russian language in the Old Russian period), but also by the fact that students do not always realize the practical significance of such knowledge. The scope of application of the acquired knowledge, skills and abilities in future professional activities can be rethought as a result of the systematic application of digital technologies. Creation of a flexible curriculum or media course for a discipline on a digital platform allows the teacher to control the quality and stage-by-stage formation of competencies – from studying recommended literature to determining the level of proficiency in the material using tests or open-ended assignments. In order to increase interest to the discipline, to understand the practical significance of the knowledge gained, to form the skills of applying this knowledge in professional situations, the digital environment can be used. A group project – a constantly and regularly updated educational online resource on the social network Instagram – involves the formation of students' skills to work with schoolchildren in a digital educational environment, the development of educational online resources, support of project activities from idea to implementation, attracting young people to development and implementation of projects in the Internet environment, contributing to the functioning of educational organizations as cultural, educational, scientific and innovative centers for the development of local communities. All this ensures a high degree of student involvement in the educational process, and the learning process is close to real professional activity.

Modern digital technologies contribute to the intensification of the learning process, to the relevance and the speed of achieving individual results of both bachelor's and master's programs.

Thus, within the framework of the Master's program in Philology “Russian Philology and communicative practices”, the curriculum includes the discipline “Rewriting”. Digital technologies transform communication and change the structure of information consumption: text expands boundaries through visualization and takes into account the needs of the audience. With the development of the Internet, modern media can no longer confine themselves to their own original content, in this regard, there is a need for the processing of texts and their editorial revision; filling and promoting information on various sites requires the prompt high-quality rewriting of texts. Based on the foregoing, the discipline assumes the ability to work with information; in the process of rewriting, students are not limited to the framework of selected and specific texts; to create their works on the basis of the available material, it is necessary to refer to extra sources. At the same time, in the process of studying, students do not only practice rewriting and editing, but also develop the skills in dealing with sources of information when rewriting texts for print media, television, Internet publications. When working with the texts, the competencies for digital environment are formed, such as the analysis of the media text in the selection of the material for rewriting, the analysis of the content, in the performance of the task of filling and synthesizing the missing information. As a result, there appears a new media product that meets modern requirements. Among the most typical tasks for the course are rewriting of a short news article, press release, a short text of advertising nature for social networks, rewriting referring to extra sources. The degree of uniqueness of the text created by the Master student is assessed through the anti-plagiarism system, which also allows evaluating the quality of work. Digital teaching tools play an important role, but at the same time, students note the great role of group work in the discussion of the created text and the comments of the teacher.

The curriculum of the master's program in Philology “Russian Philology and Communicative Practices” also contains the discipline “Philological Expertise”, which involves not only the coverage of the basic concepts of the theory of legal philology, but also the philological qualification of conflict texts through the prism of modern legislation, as well as the identification of speech means that violate “Language security”. The solution of these tasks is impossible without immersion in the information and digital environment. In order to carry out an expert opinion, Master’s Degree students need to get acquainted with the main regulatory legal acts of the Russian Federation. This requires them to refer to the new Internet version of the GARANT system, which combines modern tools for work with legal information and cloud technologies, as well as to the ConsultantPlus legal reference system. The analysis of insulting and abusive words as an object of language expertise involves working not only with explanatory or special dictionaries, but also with the information and reference system “National Corpus of the Russian Language”. The phenomenon of language conflict (with the definition of speech strategies and tactics that ensure the impact on the consciousness of the addressee; with the characteristics of the manipulation of one's consciousness; with identification of explicit and implicit data in media texts) requires the Master's student to monitor the conflict media discourse, including both original texts created by the author, and secondary texts, formed by the responses of readers.


The role of humanitarian knowledge at the present stage of introducing digital technologies into the educational process is obviously underestimated. The main risks of the digitalization in education are due to the lack of competence of the graduate to comprehend a variety of data. In order to turn the digitalization of humanitarian education from a myth into a reality, it is the high-quality educational content that must come to the foreground. As part of the study, the possible benefits of digital transformation of philological education were identified. A survey of students confirmed their positive attitude to digitalization of the educational process. Students' evaluation of the positive effect of digital technologies in teaching philological disciplines is presented below:

- increasing digital literacy, i.e. skills of using educational digital resources, and willingness to work in a digital educational environment - 93%;

- development of skills for assessing the relevance of a source and its content, the ability to correlate the content of different sources - 92%;

- development of skills for self study - 88%;

- formation of the ability to analyze the content of the digital educational and / or professional environment - 88%;

- obtaining skills in creating digital content in academic disciplines and / or in professional activities - 84%;

- forming an individual educational trajectory - 83%;

- formation of personal mobility, ability to adapt to unpredictable and rapidly changing conditions - 81%;

- creation of personalized content, ensuring the integration of language education - 77%;

- the formation of skills to determine the degree of information needs in dealing with professional issues - 74%;

- increased motivation for self-education and self-development in a multicultural environment - 69%.

Constant attention to the content component of digitalization of education will help to level the differences in assessing the effect of the use of digital technologies by all participants in the educational process.


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30 December 2021

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Lukyanova, S. V., Grickevich, J. N., Andreev, V. K., Popkova, L. M., & Korenetskaya, I. N. (2021). Modernizing Language Courses In Digital Education: A Coup Or Changing The Scenery?. In D. Y. Krapchunov, S. A. Malenko, V. O. Shipulin, E. F. Zhukova, A. G. Nekita, & O. A. Fikhtner (Eds.), Perishable And Eternal: Mythologies and Social Technologies of Digital Civilization, vol 120. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 365-371). European Publisher.