Chugu S. D., Gladio S. V. WAYS TO ENHANCE LANGUAGE LEARNING IN EFL

Категорія: Інновації та традиції в науковій думці 15-17.08.13, Філологічні науки

Chugu S. D., Gladio S. V.

WAYS TO ENHANCE LANGUAGE LEARNING IN EFL

Vinnytsia Institute of Trade and Economics of Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics, Ukraine, Vinnytsia

 

The article puts emphasis on the issues related to the ways of enhancing learner-centered language learning to ensure successful participation of the students in the learning process as well as in their future professional activities. The authors maintain that the key concepts within the EFL context are to be based not only on the mandatory provision of learners’ language proficiency but also on the other logistics aspects such as methodically accurate choice of teaching materials and teaching styles alongside the effective management of the learning process, psychological models of interaction in the EFL setting and the ways the students themselves evaluate their progress.

Key words: communicative competence, learner-centered language learning, learner autonomy, cooperative learning strategies, self-assessment.

 

к. філол. н., доцент, Чугу С. Д., к. філол. н., доцент, Гладьо С. В.

ШЛЯХИ ПОКРАЩЕННЯ ВИВЧЕННЯ МОВИ ПРИ ВИКЛАДАННІ АНГЛІЙСЬКОЇ МОВИ ЯК ІНОЗЕМНОЇ

Вінницький торговельно-економічний інститут Київського національного торговельно-економічного університету, Україна, Вінниця

 

У статті основна увага приділяється питанням, пов’язаним зі шляхами забезпечення ефективного вивчення мови, організованого на засадах, коли мовець знаходиться в центрі навчального процесу, що має на меті успішне залучення студентів до навчання та належну підготовку до професійної діяльності у майбутньому. Автори статті вважають, що ключові поняття в методиці вивчення англійської мови як іноземної повинні базуватися не лише на принципі забезпечення високого рівня володіння мовою студентами, а також на логістичних аспектах, що стосуються зокрема методично виправданого використання певних навчальних матеріалів та стилю викладання, ефективного управління навчальним процесом, психологічних моделй взаємодії у навчальному середовищі та критичного осмислення студентами результатів власного навчання.

Ключові слова: комунікативна компетенція, студенто-центричний процес вивчення мови, автономія мовця, кооперативні стратегії навчання, самостійне оцінювання.

 

к. филол. н., доцент, Чугу С. Д., к. филол. н., доцент, Гладьо С. В.

ПУТИ УЛУЧШЕНИЯ ИЗУЧЕНИЯ ЯЗЫКА В ПРОЦЕССЕ ПРЕПОДАВАНИЯ АНГЛИЙСКОГО КАК ИНОСТРАННОГО

Винницкий торгово-экономический институт Киевского национального торгово-экономического университета, Украина, Винница

 

В статье основное внимание уделяется вопросам, связанным с путями обеспечения эффективного изучения языка, организованного на принципах, когда в центре учебного процесса находится обучающийся, что предопределено целью успешного вовлечения студентов в учебный процесс и их фундаментальной подготовки к будущей профессиональной деятельности. Авторы статьи считают, что ключевые понятия в методике преподавания английского языка как иностранного должны базироваться не только на принципе обеспечения высокого уровня владения языком, а также на логистических аспектах, в частности, на методически оправданном использовании определенных учебных материалов и стиля преподавания, эффективном управлении учебным процессом, психологическими моделями взаимодействия в учебной среде и критического осмысления студентами результатов учебы.

Ключевые слова: коммуникативная компетенция, студенто-центрический процесс обучения языку, автономия обучающегося, кооперативные стратегии обучения, самостоятельное оценивание.

 

Introduction

The new positive tendencies in the EFL mainstream in Ukraine that lead to more effective language teaching can be further fostered through a system of effective means that must include well-balanced content-based teaching, use of updated materials, assignments that are designed to match individual learning styles of the students, exploration of concerns and issues connected with generating ideas and creative solutions which will work for different language learners in different classroom situations.

Dramatic changes in the global world call for reconsidering the methods of teaching a foreign language as emphasis should be put onto different aspects of language use, among which linguistic, communicative, expressive and pragmatic features are viewed by educationalists as being most important. Moreover, the field of EFL being the most stimulating, rewarding and interesting one aims at language learners who have a unique chance not only to enrich their knowledge of English but to study the historical and cultural heritage of the nation and to deepen their understanding of the ever changing means of human communication - language.

Discussion

Given the current socio-economic and political processes training ‘paradigms in academic and professional circles are changing: lines between academic and professional preparation are fading. Today, academic work in almost all fields of study is increasingly linked with real-world professional experience’ [5: 18]. Due to these factors the focus in the EFL classroom should be placed on the development of the personality of the language learner as well as on strengthening of his/her motivation and on the application of appropriate methods and techniques to expand students’ knowledge, to foster their language skills and performance so that to ensure successful application of the knowledge and skills in their future professional activities.

Beyond doubt the key concepts in EFL are to be connected not only with the mandatory insurance of language proficiency but also with the issues of what the teacher brings to the classroom and how he/she interacts with the learners in addition to the logistics of the learning process, psychological models of interaction in the EFL setting and the ways the students themselves evaluate their progress [10, 12].

Crucial changes in all spheres of the modern world that has to face numerous challenges caused by the economic and financial crises call for the reconsideration of the ways of teaching a foreign language with the shift of the focus onto different aspects of language use, linguistic, communicative, expressive and pragmatic features becoming the major ones. In our understanding these tasks are closely connected with the problems that are being raised and studied within the framework of general research of the competence and performance peculiarities of bilingual and multilingual speakers as language behavior of the speaker is characterized by the linguistic, psychological and sociolinguistic factors that are determined by the cognitive processes and situational parameters in interaction that include major societal aspects such as microcontext and macrocontext of the classroom settings and situations [1, 4]. Promoting creativity, increasing motivation, and developing critical thinking on the part of language learners requires their active personal participation in the training process at all the stages, so it can be considered one of the crucial factors that can help meet the needs of the EFL methodology in the country.

Current researches in the field resulted in the assumption that bilingual or multilingual speakers use different codes for different languages, code-switching being regarded a norm for competent language users. The other important factor deals with distinguishing basic knowledge from situational discourse knowledge. The findings of recent research prove pragmatic and more specific socio-pragmatic ambiguity to be the most difficult to cope with due to the fact that it inheres in a much wider discourse choices not limited merely by the use of lexical or/and structural units and require a more complicated procedure of implementing the correct maxims [6] and maxim confluence [9]. The consideration of the maxims and their confluence enriches the content and the methods in EFL as it opens new possibilities for the learners’ awareness and necessity of more diverse linguistic behavior in the context of methodological applicability to the effective language interaction in the classroom and in real life.

It is obvious that enhancing learners’ progress is inseparable from cooperative learning as it is due to the advantages of this approach which focuses on sharing discoveries and creative team work, namely projects, negotiations, decision-making and problem-solving activities among other techniques that encourage students to bring their own experiences to the classroom and eventually help raise their self-confidence in the EFL classroom. One of the effective tools to ensure success is the application of multiple intelligences theory that helps develop individual potentials in the EFL classroom to the full. We share the ideas of Christison M.A. who claims that MI theory offers EFL teachers a way to examine their best teaching techniques and strategies in light of human differences [3: 6].

The implementation of the approach that combines effective and relevant elements of different methods leads to building a supportive network in the group and makes the learning process more meaningful and successful to the participants. This way it is both language learners and educationalists who benefit from the use of the MI theory in the EFL methodology.

Recent theoretical assumptions in the field maintain that self-assessment can be regarded an effective combination of self-judgment and self-reaction. The theoretical perspectives on self-assessment, particularly in the EFL context, confirm that self-assessment is a good tool to promote learning [8, 11]. It affects students’ achievements positively, and supports language learners’ motivation while reinforcing their autonomy. Thus the task of the language teacher lies in teaching students how to enhance their own learning efforts and encourage their motivation. Innovative approaches toward language learning make assessment imperative in the classroom as it is closely connected with learners’ autonomy.

Communicative competence has been studied from different perspectives both in language and literacy education. Still as the field that deals with the ability of language learners to employ different tactics in achieving effective communication has not been explored widely the increasing demand for effective communicative competence is predetermined by the new changes in the global world and the higher requirements to language users in the context of intercultural social interaction.

Fostering learner autonomy is inseparable from cooperative learning as it is due to the advantages of this approach that encourages students to bring their own experiences to the classroom and helps raise their self-confidence which eventually results in the supportive network that is built in the group [2, 7]. Another important plus is that the learning process becomes more relevant and meaningful to the participants thus raising their language learning awareness. To enhance learner autonomy such activities as creative projects, self-made student videos, negotiations, decision-making and problem-solving among other techniques that aim at cooperative learning should be used in the EFL classroom in a systemic way. Undoubtedly cooperative learning strategies are beneficial both to the team and individual learners as they provide collaborative atmosphere, adequate feedback and mutual effective work that helps enhance language learners’ progress.

Language learners should use all their available resources to communicate language resources without being afraid of making errors. The use of an appropriate communication strategy compensates for the lack of linguistic knowledge on the part of the student. In this respect it is team work, the role of which should be emphasized; moreover, students should be encouraged to take risks and to use different communication strategies. The development of teamwork skills organized either in pairs or in small groups helps maximize opportunities for students to speak, besides it is advisable to encourage interaction and cooperation between students as they learn from each other and from working through mistakes. So the idea of raising the learners’ awareness of the nature and communicative potential of communication strategies by making them aware of the benefits that communication strategies provide, particularly when they used appropriately, is of great importance as well.

Development of students’ individual learning styles with the focus on effective communicative strategies is considered one of the effective practical ways to proficiency alongside systemic implementation of tasks and assignments that are tailored to engage language learners into discussing the idea of how creativity can be fostered, for example their participation in the practically-oriented projects such as mini-lessons, assessment video-lessons, role-plays, topic-based posters and other tasks and assignments aimed at cooperative learning.

Being aware of the major concerns in EFL designers of the curriculum should cover the goals, approaches, material selection, evaluation considerations and classroom activities for each stage of the language training process, so that students are supported by the thorough guidance in the learning process; the consolidation of all these factors is meant to ensure the realization of the most workable and relevant criteria for selecting assessment techniques, consolidation of traditional and alternative teaching activities, accurate choice of appropriate methods of testing knowledge and skills.

Conclusion

To sum up, the curriculum in the EFL field should be based on the modern approaches to teaching a foreign language and should offer concise explanations of important principles and a range of effective practical techniques and activities with incorporation of critical analysis within the coherent framework for ongoing reflection and refinement of the methodology theories and teaching practices. In addition to the new design of the curriculum, innovative approaches toward language learning call for assessment as an imperative tool in the EFL classroom as it is closely connected with learners’ autonomy. Fostering learner autonomy should be implemented via the cooperative language learning framework as the advantages of this approach encourage students to bring their own experiences to the classroom and help raise self-confidence of individual learners in the supportive network within the team. Cooperative learning strategies that are beneficial both to the individual students and to teams provide a collaborative atmosphere and adequate feedback that result in the enhancement of learners’ language awareness and development of their social and communicative skills, the need for which is imperative at present in the global world and will undoubtedly increase in the future.

 

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