Since then, as builders of the tower of Babel spoke different languages, the society was in need of translators. Interpreters valued everywhere. Until recently, foreign languages were more of a hobby than a cruel reality. Knowing a foreign language meant to be aesthetic, to belong to a particular circle or (the most harmless variant) — to be bizarre. But times have changed…
Any house, as you know, starts with an architectural plan. Now we are all less afraid of the huge fortress called «Foreign language», on top of which proudly flies the flag (mostly British). And, in this case, this required plan will provide knowledge of modern methods of studying.
Recently, when the market for educational technology is replete with suggestions for various methods of learning English, the question «what technique do you teach?» becomes increasingly important that testifies to increase of culture of consumption of intellectual products. The puzzled applicant, student or a businessman (though a student) often freezes in front of bookshelves with the linguistic literature and media-benefits and thoughtfully looks at a long list of ads. One of the selection criteria — price, but the main… «English for two weeks,» «communicative methodology of teaching English», «English with the British in Moscow», «Efficient Express-method», «English at the subconscious level», in the end. So many new and unknown! And this creates doubt in the results. Can we trust modern technology? Or to give preference to well-established «brands» such as «Bonk», «Eckersley» or «Headway», gradually turning into the methodological category of the classics?
Obvious is the fact that in the end of XX century in Russia there was a «revolution» in the methods of teaching English. Before all of the priorities without the rest is given to grammar, almost mechanical mastery of vocabulary, reading and literary translation. These are the principles of «old school», which (it is worth to pay tribute to her) is still to bear fruit, but at what cost? Language acquisition was carried out through a long routine work. The job offered is quite monotonous: reading text, translation, memorization of new words, retelling, exercises on the text. Sometimes, for the sake of the necessary change activities — writing or dictation, plus phonetic drill as a holiday. When priority has been given to read and work on «topics», was implemented only one function of language is informative. It is not surprising that the language were well aware of the units: only a very determined and hard-working people can master it at a high level. But according to the degree of proficiency in grammar they could easily compete with the graduates of Cambridge. However, the works have received good payment: the profession of foreign language teacher or translator was considered very prestigious.
Now to achieve this remains a high social position also requires a lot of diligence, perseverance and daily work. But a truly «revolutionary» that the language was in some form available to the majority. And offer more consumer-centric. Why, for example, the Secretary obviously unnecessary to acquire knowledge about the palatalization of consonants or the actual articulation of English sentences? Executive assistant or Manager, having an 8-hour, or as we now say, «monopoly», work in office, is focused on the development of quite specific knowledge and skills, that is, the consumption of a particular segment of the market of educational offers in the English language. A renowned expert in the field of linguistics and methods of foreign language teaching S. G. Ter-Minasova rightly points out that recently the study of language became more functional: «the Unprecedented demand has required an unprecedented proposal. Unexpectedly, teachers of foreign languages were at the center of public attention: the impatient legions of specialists in different fields of science, culture, business, technology and all other areas of human activity demanded the immediate teaching of foreign languages as an instrument of production. They are not interested in neither the theory nor the history of language — foreign languages, primarily English, they require extremely functional, for use in different spheres of life of society as a means of real communication with people from other countries.»
With the form of education the situation is also considerably simplified: check out the office, classes and one-on-one with a teacher home visits to the student, group, weekend, for busy and not so for the pioneers and pensioners…
It remains to solve the main question: what are the course content, structure and teaching techniques? Who is the author of the material, where this material was developed and tested by whom?
Language teaching has gained an applied nature, whereas before it was relatively abstract and termizirovannye. Aristotle brought the famous triad of teaching ethics, which could not be better corresponds with modern requirements: logo — the quality of presentation, Paphos — contact with the audience, ethos, attitude towards others. This rule holds true for the speaker, and for an actor, and a foreign language teacher, whose role involves the first two incarnations. The function of the teacher in educational process has changed significantly. The teacher-mentor, teacher-dictator is not able to provide students with freedom of choice and to provide the necessary in understanding such a delicate matter, as the language of «the freedom teachings». Therefore, this negative image of teaching is gradually becoming a thing of the past. On it was replaced by a teacher-observer teacher-facilitator teacher-«umirotvorenie» and head» While the teacher in this case pales into insignificance, its impact on the audience, which, in turn, becomes more intimate, is not reduced, and, conversely, increases. It is the teacher on most modern Russian and foreign courses is the organizer of the group interaction (the perfect team for learning a foreign language is now considered a group of 10-15 people, because so many people can communicate with maximum effect, interest and benefit).
Progress and fundamental change of methods of language learning are clearly correlated with innovations in the field of psychology of personality and group. Now felt a noticeable change in the minds of people and developing new thinking: there proclaimed Maslow need for self-actualization and self-realization. The psychological factor of learning foreign languages is promoted to leading positions. The authenticity of the communication, the weighted claims, mutuality, respect the freedom of others — that set of unwritten rules of building constructive relationships in the system «teacher-student».
Fifth, but not less important element of this system is choice. He came from the student who can attend the course that best meets his needs. In the classroom the student is no longer limited to the election speech of the funds and their verbal behavior. The teacher is also not constrained in the choice of methods and techniques of teaching — from games and workshops to interpretation; organization of classes; in the selection of textbooks and teaching materials from a wide range of national publications to products of Oxford, Cambridge, London, new York and Sydney. The teacher can now choose to create, combine, modify.
It is indeed the oldest and traditional technique. It taught the students Latin and Greek, while the French absorbed naturally, together with strict suggestions governesses and communication with maman and papan. The classic method is like no other fit the description of the «plan of capture of the fortress»: a cipher of phonetics, visual images, syntax, mandatory vocabulary … the Student clearly understands that in order to pass Calm sir, Monsieur or Herr Gallantry Sanity, he: a) is willing to spend 2-3 years; b) patience (the course begins with the basics); C) have to remember than in the native «great and mighty», may be expressed to be, and what kind of syntax…
The fundamental technique relied seriously in language schools. The translator never confident in their knowledge of a foreign language, he understands the unpredictability of emerging speech situations. Practicing according to the classical method, students not only operate a variety of lexical strata, but also learn to see the world through the eyes of «native speaker» — of a native speaker.
Perhaps the most famous representative of the classical methods of teaching a foreign language is N. And.Bonk. Her English textbooks written jointly with other authors, have become classics of the genre, and withstood the competition in recent years. Classical technique is also called as fundamental: no one promises that it will be easy that you will not have to deal with at home and experience the teacher will save from mistakes in pronunciation and grammar. But the reward will be, developing the metaphor of the fortress, as a real local who knows how not to get lost in the maze of the subjunctive mood or past tense.
And again. The fundamental technique assumes that your favorite question — «why?» You will never be content explanation «as necessary», and ready to dive into interesting, complex and very logical world, whose name — system of the language.
The classical approach to the study of a foreign language
In this regard, several transformed and classical approach to the study of a foreign language, but the immutable principles of «classics» of the domestic linguistic techniques remained. Sometimes they are used extensively in schools and other training directions. The classic course is aimed at students of different ages and often involves learning the language from scratch. The teacher includes traditional, but important aspects of pronunciation, grammatical formation of the base, the elimination of psychological and language barriers that hinder communication. «Classic» has not changed, but methods due to the new approach, I have others.
In the basis of the classical approach is the understanding of the language as a real and meaningful means of communication, which means that all components of language — oral and written expression, listening comprehension, etc. — need to develop students ‘ systematically and harmoniously. Classical technique partly makes the language an end in itself, but it is not a disadvantage. This integrated approach is aimed, first and foremost, to develop the students ‘ ability to understand and create speech. The methodology involves classes with Russian teachers, but such an order (though not quite «hip») can’t be considered a minus: teacher, non native speaker has the ability to analyze and contrast two language systems to compare designs, it is better to convey information, to explain grammar rules, to prevent possible errors. Universal enthusiasm for foreign experts — a temporary phenomenon, because the Western world have appreciated the priority of bilinguality (possession of two languages). The greatest value in the modern world present the teachers are able to think in the context of two cultures and to convey to students the relevant knowledge.
One of the most serious and comprehensive methods of learning a foreign language — linguosociocultural, involving the appeal to such a component as social and cultural environment. Proponents of this method strongly believe that language loses life when teachers and students aim to learn only «lifeless» lexical and grammatical forms. Someone noticed that «personality is a product of culture.» The language, too. And most convincingly this is confirmed by our language mistakes. English learners can use grammatically correct expression, The Queen and Her relatives, but the British will understand that this refers to The Royal Family; or, for example, such phrases as the Hero of the spokesman of ideas of the author was translated with the sentence «The hero is the loudspeaker of the author» («loudspeaker of the author»), and ideally were required to use «mouthpiece». Such incidents are quite common. Refer to more subtle things: for example, if our compatriot, superficially speak the language, the difference between the expressions Don’t you want to go? and Would you like to go? not very large, for the British it is fundamental, because the first he will not perceive as the best tone. Familiar to our business communication What questions are you interested in? often translated as «What problems are you interested in?», not considering that the English word «problems» has a steady negative connotation. The correct question would be «What issues are you interested in?»
Most of the methods initially allow such blunders, blaming them for «lack of information about the country.» But at the present stage, when the interest in individual cultures and Nations is constantly increasing, such errors would have been unforgivable. Linguosociocultural method takes into account the simple fact that 52% of errors committed under the influence of the native language and 44% lie within the study. Before followed by correctness of speech; now, in addition, strive to enhance its richness. Important meaning of the transmitted information, i.e. the communicative level, because in any case, the ultimate goal of communication is to be understood.
Linguosociocultural method includes two aspects of communication — linguistic and cross-cultural. our vocabulary has been enriched with a new word bicultural — man, easily guided in national features, history, culture, customs of two countries, civilizations, even worlds. For the student of language school is important not so much high level reading, writing, translation (although this is not excluded), and «linguosociocultural competence» — the ability to «dissect» language under the microscope culture.
Linguosociocultural method was born at the intersection of the concepts language and culture. Authors methods (among them one of the main places occupied by S. G. Ter-Minasova) in a different approach to these definitions.
Classics, in particular, burns, understood the language as «an instrument of communication, exchange of thoughts and mutual understanding of people in society.» Dahl treated the language easier — as «the set of all words of the people and faithful to their combination, to transmit thoughts». But language as a system of signs and means of expressing emotions and moods there are animals. What makes it «human»? Today the language is «not just vocabulary, but also a way of people to Express themselves.» It is used for «purposes of communication and is able to Express the totality of knowledge and understanding about the world». In the West, language is understood as a «system of communication», which consists of certain parts and set of rules used to communicate. A very important difference between the Western linguistic thinking — understanding the language not only in connection with a particular state, but also with a certain part of the country, district, etc. With this approach, the language goes hand in hand with the culture of the country, region, that is, with ideas, customs of a certain group of people, companies. Sometimes the culture refers to the society itself, civilization.
We believe that the definition of supporters linguosociocultural method does not exaggerate the power and significance of language in the modern world. According to them, language is «a powerful social tool that forms a stream in the ethnic group that forms the nation through storing and transferring culture, traditions, social awareness of this verbal complex. In this approach to the language of intercultural communication is primarily «an adequate understanding of the two interlocutors, or people that communicate belonging to different national cultures». Then their language becomes «a sign of belonging of its speakers to a particular society.»
However, culture often acts not only as a means of unification, of identification, but also an instrument of separation of people. For example, in medieval Russia alien first called the German, that is «dumb», do not speak the language, then the foreign guests began to call the stranger, that is, «a stranger among us». And finally, when national consciousness has helped to smooth out this opposition «own-alien», there was a foreigner. If you think about the meaning of the Russian word foreign, it becomes clearer the origin of the «conflict of cultures»: «Its internal form is completely transparent: from other countries. Native, not from other countries, culture unites people and at the same time separates them from other, foreign cultures. In other words, the native culture is and shield that protect the national identity of a people, and a deaf fence, fenced off from other peoples and cultures.»
Linguosociocultural method combines language structures (grammar, vocabulary etc) with extralinguistic factors. Then at the intersection of ideology on a national scale and language, that is a kind of way of thinking (let’s not forget that the person belongs to the same country, the language which thinks), is born the rich world of language, which wrote the linguist W. von Humboldt: «Through the diversity of language open to us the wealth of the world and the diversity that we experience in him…» Linguosociocultural method is based on the following axiom: «the linguistic structures are the sociocultural structure». We understand the world through thinking in a certain cultural field and use the language to Express their experiences, opinions, emotions and perception.
The purpose of language learning using this method, the alleviation of understanding of the interlocutor, forming a sense on an intuitive level. Therefore every student who has chosen this organic and holistic approach should treat language as a mirror that reflects the geography, climate, history, people, living conditions, traditions, life, everyday behavior, creativity.
The communicative approach
The first line in the popularity rating methodologies actively keeping the communicative approach, which, as its name implies, is aimed to practice communication. This method perfectly works in Europe and the United States.
Communicative approach, as follows already from its name, is aimed at the ability to communicate. Of the 4 «pillars» on which rests any language training (reading, writing, speaking and speech perception by hearing) increased attention is paid to the latter two. You will not hear in the classroom is particularly complex syntactic constructions or serious vocabulary. Speaking any literate person is quite different from writing. Try to keep it under control during the day, did you used long sentences? Constructions in the subjunctive mood? Unfortunately, the epistolary genre rooted in the past, and if our descendants will judge us only based on e-mails and other «monuments» of the network literature, their opinion is unlikely to be flattering…
However, it would be a mistake to think that the communicative method is only for easy small talk. Those who want to be a professional in a particular field, regularly read publications on the subject in international journals. Having a large vocabulary, they can easily Orient themselves in the text, but to maintain a conversation with a foreign colleague on the same topic to them is a huge effort. The communicative method is intended, primarily, to remove the fear of communication. The man, armed with the standard set of grammatical structures and vocabulary of 600-1000 words will easily find a common language in a foreign country. However, there is another side of the coin: klishirovannyh sentences and poor vocabulary. Add to that a lot of grammatical errors, and you will realize that the only way not to be considered, for example, the interlocutor unwise — attention to partners, knowledge of etiquette and the constant desire to improve. Those who learn through the communicative approach — «the lighthorsemen». They prance around the fortress walls, making a rush and want to disrupt the flag, not noticing how beautiful the besieged citadel.
One should not lose sight of the fact that another a clear gradation of techniques of teaching of English passes on a line «ours-foreign». Overseas not so much. If we reject the American English and test TOEFL as a certain indicator of the outcomes of language learning, they remain two of the monopolist in the sphere of teaching British English — Oxford and Cambridge. With certain publishers work like these University centers and other educational institutions, therefore, under a particular brand can be asked, for example, a textbook developed in Birmingham or Liddle. Both publishers seek to maintain their prestige, so that the Russian market is a production of global standard, there is no doubt. Their mutual competition — a pledge of quality.
Oxford and Cambridge approaches to language have in common is that the basis of most courses put the communicative approach integrated with some traditional elements of teaching. It assumes the maximum immersion of the student in language process that is achieved using the information of the appeal to the student’s native language to a minimum. The main purpose of this technique is to teach the student to first be fluent in the language, and then think on it. It is also important that mechanical reproducing the exercises, too, are absent: they are replaced by game situation, work with a partner, job search mistakes, comparing and contrasting, connecting not only the memory but also the logic, ability to think analytically and metaphorically. Often textbooks are excerpts from the English-English dictionary. The Anglo-English, not English-Russian, French, Italian, etc. the Whole set of techniques helps to create an English speaking environment, which should «function» students: to read, to communicate, to participate in role plays, Express their thoughts, to draw conclusions. Oxford and Cambridge courses are focused on the development of not only linguistic knowledge, but also creativity and General Outlook of the student. Language is very closely intertwined with the cultural characteristics of the country, so the rates will certainly include cross-cultural aspect. The British think it necessary to give the person the ability to easily navigate in a multicultural world, and this is easily accomplished with such a powerful unifying factor as the English language. We are not so overcome isolation, to understand the importance and inevitable necessity of this aspect. For Britain, for all its legendary tradition globalization is not an empty phrase, but a serious problem trying to find now.
If you come down «from heaven to earth» and return to the problem of the organization of the course, this can easily be done on the example of the Headway books, which occupies one of leading places in ratings of the Russian courses. It is a course (or learning English), specially designed by the London Methodists John and Liz Soars for youth and adults. Each of 5 levels (Elementary, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate) has a «teaching kit» that includes a textbook, workbook for students and teachers, audio tapes, and can be completed within approximately 120 academic hours. As Liz Soars has vast experience as an examiner upon delivery of The Cambridge RSA Dip TEFL, at the end of study at any level of the course the student can take the certification exam and obtain the certificate.
Each lesson consists of several sections. The first is usually devoted to the development of speaking skills (e.g., discusses the fact-file of any famous person) and the analysis of some grammatical structures, to the written assignment according to the practice of communication, discussion in pairs of certain topics, the practice of creating conversations based on the suggested prompts, listening to audio tapes, as well as consolidation and repetition of the material learned in the previous lessons. The second is aimed at the development of language skills (skills development): «polishing» of the vocabulary by performing oral and written exercises. This is followed by the text (it is characteristic of English textbooks supply a small numbered paragraphs), and reading too diverse (scan reading, reading for gist, reading summary, etc.). Work on the text, usually preceded by classes in pairs, answers to questions, filling out tables. It’s all good orients the student to the perception of the subsequent information, stimulate interest in reading. The lesson usually ends the audio part, which is also preceded by a variety of exercises that make it easier to understand new material. A distinctive feature of the course «Headway» — the study of grammar at two levels: first, in the context of the lesson, and then more fully in the workbook of the student (exercises for self-study and revision); they are also summarized at the end of tutorial in a particular application. The kit includes the book «Headway Pronunciation» that allows you to practice how the pronunciation of words and intonation is an important aspect of the language palette.
So, to summarize, or, in English, to make a summary of British methods have several distinctive features. Most of them are designed based on the integration of traditional and modern teaching methods. Differentiation by age and multilevel approach enable the development of individual human personality affect her Outlook, system of values, identity, ability to think. Simply put, cornerstone is now popular individual approach. Without exception, all British techniques aimed at the development of the four language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. While a lot of emphasis on the use of audio, video and interactive resources. Due to the variety of instructional techniques, including one of the leading places is the language of technology, British courses contribute to the development of skills needed in the modern business life (the ability to make a report, conduct presentations, and engage in correspondence, etc.). Indisputable advantages of the British developers — preparation of the course based on authentic materials, great attention to style, striving to teach «situational» and «live» English through «living» examples of real characters. Some (but not all) methods have a good systematization of the material. Perhaps the British technique is the best option for those who want to learn «real English» or pursues uzakonit goal of language training.
An intensive procedure
Special popularity is gained by the intensive method of teaching English. She helps all those for whom the phrase «time is money» and «money — time» equivalent. To study English intensively allows a high degree of pattern — this consists of clichés by 25%. Memorizing and practicing a certain range of «expressions», you will be able to speak and understand the interlocutor. Of course, chosen the intensive will not be able to get the pleasure of reading Byron in the original, but then the purpose of this course is quite different. Intensive method is aimed at the formation of the «expressive speech» and therefore often has a linguistic character. On a good course you will likely provide the possibility of unlimited communication and maximum potential, and «in focus» course will get your needs. Each student will be able to feel a person. And training techniques are likely to be dialogical communication and training.
With regard to timing, you learn English even at the simplest level, «two weeks» is difficult and in a fantastic dream, but for 2-3 months already real.
«What is our course? The game the game…» forgive us fans of the Queen of spades — too great was the temptation to reinterpret the textbook phrase. Methods, whose motto could be a line, a lot. They unite under a common word unconventional. In fact, none of the methods is not a system that is impervious to external influences.
The origins of the emotional-semantic method of learning foreign languages is Bulgarian psychiatrist Lozanov who worked with patients on their own method of psychotherapy. He created the so-called «interest groups» and the study of a foreign language was a medical instrument. In Moscow developments Lozanova use in 2 language schools «System-3» and «School of the Kitay-Gorod» of Course, the methods of Igor Shechter and Galina Kitay-Gorod are also different from system Lozanova their students from Bulgarian patients of a physician.
School of the Kitay-Gorod for 25 years working on the methodology based on the combination of lozanovski developments with the fundamental course, and takes both adults and children.
The method of Schechter suggests free communication between the teacher and the students from the first class. Students choose their middle name, familiar to the medium of the target language, and the corresponding «legend» architect from Glasgow, violinist from Palermo, etc. the Essence of the method is that phrases and constructions naturally remember: remember the Moscow papan and maman? It is well known that many of the capital’s nobles, who lived at the turn XVIП-XIX centuries, in the words of Pushkin, «in Russian poorly known.» A Patriotic wave swept higher linguistics society only after the events of 1812 (Like suddenly speaking Russian sounded in a letter to Julie Karginoj a friend to the Princess Volkonskaya!) To some extent, the Russian nobility could be considered the predecessors of those who study language method of Schechter. In his school «System-3» refused to install the Creator of the method, which is claimed to basic grammatical rules, a student must «walk» on their own. Grammar courses are the bridges-links between stages of training (total of 3). It is assumed that after the first stage, the student will not be lost in the country of the studied language, after the second — not to get lost in the grammar of his own monologue, and then the third will be a full participant in any discussion.
Preparation for tests and professional exams
Crowned by the extensive methodological «building» a program of test preparation and professional exams. To effectively pass the test, it is best to go to a language school or English courses who have enough time spetsializiruyutsya on training students to acquire certain of the certificates (someone cooperating with the US on the methodology TOEFL; has colleges that can help you get the certificate Pitman ESOL University (UK); the majority of courses gives you the opportunity to obtain the SAI or the GMAT).
The tests are divided according to level, and the method of preparation depends primarily on the knowledge base of the student. You should take into account that the test any additional knowledge does not, this is just a test and certification of existing «baggage.» Therefore, the test methods do not serve for language learning: they help students better present themselves on the exam and encourage them to repeat the topics grammar, vocabulary, focusing on specific forms of work.
Although today there are several options for the scale tests, they are not fundamentally different. Typically, the scale includes 7 of the following levels: beginner, elementary, pre-intermediate (or lower intermediate), intermediate, higher intermediate, advanced (or near native). On the same level built and most foreign courses.
As part of the reason we have adopted this productive experience, placement test — a placement test in the selection of the group that determines your level of proficiency, you can offer and on many domestic courses. In addition, in any methods of teaching English can be used current control tests — progress tests. They are divided into tests that control reading comprehension (Reading Comprehension), freedom of communication (Communicative Competence) and cultural knowledge (Cultural Knowledge). In addition, the teacher is free to offer any other test — for example, to check the vocabulary lesson, which is often called quiz.
«Aerobatics» test methods — preparation for foreign exams. If you aim at their successful delivery will require not only knowledge, but also quickness, ability to concentrate, and to discard unnecessary information, highlight the most important, and the ability to show the best of creative abilities in writing essays. A diploma or certificate is the qualification and guarantee of employment, therefore, requires a serious approach and preparation.
So methodical in the domestic market has products for every taste, and it remains only to determine the goals, means, and most importantly — methods. Then the range of courses and training programs will not be as difficult…