In accordance with the requirements to the level of the secondary school students’ knowledge of a foreign language they should have both linguistic and cross-cultural skills. They should know the sights of the country which language they study, its state symbols and history, famous people, life of peers, peculiarities of the people’s lifestyle, national traditions and festivals; they must be able to take part in the events connected with the country’s national holidays and customs, to play games of their peers, to know the country’s folklore (tales, songs, nursery and counting rhymes, games), to take part in various cultural events devoted to the country.
To form this knowledge and students’ socio-cultural and social competence the teachers of our school are working with native speakers- students of American universities. The aim of this project is to form cross-cultural competence of our students through the development of contacts with native speakers in class and out-of-class activities. Cross-cultural competence is knowledge and ability to take into account practical aspects of cross-cultural communication, the main components of the culture of the USA and other countries:
-stereotypes of thinking and behavior in the USA culture (peculiarities of the national character and the main American values, national traditions, customs, speech patterns, models of politeness of the American style of intercourse );
-principal differences in thought and behavior in Western and Eastern countries as the poles of interdependent world cultural space;
-understanding of main cultural differences, verbal and non-verbal communication of different peoples;
-ability to find, analyze and generalize cultural information.
Practical tasks of the project are:
-teaching the American variant of the English language;
-improvement of phonetic, grammar and lexical aspects of students’ speech;
-development of all types of language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing);
-teaching students intercourse in another language within the themes of school curriculum;
-development of professionally important skills necessary for the main functions of a teacher.
The project is intended to provide secondary school students initial training for the speciality “Linguistics and Cross-Cultural Communication”. The necessity of teaching American variant of the English language is determined by its growing significance in cross-cultural intercourse.
Forms of activity:
American students’ participation in conducting lessons;
Interchange of peculiarities of the national cultures;
Accumulation of cultural material (illustrations, patterns of intercourse);
Out-of-school activities (conducting excursions to the Crafts Museum by the school students; participating in cultural events devoted to traditions and festivals of the USA; foreign students’ stay with the school students’ families ).
The project is intended to stimulate intellectual and emotional development of students, their acquisition of certain ways of cognitive communicative activities, development of personal psychological qualities and ability of social interaction.
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