MBOI Gymnasium named after Andrey Platonov, a teacher of the English Language of HQC Tatiana Yurievna Berdnikova
Real situations of communication
Lately great changes have taken place in methods of teaching the English language under the influence of scientific-technical progress. Secondary schools are well equipped with modern IT devices. This fact gives teachers a good opportunity to use electronic means at their lessons.
ELT Methodology specialists recommend us to create situations, which are very close to real ones in the process of study. V.A. Artyomov, AV. Geiser and A.A. Leontiev published articles in magazines “Foreign Languages at school” in sixties discussing the problems of communication. Simultaneously their colleagues in Great Britain began to speak about communicative approach to language teaching because of the growing popularity of English in other countries. In seventies in Russia teachers got acquainted with Passov’s articles and books. They were devoted to communicative methods of teaching foreign languages.
Nowadays many secondary schools are working according to Federal State Educational Standards (FSES). Our colleagues use a new term “ULA” (Universal Learning Activities), which consists of several aspects. One of them is communicative. Our contemporary specialist of methods A.A Kolesnikov considers “ the process of forming and development of a communicative person to be in the centre of contemporary language education alongside with necessary competency, which realizes variety of communicative cooperation and forms learners’ abilities to take an active part in the process of communication as an element of human culture”.
Here questions how to integrate IT technologies and communicative language teaching come into the foresight.
What has happened recently? I would like to speak about these changes on the example of my colleagues’ work.
Our pupils usually take part in tele-communicative English competitions. Teams from different cities get task according to some topic and create their presentations. Participants appreciate one another’s works. Then they do tests. The most interesting and exciting is the chat, when the students answer the questions of other teams on-line. It usually takes them several minutes to find the answer and type it. Situations of real communication in English have a big effect and produce a deep impression on childish souls. They stimulate pupils’ desire to improve English and master it.
The other real communicative situation in English may be an informational exchange on school or class websites, devoted to children’ life at school, history of their city or town, traditions of the country. The teacher of the English language of MKEI № 4 in Liski V.G. Razuvaeva told her colleges at the regional seminar about her work with children on her own website, which became the place of communication with pupils from New Zealand and other countries.
Learning the topic “Let’s create our website” the pupils of the sixth form of our gymnasium decided to make their website. As you know, contemporary children of this age have good knowledge in IT. Children can be divided into several groups according to their interests choosing the duties of press photographers, journalists, designers and software engineers. A teacher can be an editor. Children can create pages with parallel translation in case their parents would like to visit their website.
Besides, we can speak about real situation of communications, when we use distant equipment in teaching disabled pupils. Classmates speak English regularly in spite of the fact they are in different buildings.
My colleagues also used communicative approach at their lessons during teleconferences with children living in Borisoglebsk. Our pupils hope to have the same forms of communication with English-speaking countries.
Individual communication of students with their foreign friends using “skype” and sending e-mails gives them an opportunity to learn the language better.
Every year our pupils invite foreign guests speaking English to our gymnasium. During holidays they have real situations of communication in “I Camp”, which is organized under the leadership of Department of education, science and youth policy. It is situated in one of picturesque places in the suburbs of Voronezh. Children play games in English and communicate with native speakers.
Tourist trips of our students to Great Britain and the USA , where they study English, give them an opportunity to have a lot of real communicative situations in their lives, because English is the language of communication abroad.
I would like to draw the conclusion: 1) while studying English contemporary students are more motivated to develop their skills and acquire knowledge; 2) communicative situations of real life are more effective and have advantages in comparison with artificial situations; 3) social learners‘ competency becomes more perfect in the sphere of communication in various real situations.