TEACHING ENGLISH TO CHINESE MASTER’S DEGREE STUDENTS AT A NON-LINGUISTIC UNIVERSITY IN RUSSIA
Evgeny Chigirin1*, Vera Frolova2, Lidia Vitruk3, Tatiana Chigirina4
1Assoc. Prof. Dr.,Voronezh State University of Engineering Technologies,
The Russian Federation, email@example.com
2Assoc. Prof. Dr., Voronezh State University of Engineering Technologies,
The Russian Federation, firstname.lastname@example.org
3Dr., Voronezh State University of Engineering Technologies,
The Russian Federation, email@example.com
4Assoc. Prof. Dr., Voronezh State University of Engineering Technologies,
The Russian Federation, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nowadays the number of foreign students is being increased in Russia. In this regard, the problem of high-quality training of foreigners is attracting more and more attention. The current study is relevant in the context of Chinese students training because the quantity of students from China receiving education at Russian universities takes the second place after students from the CIS member states. The article is devoted to the problem of teaching English to Chinese students at Russian non-linguistic universities. It is described some factors influencing the choice of teaching technologies aimed at developing and strengthening skills in different language activities. The study was conducted in three stages.
The first stage was devoted to the study of pedagogical and methodological literature on the problem of adaptation to the new educational environment and the formation of communication skills in the process of teaching English to master’s degree students from the People's Republic of China studying at the Faculty of Economics and Management; the research methodology was determined.
The second stage was aimed at identifying and implementing teaching technologies in the educational process in order to develop and consolidate skills and abilities in all types of speech activity when teaching English as a foreign language in accordance with the academic course working program; the necessary pedagogical conditions were determined.
At the third stage, the results were summarized and analyzed, "Guidelines for practical classes" as well as "Guidelines for independent work of master’s degree students” were published.
It should be noted here that teaching English to Chinese students in Russia is not an easy task. To develop an effective learning system, it is necessary to apply a wide range of didactic, general and special methodological principles. It is important to consider modern approaches to teaching foreign languages. Communicative orientation techniques and the principle of differentiated and integrated learning are supposed to be efficient among the general methodological principles that determine the formation of the language competence of Chinese students.
On the base of the analysis conducted, it was found out that Chinese students try to communicate only with friends from their home country which does not allow them to gain important educational and social experience from students of other nationalities. As a matter of fact, Chinese education is traditionally considered as a process of accumulating knowledge. They miss the opportunity to speak English outside the classroom.
Considering the peculiarities related to Chinese students it should be mentioned that the goals determined the choice of research methods. To reveal the state of the problem the analysis of pedagogical and psychological papers was used as a theoretical method. The authors also used some the empirical methods including observation, conversations, testing, and the method of mathematical statistics. All these research methods helped to develop appropriate technologies aimed at improving English language skills but also providing more effective adaptation of Chinese students to a new educational environment.
To assess the entry skills in English the Chinese students were given an entry test on five didactic units: 1) lexico-grammatical tasks (English in Use), 2) Listening, 3) Speaking, 4) Reading), 5) Writing. The criteria for completing the tasks of the written part were as follows: communicative problem solving, text organization, lexical presentation, grammar, orthography and punctuation. Speaking consisted of a monologue and a follow-up conversation with the lecturer on social and welfare topics and issues related to the previous educational stage. The volume of speech, the use of means of communication, the variety of lexical units and grammatical structures, the logic of the speech were assessed with the focus on solving a communicative problem.
On the basis of the results of the test, students could reach a maximum of 100%. The general criteria for the evaluation of test tasks are as follows:
· 100% - 85% of the correct answers - «Excellent»;
· 75% - 84% of the correct answers- «Good»;
· 60% - 74% of the correct answers- «Satisfactory»;
· under 60% of the correct answers- «Unsatisfactory».
Based on the results of the work during a year and entry and achievement tests, that demonstrated some progress in learning professional English by the students of the master's program in Economics, it is given grounds for the effectiveness of the use of interactive techniques. The authors consider problem-based and project-based learning methods, brainstorming technique, case-study, jigsaw reading to be of great importance as they help to create a favorable emotional environment in the classroom, to increase the activity of learners, and to develop communication skills of the Chinese culture representatives.
To sum up, it was revealed that a competent combination of traditional teaching methods with modern active methods allowed Chinese students to form new learning strategies, increase their motivation to learn a foreign language, as well as to solve some communicative, didactic and psychological problems associated with learning in a new educational environment. By performing the tasks based on the principles of active teaching methods, students gain new experience in solving communicative problems that are close to real life.
Keywords: International students, teaching methods, higher education, advanced teaching technologies.
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