SUSU Lecturers Share the Secrets of Teaching Foreign Languages

The implementation of a system of continuing professional development for foreign language teachers is one of the key tasks of M 8.1.3 “Implementing Intensive Language Training in Bachelor’s Programmes” (project leader – Elena Yaroslavova). June is the traditional time for exchanging knowledge with the goal of implementing the best teaching practices. The Continuing Professional Development seminar (seminar head – Irina Stavtseva) brought together the best practices of the lecturers of the Department of Modern Languages in the application of the phased method for projects, which has been rightly recognized as one of the best methods for activating the cognitive, creative, and communicative abilities of students. The speakers demonstrated the results of their work within the three different approaches of teaching English that are used at SUSU today.

Olga Lazorak and Anna Chuvashova spoke about the successful educational projects held within the intensive language training programmes, which are formed in a special way relative to the students’ level of English proficiency according to the CEFR European scale. The students take a more intensive training to truly increase their level of English with each year of regular classes. Olga Lazorak demonstrated the potential of project-based education within the Foreign Language programme for the formation of communicative competences. In such projects, any standard textbook topic is transformed into a living result. For example, the topic of "food" ends with a quasi-professional business project for a restaurant, and the travel topic turns students into travel agents "selling" their own developed tour packages. A significant event, the 75th Anniversary of SUSU, was the catalyst for a very special project for students in which they interviewed teachers of their departments in English, edited videos, and created posters. In addition, this form of education is key to the formation of professionally-oriented foreign language competences. Having analysed the thematic content of the main textbook, Anna Chuvashova identified the fields that correspond to the language of the students’ specialty and organized projects focused on detailed study of these topics. The students learned the language necessary for special purposes more deeply and detailed through the activities related to the development of their own project results.

Yulia Leskina and Svetlana Kolova presented their work with the elite training zone students, demonstrating the unique aspects of applying blending learning and electronic courses in Business English. Students of the elite training zone had the opportunity to study the unique “SoftSkills: Meeting and Negotiations” course by the research fellow of the Department of Foreign Languages, University of Graz, Austria, Professor Norbert Berger. Svetlana Kolova spoke about the unique aspects of working alongside a native speaker when teaching students of the elite training zone and the difficulties and successes of this approach.

Mariya Tsytovich presented a successfully implemented role-play project that was thought up by students for traditional education groups with the catchy title “Brother-in-Law”. The proposed format brings together all of the members of the group, who develop the whole content and structure of their game in English. Everything ends with a game in a classroom lesson which touches upon all of the topics that were covered in the semester. This form of education is focused on training vocabulary, linguistic functionality, prepared and spontaneous speech, and on the creation of a motivating educational environment in the lessons and improving the students’ self-sustainability by having them think up and hold the entire game themselves.

At the end of the seminar, Elena Shraiber offered a presentation on a big-scale, out-of-classroom event, economic games in English for students of being trained under two different approaches: the intensive language training groups and elite training zone groups.

Elena Yaroslavova
Contact person: 
Yuliya Rudneva
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