Toward a Conception of implementation of CLIL model into University Teaching Classroom in Russian Universities: Evidence from research in St. Petersburg
The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to identify social roles of English in implementing CLIL in English at universities in Russia and 2) to obtain a wide variety of opinions about the content and methodology of CILL in English at universities in St. Petersburg. In regard to the former, this study performed semistructured interviews with 33 experts, 18 from social sciences and 15 from ESL/EFL education. Concerning the latter, this study conducted a survey among stakeholders and educators (n = 441). According to the data analysis, were identified four main roles of English: Russian English as a variation of English, English as one of the working languages in Russian multilingual and multicultural society, English as the global language, and English as an investment. Meanwhile, the participants in the survey expressed serious concerns about the quality of English used in the implementation of CILL in Russia. However, it could be possible to find an exact concept of the use of English, which will be appropriate and set new perspectives that may match the outlook of Russian citizens.
The need to foster critical thinking has long been one of the key issues in education. It is essentially vital nowadays against the background of an increased volume of cross-cultural communications due to the present-day demand for collaboration to tackle pressing global issues through joint efforts of different nations. While the format of debates has been recognized by researchers as one of the most efficient tools of setting off critical thinking, it is up to the new technologies in education to make it possible to bring this platform to a cross-cultural level. Since a cross-cultural dialogue in most cases supposes the mastery of a foreign language, e-learning in the form of cross-border video-conference debates present an invaluable opportunity for educators to enhance the pedagogy of foreign language acquisition around the globe. The present paper focuses on a case-study of an on-going project of implementing the tool of synchronous cross-cultural video-conference debates.
The conference was organised under the aegis of the Learner Corpus Association and was hosted by Eurac Research Institute for Applied Linguistics. It was themed "Widening the scope of learner corpus research" and brought together researchers and language teachers, software developers and linguists from 23 countries around the world.
In the era of abundance of ICT in education, the focus of academics is gradually shifting from initial urge for testing all possible emerging devices in order to improve learning process to a concern over potential overload with digital media and thus the need for its sifting. Foreign language learning is no exception. The fundamental skills of reading, listening, speaking, and writing have all been ICT enhanced in the past decade in both successful and failed attempts to boost language proficiency of learners. At the same time, the only indisputable need for technology in foreign language acquisition in academic environment has always been traced in the sphere of developing listening skills. For many researchers, listening as a basic skill is closely connected to the ability of comprehension [3, 5, 9]. However, true for lower level language learning this argument is fading at a more advanced level of language mastery dominated by reinforcement of critical thinking. A qualitative leap from basic comprehension to critical analysis has to be addressed in the process of developing language competencies. Listening, in particular, requires the design of special learning material, which, on the one hand, meets the criterion of authenticity [2, 7] and, on the other hand, leaves room for scaffolding since formal learning implies the use of specifically-built system of learning tools and not just exposure to random language experiences. [3, 4] In this regard, digital audiobooks present a unique opportunity to tackle the development of critical listening at advanced stages. Audiobooks have recently found a wide application in education from its elementary stage to adult learning [1,16]. Primarily, audiobooks are used as a supplement to reading. The present study, however, is focused on the use of audiobooks for critical listening skills for ESL students without considering the reading component of the traditional approach to audiobooks. In such context, the present article deals with issues of developing a methodology of implementing the use of digital audiobooks in advanced ESL classroom, presents specific examples of scaffolding exercises and analysis of the data collected from field-testing this approach on the stage of higher education through the case study of the Russian students learning English at National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow.
Perfectionism as a psychological phenomenon has been researched quite extensively in recent years, both in Russia and abroad. However, the impact of perfectionism on the teaching/learning process, particularly foreign language teaching and learning, is still far from being an object of systematic theoretical study in this country. In view of the above, the article is aimed, firstly, at systematizing Russian research findings in this field; secondly, at providing an overview of recent international research on perfectionism and its effects on teaching/learning in general; thirdly, at analyzing literature on how perfectionism affects the process of foreign language teaching/learning, with particular reference to the concept of foreign language anxiety (FLA) and the relationship between FLA and maladaptive perfectionism. The article emphasizes the fact that a statistically significant negative correlation was observed between learner perfectionism and certain linguistic skills, thus proving that maladaptive perfectionism and, consequently, FLA contribute substantially to reducing the efficiency of foreign language learning. In view of the research findings outlined above, the article pays particular attention to summarizing the recommendations provided by a number of authors as to how the destructive influence of maladaptive perfectionism on foreign language teaching/learning can be minimized.
In response to a growing demand for highly proficient speakers of foreign languages, both from private and government sectors, an added emphasis has been placed on developing communicative skills in the foreign language classroom. While time in a target language culture certainly plays a valuable and needed role, this research demonstrates that innovative curricular design and development in the university foreign language classroom can equal if not exceed uptake that occurs in extended immersion environments. A thorough description of the research design is provided, including the application of lexical items (connectors), listening, reading, written exercises, and videoconference debates involving students from National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Assessment instruments used to measure language uptake among students included pre- and post-written proficiency testing and oral proficiency interviews in one’s respective target language as administered by certified American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) raters. In addition, students completed a background language questionnaire designed to elicit data relative to individual learner motivation.
The present article makes a point about the critical importance of vocabulary in foreign language acquisition, as well as the necessity to revise teaching strategies with the changing times. The author consider three vocabulary-learning strategies, which can help enlarge the depth and breadth of students’ vocabulary and make input comprehensible.