Conference proceedings. ICT for language learning
The aim of the “ICT for Language Learning” conference is to promote and share good practice and transnational cooperation in the field of the application of ICT to language learning and teaching.
The conference focuses on the following topics:
– ICT based language teaching and learning approaches
– E-learning solutions for language teaching and learning
– Quality and innovation in language teaching and learning
– Monitoring and evaluation of language teaching and learning
– Recognition and validation of language skills
– Language teacher training
– Language learning to support international Mobility
– Language learning for specific purposes
– Studies in Second Language Acquisition
– CLIL, Content and Language Integrated Learning
– The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)
– The European Language Label for the promotion of quality in language learning
Russian educational system, of a higher education in particular, inherited all the traditions of teaching languages from the Soviet Union, where the grammar-translation method was the prevailing one. This method included translation of texts on specific topics, making lists of vocabulary and explicit learning of grammar with a focus on reading skills to the disadvantage of speaking and listening. However, the wave of more communicative methods, such as the communicative approach and the direct method, has overrun the market of teaching English in Russia in recent years. One of the principles of these approaches is to avoid totally or at least to minimize the usage of students’ mother tongue in class. Following this trend, more and more Russian teachers of English in search of their professional recognition on the international market take CELTA courses (designed for multilingual class purposes) that declare rejection of using translation and students’ own language starting from the elementary level. The situation is amplified by the whole industry of TEFL, where authentic course books written presumably for native speaking teachers do not refer to translation. It can be explained by the fact that native speakers teaching English often have little or no command of their students’ language. This leads to almost total exclusion of the native language from class. Russian non-native teachers in turn feel guilty about using translation as return back to out-of-date methods. However, recent studies [1,2,3] and our experience of teaching students proves that thoughtful using of mother tongue and translation in particular can be a real source of raising awareness of how language works. We are going to suggest a number of activities in the framework of lexical approach  for a monolingual class purposes (this is the typical situation not only for Russia). These activities focus on noticing chunks and collocations the skill of which is identified as an issue for students of all levels of proficiency. Translation here is not considered as the only part of teaching but as a fresh look at how it can be used to maximum effect in a combination with approaches aimed at immersion students in the language environment.