New standards and Foreign Language Teaching Optimisation
The article presents ways to optimise ELT in higher education in conjuction with the new Russian federal Educational Standards based on competence-based education.
The aim of this research was to contribute to the discussion on the role of visual methods in improving student learning. Visual methods provide means to understand the practices of representations as cultural texts, to develop interpretations of meanings in socio-cultural context, to decode images of social relations and individual experience. Visual sources play a growing role in social studies as well as in teaching as they offer new routes to understanding the past and the present. It was anticipated that when students learn to interpret visual images of social issues as constructs and metaphors in addition to reading relevant literature they might develop critical and contextual imagination, namely connect individual incidences to historical conditions and social institutions, to link seemingly impersonal and remote forces with the lives of real people in concrete institutional and symbolic environments. The main data set included anonymous student journals and portfolio with assignments. The study documented student discourse around visual methods implementation and examined student identities as sociologists, their perceptions of academic expectations at universities, their views of the curriculum, and their identity claims. The results are concerned with the outcomes of teaching and learning considered not only in relation to visual methods but also to the public sphere and sociology. The more and less desirable identity for a sociologist was articulated, some tensions and biases were discovered but more research is needed in order to see more explicitly the role of visual methods and other pedagogical tools in overcoming these barriers.
The article analyses the difficulties brought about by the introduction into the curricula of many Russian universities a new educational practice – Academic Writing in English. The difficulties are grouped into the following categories: the ones which are rooted in the old Soviet-Russian lingua - didactic tradition of teaching foreign languages; the ones which are connected with a low level of prestige of research work among students and some of their teachers; the ones which are specific to a particular educational establishment, and as the survey reveals, they are mostly caused by the complicated nature of the subject Academic Writing. The algorithm of action suggested for the syllabus design includes the analysis of objective and subjective difficulties; analysis of the needs of the target audience; and the introduction into the teaching process specifically designed for the course materials. Survey results prove that following the algorithm has significantly raised the students’ level of satisfaction with the difficult course. The measures, aiming to improve the course, have facilitated the attainment of the course goal, saving time and effort for students and their teachers
Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Pedagogical Research, which took place in Togji University, Shanghai on November 14-15 2013.
The article describes ways of using formative assessment in competence-based education to increase students' motivation for learning.
The article deals with some ideas about lifelong learning strategies - the necessity to teach students to acquire, develop and update knowledge, skills and competences at different stages of their life and in different environments, the methods which can be applied to achieve it and the role of the teacher in this process.