Foreign Language Learning at a Technical University in the Modern Period

Margarita Ivkina, Lyudmila Merkulova, Olga Martynova

Abstract


Abstract
Introduction. The article is devoted to the problems of the foreign language learning at a technical university. The theoretical importance of the research is in the analysis of the existing language learning system at a technical university in light of a modern engineer’s professional activity model’s change. Grounding of certain corrections in the language learning system also provides the theoretical importance of the research. The practical importance of our research is in the modification of the existing language learning system based on the environmental and activity approaches.
Materials and Methods. While carrying out the research we used a complex of methods; that is: literature analysis, empiric and praxymetric methods, and a modeling method.
Results. 4 main types of an engineer’s professional activity are defined in the engineer’s activity model. These types correspond to the main activity types by M.S. Kagan’s concept – value-motivating, cognitive, reorganizing and communicative activities. An engineer’s activity results analysis led to discovering new features in the engineer’s personality structure lying in the communicative competence role increase. It was also found out that successfulness becomes a link between value-motivating and communicative activities. Consequently, we have made a conclusion on the increasing demands to the students’, masters’, post-graduates’ and academic researches’ language proficiency. Foreign language proficiency should provide for the ability to participate in the international conferences, to attend foreign professors’ lectures, and to take part in the students’ exchange programs. All of the above presupposes rather high foreign language proficiency and requires a foreign language learning system creation. The authors analyzed language learning courses at a technical university and carried out a post-graduates’ survey. As a result, lack of syllabuses being able to fill in the gaps in language proficiency and to support speech skills was found out. Basing on the conclusions mentioned above an extra multi-purpose and multi-level structure syllabus was worked out. This syllabus allowed to solve the existing programs, to increase foreign language learning and general learning motivation, to create conditions for self-development and self-realization in the professional activity. The article also describes in detail a foreign language learning system developed by the Department of Foreign Languages and Russian as a Second Language in the general learning environment of a technical university, which acquires for the modernization and reaching the education level corresponding to the leading universities’ level.
Conclusion. The learning environment created by the Department of Foreign Languages and Russian as a Second Language of Samara National Research University named after academician S.P. Korolyov and including a compulsory language learning system and a system of extra language learning courses provides for the students’ individual needs in foreign language proficiency satisfaction at various levels. It also provides for their intellectual and moral self-development.

Keywords


engineering education, communicative competence, foreign language proficiency, system approach, environmental approach, modular approach.

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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