M. Banshchikova, A. Radyuk, T. Kachalina, I. Kazieva

Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
Due to the reduction of foreign language classroom hours up to 2-4 a week at non-linguistic universities (according to the federal state educational standards of the third generation of Russia), on the one hand, and the high requirements imposed on graduates' foreign languages skills, on the other, teachers face the task of optimization of foreign language learning.

The objective of the present work is to consider the main problems that arise in the foreign language class in connection with the new changes; to analyze the practical experience of teaching German as a second foreign language from elementary level at the Institute of World Economy and Business (2 hours a week); to offer a number of recommendations for optimizing classroom activities.

The authors of the current paper focus on three main aspects of the topic:
1) The new role of the teacher, who ceases to be a mentor, whose main task is to teach a language, his task is to teach the student to effectively learn without his active and constant control, including classroom activities.
2) Unwillingness and inability of students to take responsibility for educational and cognitive activities on the one hand, and the teacher's fear that students will not take this responsibility, on the other.
3) Joint (in a small group and / or pair) training significantly increases the activity of students, success in training and responsibility for the process. However, such work requires certain skills of social competence, which due to the peculiarities of the education system in Russian schools is not always sufficiently developed among prospective students.

The authors come to the conclusion that one of the main functions of a teacher is to help students develop the necessary skills for self-study and to realize the importance of their own actions to achieve the learning goal. In addition, to optimize classroom activities the teacher becomes a facilitator of the learning process, which stimulates the learning of the language in small groups and pairs, anticipates possible difficulties, provides informative feedback, and creates a favorable climate for work in the group.