FICTION LITERATURE AS A MEANS OF DEVELOPING CRITICAL THINKING AND BOTH UNIVERSAL AND GENERAL CULTURAL COMPETENCES OF UNDERGRADUATES
Tula State Lev Tolstoy Pedagogical University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The article is devoted to the problem of linguostylistic analysis of American fiction at English lessons for EFL students and how it may improve understanding of the whole text in different aspects by non-native learners. The issue is considered from methodological point of view, based on the authors’ own experience of teaching at the department of foreign languages at the pedagogical university and aimed at enhancement of students’ professional competence in linguistics, analytical reading, text interpretation and stylistics.
Fiction literature has a special potential for the development of both universal and general cultural competences, as well as special competences related to the development of a foreign language among students at the linguistic faculties in educational programs for training foreign language teachers.
English literary texts are truly authentic material-they are not created by native speakers for didactic purposes, so they are a suitable material for the formation of a "secondary language personality". English fiction raises multidimensional complex problems of the modern world and has such features as interdisciplinarity, meta subject, subject matter.
In addition, literary texts in English provide an opportunity to "dive" into the language environment.
The lessons based on the use of fiction help to increase the current modern vocabulary and support the language skills and abilities in conditions when the learners are distanced from the linguistic environment. They also help to convert reproductive and receptive skills into productive ones, create a context for lexical and grammatical phenomena, present grammatical phenomena (morphology and syntax) in a real speech communicative context, and allow undergraduates to develop speech skills: reading, speaking, listening, writing, as well as (critical) thinking through participation in oral and written discussions, projects.
Reading fiction allows undergraduates to switch from the mechanical study of the language system to a holistic perception of "language in action" meaning the formation of compensatory and educational and cognitive competences.
The development of the ability to form personal opinion on the fiction texts which were read evolves communicative skills, critical thinking, interdisciplinary and subject matter connections.
In our practice, we follow the basic model of the technology for developing critical thinking through reading and writing, designed at the end of the XX century in the United States and used in Russian pedagogical practice as a chain "challenge-comprehension-reflection" since 1997. In our article we examine this model in more detail by analyzing the short story “The Dance" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. As the result EFL students are able to find the missing or main information against the excessive background, connect the existing ideas, evaluate the sequence of conclusions, build reasoning correctly, synthesize ideas, argue their own thoughts and analyse the text from evidence they gather themselves. They can identify and build the degree of importance of the problems that need to be solved, evaluate the arguments of other people. All the above mentioned means that an undergraduate has formed critical thinking and the necessary set of general cultural universal and special competences.
Keywords: Literary texts, critical thinking, general cultural competences, universal competences, interdisciplinarity, linguostylistic analysis, undergraduate education.