About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1634-1641
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0488

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain


A. Litvinov1, T. Kuznetsova2, Z. Volkova1, T. Ermolova3, L. Zvereva1

1Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
2Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
3Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
The article is aimed at demonstrating the importance of the concept of raising language consciousness in teaching English to Russian learners. The research is based on the material of modal verbs the use of which becomes a stumbling block for Russian learners as they are not conscious of the fundamental differences between the systems of expressing modality in Russian and in English. An attempt is made to show what advantages can the theory of step-by-step formation of mental actions offer to learners when applied to the process of acquiring a foreign language. In teaching authentic English it would be natural to turn to textbooks and manuals written by native speakers and specially meant for foreign learners. At present there are a lot of textbooks of that kind which are widely used for teaching English to Russian students. These textbooks are usually of very good quality, being written by highly skilled educationalists and experts in the field of methods of teaching. However, in our opinion, the trouble is that all these textbooks have a number of drawbacks. First of all, they are meant for hours and hours of work, both in classroom and at home – which is not the case for most Russian schools and universities. Still more important, these teaching manuals are meant for foreigners at large, without focusing on the peculiar characteristics of the learners’ native language. They can be taken up by people from Japan, Poland or Italy, and the result would presumably be the same. This means that they present genuine English material, without any reference to the learners' mother tongue. But it is a well-established fact both in psychology and in linguistics that "thinking is cast in the moulds of the mother tongue". Most people who have had any experience of studying foreign languages tend to agree that the most difficult thing about learning a foreign language is acquiring or assimilating ways of thinking which are quite natural for native speakers of a foreign language but are alien to our own one. That is why in teaching English we have to consistently refer to the Russian language, bringing out similarities and dissimilarities between the two. This can help counteract the effects of interference of students' mother tongue and make it easier for them to concentrate on lexical and grammatical items which tend to challenge Russian speakers.

So far no unanimous agreement has been reached as far as the concept of consciousness-raising teaching of foreign languages is concerned. On the one hand, there are staunch supporters of the idea, convinced that this approach fully complies with the current theories on how learners master a foreign language. On the other hand, there are tough opponents of this method, who insist on the idea that teaching should adhere to a more conventional, "naturalistic" approach, relying on “learning by doing” technique which would trigger the mechanisms of language acquisition.Yet, the debates that are going on between the two parties give reasonable hope that language consciousness-raising will take its proper place in language teaching methodology and an in-depth analysis of psychological and psycholinguistic mechanisms will be provided. The authors arrive at the conclusion that raising English language consciousness which lies at the root of this theory facilitates the process of efficient language learning.
author = {Litvinov, A. and Kuznetsova, T. and Volkova, Z. and Ermolova, T. and Zvereva, L.},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.0488},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0488},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {1634-1641}}
AU - A. Litvinov AU - T. Kuznetsova AU - Z. Volkova AU - T. Ermolova AU - L. Zvereva
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0488
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 1634
EP - 1641
ER -
A. Litvinov, T. Kuznetsova, Z. Volkova, T. Ermolova, L. Zvereva (2018) CURRENT METHODOLOGIES AND TEACHING MODALS TO RUSSIAN LEARNERS, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 1634-1641.