People's Friendship University of Russia (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 576-580
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1109
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The development of professional communicative interaction of Russian cosmonauts with their foreign colleagues – astronauts – at all stages of their professional activities, from preparation for the joint space flight at training centers, located in Russia and abroad, on out to participation in the mission-specific international crew operations on board the International Space Station (ISS), as well as the radio communication with foreign specialists from the ground Mission Control Centers (MCC), located all over the world, have necessitated the formation, development and improvement of profession-oriented foreign language communicative competence of cosmonauts from Russian Space Agency (RSA).

The English language is the official language of professional communication in the international practice of manned space flights. The language proficiency directly affects the ability of cosmonauts from different cultural and linguistic communities to initiate understanding between each other and to ensure the required safety of space flights.

It becomes possible to form the profession-oriented English language communicative competence of Russian cosmonauts provided that the interactive methods, which take into account the cognitive, professional intentions of a trainee, and focus on his real life as well as the available experience, are introduced into the language teaching process. In this regard, project-based learning is used as one of such methods at the English language lessons in Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) located in Russia. It facilitates the creation of a language environment, which generates a need to speak the foreign language and allows cosmonauts to acquire knowledge independently while solving the real-life problems with the use of not only their English language skills, but through the integration of information from various specific technical subject areas as well. Considering the process of teaching English in GCTC within the framework of profession-oriented approach, we pay special attention to the development of profession-oriented projects.

Teaching aids that are used during implementation of project activities include various didactic materials specially designed on the basis of original profession-oriented texts (texts, tasks, videos, tables, etc.). These materials are placed in the electronic teaching and methodical complex: English for Space Explorers: Preparing Cosmonauts for Space Flight.

Nowadays, amid the electronic communication development in the society, e-learning and IT technologies are extensively used to provide learners with necessary teaching and learning aids through various electronic media. In order to provide cosmonauts with an electronic version of educational materials elaborated by the authors and to assess the potential for use computer technologies during the English language lessons in GCTC, we choose the Moodle (Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) automated learning management system based on computer and internet technologies, which has a wide range of teaching and technical capabilities.
Use of the electronic teaching and methodical complex elaborated by the authors on the basis of Moodle educational platform opens up new opportunities for interactive learning of a foreign language and allows us to enhance the quality of profession-oriented and communicative English language training of Russian cosmonauts in GCTC.
Profession-oriented English language training of Russian cosmonauts, project-based learning, computer-assisted teaching materials based on Moodle.