REPUBLIC OF TATARSTAN: PRIORITIES OF SCHOOL FOREIGN LANGUAGE EDUCATION
Kazan Federal University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
Current stage of Russian education development is characterized by several factors: intensive transition to a humanistic paradigm, a new wave of cross-cultural communication caused by the expansion of international contacts, ethnocultural interaction and partnership.
Language education is under modernization process which is caused by an increase of foreign language status in society, changes in a sociocultural context of studying of languages, international communication, decentralization of the educational system and a number of federal documents in education.
In the Republic of Tatarstan, which is situated in the Volga Region of the Russian Federation, language policy is focused on: improvement the quality of foreign language education at all stages; satisfaction the needs of society in learning foreign languages; rising the pupils’ educational competence in foreign-language education according to modern requirements of the international standards accepted by the Council of Europe; development of language pluralism; preservation and development of variability of general education institutions and models of training in foreign languages; updating the content of foreign language education; new teaching techniques, including the interactive ones and multimedia; integration and complexity; introduction interdisciplinary and integrative culture studies courses; openness of certification procedures.
Teaching foreign languages within the system of general education is carried out in more than 2200 schools of the Republic of Tatarstan where over 350 thousand pupils study. To solve the problem of updating the contents and improve the quality of foreign language education in Tatarstan schools and higher educational establishments a new format is offered: integration of a foreign language with other subjects with the view of strengthening innovative sociocultural aspect of foreign language education; creation of manuals on the implementation of ethnocultural component in the content of foreign language education in the Republic of Tatarstan; introduction of special courses in foreign languages on regional studies; ensuring continuous monitoring the level of language proficiency in high schools; improvement of the language programmes for gifted pupils.
The problem of updating the content of foreign language education and organizational forms of the educational process is interconnected with the level of school teacher preparation and his/her in-service education. It is a necessary condition to increase the quality, availability and efficiency of school language courses. Finally, it will help face strategic challenges of educational innovations and modernization.