N. Shamsutdinova

Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
Nowadays learner-centered approach is widely used in e-learning and distant education both at universities and secondary schools. Changing the atmosphere, which makes students passive and bored, was found necessary several decades ago. Learner-centered practice is aimed at deeper students’ learning and increased sense of autonomy. The main strategies of learner-centered teaching vary from acquiring knowledge and skills to a student-teacher- or student-student interaction. It also implies focusing on transferable skills and student’s awareness of what they are doing within the course.

Such strategies have been applied for creating materials and improving language skills of students of pre-intermediate and intermediate level. The suggested activities have been developed on the basis of learners’ narratives about their names within the framework of “Name Stories” project, which includes a set of modules or thematic units and imply mastering skills for communication, language development and authentic expression. Students are expected to listen and read stories about different people, participate in conversation and discussion and write stories about their names. Such kind of work is to promote the development of students’ communicative activity, enrich their vocabulary and knowledge of grammatical structures and speech patterns. More over it encourages learners’ to do a research on popular names in historical aspect, using internet resources, and practicing (for example) a role-playing of a TV show.

The presentation is focused on thematic units devoted to rare and unusual names and pseudonyms. They are aimed at bringing learner-centered practice to teaching and curriculum development work. The modules include such activities as speaking about traditions of giving names, free-writing and thinking of associations caused by various names. The thematic units are supplied with a glossary, which provides better understanding of given materials and is supposed to be used in other types of activity.