Article. The article describes various innovative methods used in teaching and learning English. The author emphasizes the role of such innovative methods as problem-based learning, interactive learning, teaching methods using Internet technologies, multi-level learning, etc. Innovative forms of education contribute to the organization and activation of educational activities of students, increase the effectiveness of training, create a favourable atmosphere in English lessons. Innovative methods of teaching are characterized by high communicative ability and active inclusion of students in educational activities, activate the potential of knowledge and skills of speaking and listening skills, effectively develop the skills of communicative competence.
Keywords: innovation, information and communication technologies, interactive learning, problem learning, Internet, communicative competence.
Modern society needs specialists with developed logic, intuition, creative thinking. Education and formation of such a person through traditional methods of teaching is impossible, so traditional methods of teaching have been replaced by innovative teaching methods that cover a wide range of methods, techniques, and technologies.
Nowadays, no matter what a person does, knowledge of a foreign language, especially English, is especially important. In teaching English, the application of innovative methods is very effective. Methods should be understood as a variety of activities of students and teachers in the classroom. In this article, we will consider the most used and effective types of innovative methods in teaching English which includes: problem learning, interactive learning, learning based on Internet technologies, role-playing games, situational modelling technologies, etc. It is important for the teacher to know the latest methods of teaching a foreign language, special teaching techniques to optimally choose a particular method of teaching in accordance with the level of knowledge, needs, interests of students .
Interactive learning is a specific form of organization of cognitive activity, the purpose of which is – to create a comfortable learning environment in which each student feels comfortable, confident, considers himself successful, intelligent, and believes in his strength. The essence of interactive learning is that the learning process takes place under the condition of constant, active positive interaction of all students . In interactive learning, the teacher and the student are equal, because as a result of the organization of educational activities under such conditions, an atmosphere of interaction and cooperation is created in the classroom.
Interactive learning technologies – is such an organization of the learning process, in which every student participates in the collective process of learning. Each student has a specific task for which he must publicly report, or his performance depends on the quality of the task assigned to the group. Interactive learning technologies provide a planned result, some interactive techniques that stimulate the process, arouse interest, activate mental capabilities .
Depending on the purpose of the lesson and the form of organization of educational activities of students interactive technologies are divided into the following types of interactive technologies of cooperative learning, interactive technologies of group learning, interactive technologies of situational modelling, interactive technologies of discussion, creative tasks, educational games (role-playing games, educational games, etc.), work in small groups, pairs, triples, brainstorming, mind map, debates, the use of project methodology. Role-playing is an active method of learning, a means of developing the communicative abilities of the student. Roleplay is associated with the interests of students, is a means of emotional interest, motivation of educational activities. The role-playing game is an active way of teaching practical knowledge of a foreign language . The role-playing game helps to overcome the language barriers of students, significantly increases the volume of their speech practice. It’s learning in action. The term Mind Map was first proposed by British psychologist, author of the memorization technique Tony Buzen. The map is a diagram where various ideas, tasks, theses related to each other and united by a common problem are demonstrated in a visual form. The map allows to cover the entire situation as a whole, as well as keep a large amount of information in mind at the same time.
To sum it up, it should be noted that the interactive teaching method increases motivation in learning English, the learning process becomes more interesting and exciting, and students feel freer. In addition, all methods and techniques develop communication skills, teach to work in a team, and listen to each other.
Teaching foreign languages today is impossible without the use of information technology . The latest information technologies have become an integral tool in teaching English, allowing students to cooperate and join in authentic communication, receive modern information, exchange their ideas. The involvement of ICT in the practice of teaching English is not only a means of maintaining motivation, but also helps in solving didactic problems:
- formation of speaking skills;
- replenishment of vocabulary of students;
- increasing cognitive activity of students;
- improving students’ knowledge of the subject;
- expanding students’ horizons.
There are many different technologies that are successfully used in English classes – from traditional tape recorders or CD players to innovative technologies that include the use of interactive whiteboards, information and communication technologies, mobile technologies, and the construction of a virtual environment.
Innovative forms of training based on Internet technologies can be divided into synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous include video conferences, chats, providing communication in real-time. For example, with the help of the popular Skype program, online conferences and communication by phone are held. This technology is easy to use, it does not require additional time and financial costs for training, because it is already firmly established in the daily life of every person .
Asynchronous forms include the use of technologies such as e-mail, blogs, where communication can occur at a time interval. Creating a virtual space combines both synchronous and asynchronous forms of learning. Thanks to these technologies, teachers can conduct debates, role-playing games, exhibitions, presentations. Multimedia programs have a number of advantages, which are as follows:
- the use of fascinating videos with text support;
- virtual speech contact with native speakers, an opportunity for the student to become a participant of events, to control the quality of foreign language communication;
- the ability of the student to make an audio recording of his own speech and compare the accuracy of pronunciation on the evaluation scale;
- ability to not only hear but also see native speakers mimic their gestures and articulation;
- the opportunity to consolidate the grammatical material using games.
The significant role of the Internet should also be noted in language learning, as without the Internet, the use of many innovative technologies does not make sense. The Internet is a rich storehouse of authentic modern materials and information, as well as means and opportunities for communication and building platforms for the exchange of ideas, opinions, achievements. In addition, we should not forget the importance of the relevance of information. Publication of textbooks sometimes takes years, information, vocabulary becomes obsolete, which negatively affects the validity of the courses taught, their compliance with objective reality. According to research, courses based on Internet materials are more successful because they include relevant information and topics that are more meaningful, interesting, and therefore more motivating. By teaching authentic language, the Internet helps in the formation of conversational skills, as well as in the teaching of vocabulary and grammar, providing genuine interest and therefore effectiveness. Moreover, the Internet develops skills that are important not only for a foreign language. This is primarily related to thought operations: analysis, synthesis, abstraction, identification, comparison, comparison, verbal and semantic prediction, and anticipation, etc. Thus, the skills and abilities formed with the help of Internet technologies go beyond the foreign language competence even within the “language” aspect. The Internet develops the social and psychological qualities of students: their self-confidence and their ability to work in a team; create a favourable learning atmosphere, acting as a means of interactive approach.
Among the innovative methods, the technology of multi-level (differentiated) training or the technology of individualization of training is also of great importance . In this technology a personality-oriented approach is directly implemented, individual characteristics, opportunities, and needs of students are taken into account. Thus, there is a focus on the characteristics of each student individually, which allows them to reveal their potential and contributes to a more successful formation of “multicultural language personality, able to communicate with speakers of other cultures.”
Based on the fact that innovations depend on people and are created by people, it is possible to determine another way of innovative development in the field of education in general, and in the field of teaching foreign languages. This approach is to focus on the development of the potential of the teacher, as the key importance in teaching a foreign language is the personality of the teacher, which, on the one hand, is already formed, but, on the other hand, has unlimited opportunities for self-development and improvement. This implies the need for constant and continuous education of the teacher in the process of his pedagogical activity, the creation and introduction of new technologies, creative approaches to educational activities . Accordingly, the position of the teacher changes – “the teacher becomes an accomplice of the research, creative cognitive process, mentor, consultant, organizer of independent activities of students”.
Problem learning is a set of teaching methods, the purpose of which is to activate the cognitive interest of students and, as a consequence, the activation of cognitive activity. The methods of problem learning are based on modelling of “problem situation” in order to start the active independent activity of students to solve the problem situation under the guidance of the teacher. The problem situation is the awareness that arises when performing a practical or theoretical task, that previously acquired knowledge is not enough, and the emergence of the need for new knowledge realized in purposeful cognitive activity. The essence of problem methods is as follows: in the process of considering a problem situation, they are able to increase interest (since the basis of such a situation is placed a significant problem for students in the sphere of their professional or social interests); they force students to analyze the problem (highlighting the known and unknown facts in it); they force learners to make assumptions about the solution of the problem and check the correctness of these assumptions.
Working with problem situations consists of five stages. The first stage is the creation of a problem situation, which contains a number of difficult moments that prevent its rapid solution. It should be quite difficult, but feasible. At the second stage, the student analyzes the knowledge available to him on this issue, finds out that they are not enough to solve, and is actively involved in obtaining the missing information. The third stage is aimed at acquiring the knowledge necessary to solve the problem in various ways. This phase concludes with an understanding of how the problem can be solved. In the fourth stage, the problem is solved directly. The fifth stage is the verification of the obtained results, comparison with the initial hypothesis, systematization, and generalization of the obtained knowledge and skills. Thus, the use of methods of problem learning in teaching a foreign language contributes to the effectiveness of foreign language training along with the improvement of professional skills, creates the prerequisites for internal motivation, promotes the development of individual abilities and creative skills; allows you to master the ways of knowledge; gives the ability of self-development and self-learning.
Taking into account the importance of the development of communicative competence in teaching a foreign language, we note the significance of an innovative “method of communicative tasks”, the main principle of which is the implementation of students in different forms and using variable types of interaction to solve communicative tasks. Thus, due to the presence of a problem issue, there is a search for its solution and in the process of search, there is an analogue of the situation of real interaction, in which communication takes place in a foreign language. As noted, this method is not fully developed and requires the systematization of forms of educational activities in which it can be carried out. Nevertheless, in our opinion, this innovative technique is very effective, as students have a direct formation of foreign language communicative competence.
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that all above mentioned innovative methods allow achieving the following goals: accessibility of perception of educational material, systematization of knowledge; development of creative abilities of students; self-education; removal of psychological barrier (fear to communicate, make a mistake); understanding of educational material, analysis of the acquired material.
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