Open Access Peer-reviewed

Challenges in Teaching Russian Students to Speak English

Irina Abramova1, Anastasia Ananyina1, Elena Shishmolina1,

1Foreign Languages for Students of Humanities, PetrSU, Petrozavodsk, Russia

American Journal of Educational Research. 2013, 1(3), 99-103. DOI: 10.12691/education-1-3-6
Published online: August 25, 2017

Abstract

This paper addresses the challenges brought about by the fact that the English language in modern is mostly taught by non-native English speakers in the context of classic ‘teacher-textbook-student’ paradigm. It also highlights the significance of shifting from this teacher-centered approach to EFL teaching and learning process, and presents the results of a teaching experiment aimed at creating a student-centered environment in a language classroom. We suggested that presenting the results of students’ research projects in the form of English-language video films can be an effective means of expanding students’ learning opportunities and eliminating some weaknesses of the artificial language learning environment. After five-year observations over more than 500 students learning EFL at the Petrozavodsk State University (PetrSU) and 20 non-native English-speaking teachers of the same University, we conducted a teaching experiment, which involved 22 students of the History Department and 28 students of the Law Department and resulted in creating two video films on professionally oriented topics chosen by the students and aligned with their fields of study. Our study revealed that students’ filmmaking is an effective tool to support not only such traditional methods as computer-based learning, presentation, research, but also such innovative kinds of work as multimedia or animated presentations. Therefore, making videos in a foreign language proves to be a highly productive way of acquiring English language skills through the use of technology.

Keywords:

non-native-English-speaking teachers, teacher-centered teaching, student-centered teaching
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