Foreign language fluency applicable to the professional world is a necessary component in making modern education relevant . This includes knowledge in a second language relevant to business and other fields of employment. Its success depends on innovative ways of organizing the learning process, such as through a case study method .
The case study method has long been used in education overseas, and its value is well established. The purpose of this method is to use descriptions of specific situations or problems, emulating from daily life or in different organizations. It focuses on studying the problems and searching the options for its solutions, followed by analysis of the value or detriment each option may elicit. To make this work, it is imperative that the examples selected for each case study be rooted in plausible, potential scenarios which professionals face in their work.
Educational tasks should involve students in discussions, contemplate the problems and should not have a unique solution. Such activity is usually a group activity and takes the form of a discussion in which students organize disputes and express their opinion. During the discussions, the students apply their knowledge of dealing with such problems; apply the knowledge previously obtained in learning foreign languages .
Using such methodology in teaching foreign languages helps develop language skills and general common competences: to make decisions in standard and non-standard situations; work in a team; effectively communicate with colleagues and customers, and; find and use information necessary for the efficient performance of tasks .
The value of such an approach is well documented. Students have demonstrated a positive attitude to case studies. It best prepares them for the unexpected, and creates confident workers. This method helps students to get theoretical information and to use it in practice. It generates interest and positive motivation to learning.
Teachers should know that case-study method is not the only method in teaching foreign languages. Students involved in the decision of the case, can compare, give definitions, suggest solutions to problems, etc. The teacher, using the case study method should know that students could suggest either correct or wrong solutions or decisions. The role of the teacher is to guide the students through the Socratic process of considering options, not denying the student this process of discovery by telling them a singular answer. One of the main tasks for the teacher, using the case study method is the involvement of students in the analysis, discussion and problem solving. A case example selected much be of relevance to the students’ professional interests. The students should contribute to their own education and experiences to their group. Interesting stuff and the possibility of applying professional knowledge encourage students to participate in the debate. The desire to solve the problem encourages students to not only read the case, but also carefully study it, to master the facts and details. The students will also improve and enlarge their vocabulary, learn idioms, new syntactic structures etc. Furthermore, students should be carefully prepared to prove and justify their views in a foreign language. Professional knowledge and confidence in the ability to solve the problem facing the group, is an incentive for mastering communicative skills in a foreign language.
This process stimulates a desire to work toward improving the knowledge of a foreign language . Students improve grammar, help participants clearly express their thoughts and to convince the members of the group .
This method of learning a foreign language based on real or fictitious situations has great prospects in the professional training of future specialists. In learning a foreign language in high school, the case study method is used to create a language environment and conditions for formation the situation necessary to use a foreign language as an intercultural communication means.