Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972

HEURISTIC APPROACH TO THE FORMATION OF THE STUDENTS’ POLYCULTURAL PERSONALITY ON THE DISCIPLINE “RUSSIAN AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE”

Bekman A.V. 1
1 Grodno State University of Yanka Kupala
The article discusses the various stages of formation of multicultural linguistic personality (the primary language personality, secondary language personality, bilingual identity, multicultural identity), which is formed in the conditions of modern Belarusian higher education. The author defines the key concepts of the study. The aim of the introduction is the possibility of correlating the stages of formation of the polycultural personality, model of heuristic dialogue groups and levels of learning Russian as a foreign language. The correlating model of the stages of identity formation, the model of heuristic dialogue groups and levels of learning Russian as a foreign language is shown in the main part. This formation takes place on the basis of primary linguistic personality, as this person that speaks his native language from birth. Secondary language personality can be formed on the basis of primary linguistic personality – a personality that studies a foreign language outside the language environment. When the secondary linguistic personality is adjudged to be in an alien language environment it would be formed of bilingual linguistic personality, i.e. personality, fluent in their native and foreign language. To go to the level of multicultural identity requires that the identity adopted (interiorservice) not only the language, as a structure, but also the culture of other people. The author shows that the development of different types of linguistic identity in accordance with the structure of the heuristic dialogue significantly increases the efficiency of studying the Russian language students, develops independence and creativity of students to continuously break new ground, to create their own “educational product”. Work organized in such manner is directed on realization of principle of humanistic education.
communicative competence
heuristic dialogue
educational product
language personality
language level
bilingual
secondary language personality
multicultural personality
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The area of expansion of the Russian language is the widest of all Slavic languages in Eurasia. The teaching in higher education institutions of the Republic of Belarus is conducted, as a rule, in the Russian language, so the studying of Russian as a foreign language is very important. The studying of Russian became an effective tool in addressing one of the strategic objectives of higher education of the Republic of Belarus. It is the export of educational services. Therefore, improving of the quality of teaching Russian as a foreign language in institutions of higher education is a priority of modern higher education in Belarus.

Actual demands reflect the trends of world development with their integration in the field of modern language education. They are the unification and multiculturalism of education and training, the aims at the introduction in higher education, the linguistic pluralism, the inclusion of students in the dialogue of cultures in the process of languages and cultures learning, the achievement of European standards [1]. All these processes are inextricably linked with the formation of linguistic identity. The phenomenon of linguistic identity in modern linguistics has science categorical status. G.I. Bogin give one of the first definitions of linguistic identity in the book “The contemporary linguodidactics”: “the central concept of linguistics is the linguistic personality. It is a person, considered from the point of view of its readiness to produce speech acts”. Linguistic personality is the person who assigns the language. Linguistic personality is characterized not so much by the fact that the person knows about the language, as the fact that he produces by the language” [2, p. 3].

The purpose of research

The quality of teaching of discipline “Russian as a foreign language” can be diagnosed through the communicative competence, which we developed in foreign students. However, communicative competence is not so much a purpose as means of formation of the polycultural personality. The formation of such a personality goes through several stages:

1) formation of primary language personality;

2) the formation of secondary language personality;

3) the formation of bilingual personality;

4) formation of the polycultural personality.

All these stages are interrelated and cannot exist one without other. Let us consider each stage in the formation of a language personality:

1. The primary language personality is a person formed in its native environment and talking in its native language. The foreign student who to study at the universities of the Republic of Belarus, already fully formed as a primary language personality in its linguistic environment. The formation of a primary language personality starts with the birth and development in native language and culture environment.

2. The secondary language personality is the person or language learners outside the language and foreign environment. Foreign student coming to Belarus for higher education, has been formed as a secondary language personality. This is because the majority of the students study Russian language at home and arrive with some knowledge on the structure of the Russian language and at least a minimum stock of vocabulary. G.I. Bogin determines the secondary language personality, the first, as a structural replica of the primary linguistic identity. The second, he believes that it is the original and planned portrait of a language personality. It is obvious that in approaching the learning process in one or another study group, the teacher should be able of testing a baseline portrait of each language personality of the student, and then the portrait he plan to create, i.e. a language personality, which would to be formed as a result of the course [3]. Modern linguistics, following N.D. Holschova and N.I. Gez, consider secondary language personality as a result of education in foreign languages secondary language personality as an indicator of a person’s ability to participate fully in intercultural communication [4] and understand the secondary linguistic personality as “the set of abilities to foreign language communication into thee intercultural level, which is in adequate interaction with other cultures” [5, p. 59]. Components of this personality are:

- acquirement of the “language picture of the world” speakers of this language (i.e. verbally-semantic code of studied language),

- acquirement of the “global” (conceptual) view of the world, allowing a person to understand a new social reality [5].

There are a lot of questions not yet developed by linguodidactics. First of all it is necessarity of introducing some relevant to this field of knowledge terms [6], according to various researchers. We want to give the following definition: secondary language personality is a person who studies a second language outside the language environment and is able to accept and create messages in a foreign language but have not mastered all the subtleties of the language.

3. Bilingual personality is a person which has fluent in the native and foreign language experience. Bilingualism is defined as the ability to build solid remarks in two languages or as the practice of alternately using two languages. A person can use to communicate two language systems. The concept of bilingualism is now included possession of three, four, five, etc. languages. According to foreign linguists, the addition of third, fourth, fifth, etc. language does not change the nature of the problems posed by bilingualism [7, p. 36].

The formation of bilingual identity can be traced through the verbal behavior. Verbal behavior generally reflects the national-cultural specificity, which is conditioned by traditions, customs, aesthetic tastes of a people [8, p. 51]. Students which study Russian as a foreign language have all the prerequisites for becoming bilingual because they learn not only foreign language but also the culture. Development happens not only in the classroom of foreign language, but also spontaneously, continually, since the students are constantly into the other language and cultural environment. Therefore, we consider in our study such foreign students receiving higher education in a foreign country and into the language environment. This circumstance, in our opinion, contributes for the formation of the “student media in one language (multiple languages)” or a “bilingual student”. We give the following definition of the bilingual person “it is a person who studies a second language in the language environment. He is able to create and receive messages in a second language and have mastered all the subtleties of the language, but he hasn’t internalized into another culture”.

4. Multicultural personality is a person who did not only speak foreign languages, but he is involved into culture. Formation of the polycultural personality is seen today in the context of the dialogue of cultures. “When a foreign student must learn to interpret the different cultural values that will allow him to continue his education abroad, to see in another’s not only what distinguishes us from each other, how many, what brings us together and unites, to look at events and their participants not from his point of view, but from the perspective of another culture, to correlate existing stereotypes, perceptions of experience and to make adequate conclusions, i.e. to understand another’s reality; to empathize, to respond to the events of reality, to feel joy and pride, compassion and desire to help; glad that you learned something new in a foreign culture in the process of exposure to a foreign culture” [9].

The implementation into intercultural communication is necessary to gradually eliminate the so-called “strangeness” in the minds of the trainees and puts it into the category of secondary, but “not-another” language, “not-strange” culture [10, p. 277]. In other words, the individual “grows” into a foreign culture, becoming a person differing from other species by the presence of processes of conscious and arbitrary mental activity. As already proven in linguistics, and in psycholinguistics in particular, the program of self-development recreational abilities inherent in human beings [11, p. 384]. So, from our point of view, the multicultural individual is a person fully studied second language in the language environment, mastered all the subtleties of the use of language, as well as interiorized service a different culture with all its subtleties and peculiarities.

The results of the study

We believe that the stages of formation of linguistic personality are correlated with the structure of the heuristic dialogue and the levels of learning the discipline “Russian as a foreign language”. The concept of heuristic learning that contributes to the formation of the structure of the heuristic dialogue consists of three questions: “What? How? Why?”. This triad of questions determines the stages of work. Data model groups relate to the stages of formation of the polycultural personality and levels of competency in discipline “Russian as a foreign language” when working on the subject. The system construction corresponds to the methodology of heuristic learning. Stages of studying of the Russian language and the transition from one stage of formation of the polycultural personality to another are determined by the triad contained in essence of the heuristic dialogue.

1. The model group of questions “What?” or the step of secondary language personality forming. The model group of questions “What?” suggests that the student learns the investigated area of reality and describes the properties of the object [12, p. 11]. When students begin to study Russian language, while working on the stage, “What?”, i.e., internalize “the thematic, situational, communicative-speech and language topics into the program of teaching Russian as a foreign language, which regulates the basic content of a threshold level of communicative competence. The mastery of linguistic, speech and communication material signals the achievement by the foreign students basic starting level, which is necessary to continue training in higher educational institutions of the Republic of Belarus in their chosen specialty [13]”. The work of the group “What?” is aimed at predicting the content of the text and phonetic and lexico-grammatical difficulties removal. New words are introduced and secured on this stage (in any subject you can find enough complex vocabulary), the functional types used in the text statements are analyzed, previously studied lexical and grammatical material is checked. Special attention is paid to tasks on the questioning. It should be noted that this stage ends with the creation of students’ primary educational product, for example, students’ created questions and dialogs. An example of such tasks may be “Web-interview”: Jules Verne has earned the reputation of a brilliant science-fiction writer. Today he is called the seer. In fact the scientific predictions of the Frenchman being fulfilled one after another. A lot of his invested things came to our lives, for example, spacesuits to stay under water, helicopters, automatic rifles, electric vehicles, submarines, televisions, phones and much more. Write down at least 5 questions for the interview with Jules Verne. Try to put yourself in the place of the great science fiction writer. What’s up with you? Think about what questions could ask you a writer?

We propose in the first stage to use the following types of tasks: “Web-dialog”, the tasks in goal-setting and planning work, tasks for work with synonyms and antonyms, the tasks for understanding new words and phrases from the text. Example of “Web-dialogue”: You have already wrote 5 questions for an interview with Jules Verne and you know what questions he will ask to you. Specify the expected answers to these questions. Give dialogue, write them down. Specify important to you personally part of this dialogue.

2. The model group of questions “How?” or the stage of the bilingual person formation. Students compare their own educational product with the existing standard in this area and find links between the selected properties at this stage. The cultural-historical standard is based on the study of the Sciences, Arts, Traditions, Technologies, or it is reflected in different educational fields, as well as concepts, laws, principles that are considered fundamental achievements of mankind [12, p. 13]. The students master the Russian language in the framework of the saturation level of communicative and professional competence when working on the stage “How?”. Student possesses linguistic, speech and communication material module of Russian as a foreign language and the module of professional language proficiency In accordance with the program of this level, that is indicative of a proper and skillful use of Russian, maximally close to the level of the average native speaker [13]. The formation of bilingual identity is inextricably linked with active students’ academic activities with text. Students read the text, actively work on its analysis of various types of paraphrases, put particular attention to creative retelling. It is advisable to use question-answering system, the role-reproduction of texts (especially dialogues) at this stage. The group tasks are aimed at the developing of skills in reproductive and reproductive-productive types of speech activity. All these activities involve students into active work with dictionaries. Execution is not only reproductive, but also productive work proves the formation of bilingual identity. This person has a perfect system not only of their native language, but also of foreign. So he can independently produce texts which he needs.

3. The model group of questions “Why?” or the stage of polycultural personality formation. This model, of the group of questions “Why?” means the transition to the creative level of processing of its own educational product after studying the benchmark in the educational field. The student receives a “general educational product” in the end. The student not only forms personal knowledge, which become deeper and wider, but also has more quality and experience and ability [12, p. 13.]. The transition to this stage means moving to the level of full and free competence of Russian language proficiency. This level involves students to “the free use of the Russian language as means of communication in all spheres of communication and in unlimited range of situations. Achieving this level indicates the assignment of the student the status of “power user language” [13]. Achieved the same level of polycultural personality means the assignments in order to develop productive skills of speech activity, contributing to the creation of both collective and private educational products. The work is used to be on-line (on the forum) at this stage. Examples of such tasks may be “Web-discussion” and “Web-essay”. The “web” console indicates that the job of this type must be made on the forum. The students perform tasks in the classroom and as homework they place their “educational products” in the Internet and discuss them on-line with the other students at the beginning of the work. Example of “Web-essay”: Write a story by the given illustrations (Nesvizh castle). What a fantastic story could happen in this ancient and mysterious place? What are the characters involved in your story? There would be a fabulous characters such as fairies or perfectly ordinary people? Match your fairy tale with other student’s fairy tales.

Example of a “Web discussion”: I am a psychologist. The task of any psychologist is to help change the mood. How will you change the mood for: weeping willow, old rock, the old stream, a tiny speck of dust (write about it). Write on the forum their opinion about who and how they can help. Would you like to do? Compare your opinion with the opinion of other students. What is the difference and what are the similarities?

In addition to these tasks the students can perform task “Web research”: At the present stage of development of the society the Internet is used by many people. Suppose the percentage of how many do people use the Internet in your country? In your city? In your Dorm? Draw diagrams. Conduct a mini-study among the students of your group on the topic “The Internet: How often? Why? Why do you use Internet?”. The research will help you with the following algorithm:

1. Give a name to your research.

2. Write questions for the questionnaire.

3. Fill out the survey form on platform Google, send to your friends the link to survey.

4. Draw diagrams according to the study.

Multicultural personality assumes full possession of listening skills. A distinctive feature of the work on the listening is the autonomy of its execution. The student can listen the text at any convenient time (the current level of the Internet development allows to do it) and all the tasks after listening are performed on-line. Example of task “Web listening”: View Youtube video “Calm as a boa. Techniques of stress management”. Discuss in the forum these tips. Offer your own advice on dealing with stress. Formulate questions that you encounter while browsing to: an author of the video; b) to itself. Publish them on the forum and discuss.

A correlation of the model groups of the heuristic dialogue, levels of learning Russian as a foreign language and stages of formation of the polycultural personality is presented in Figure.

pic_43.wmf

Stages of formation of the polycultural personality

Conclusion

As practice shows the formation of multicultural linguistic personality is impossible without passing certain stages. This formation takes place always on the basis of the primary linguistic personality, because this is the person that speaks his native language and is formed from birth. Subsequently, on the basis of the primary linguistic personality can be formed the secondary language personality is a personality that studies a foreign language outside the language environment. This person is mastered in the structure of language and in its specific set of lexical, grammatical knowledge and skills. When the secondary language personality is adjudged to be in an alien language environment will be formed bilingual linguistic personality, i.e. personality, which is fluent in the native and foreign language. But fluency is not enough to move to level multicultural identity of one language. It is necessary that the personality was made not only by the language, as a structure, but also by the culture of other people. Learning through heuristic dialogue in the conditions of modern Belarusian higher education not only increases the efficiency of learning Russian language students, but also contributes to the development of another culture and to the forming of multicultural personality.