Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972

INDIVIDUAL APPROACH IN TEACHING PROCESS

Stukalenko N.M. 1
1 Kokshetau State University named after Sh. Ualikhanov
This article explores the scientific-methodical aspects of using an individual approach in the process of learning a foreign language. The author analyzed the ways of perfection of the examined process in pedagogical theory and practice. The peculiarities of teaching using an individual approach are revealed, the methods of the development of motivation and the use of various techniques and methods of skill development of students based on the individualization of foreign language teaching are described.
foreign language teaching
an individual approach in learning
individualization of learning
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An important goal of foreign language teaching is to teach the student to apply their knowledge in everyday life. The motivation in this case is very important, because only well-motivated student is capable of learning efficiently, regardless of the marks it receives for a well-done work, regardless of the opinions of others about himself and his knowledge. A well-motivated student starts to develop a desire to acquire knowledge independently without external pressure and then apply it in practice. But there are not enough students with a high level of motivation, with a desire to independently acquire knowledge. To address this issue we identified the most significant methods to increase motivation of learning a foreign language. We can highlight several factors that increase motivation: students’ level of concern about achieving success, positive emotions in the process of learning a foreign language, feeling of success, cognitive interest, positive results, internal and external motivation. Let us look at each of them in more detail.

Thus, the students’ level of concern about the quality of teaching and their desire to succeed in learning a foreign language is extremely important. It used to be that concern and stress have a negative impact on educational activity of students, however, the practice of teaching shows that a mild anxiety is beneficial, it mobilizes the student, causing him to make every effort to succeed. Further, the experience of teaching foreign languages show us that the feelings and emotions in the learning process are also of great significance. The amount of effort made in studying depends on how a student feels in the classroom. The teacher should create a favorable atmosphere in class, to create for a student the conditions for success. Enthusiasm allows to achieve high results, and if the learning activity has a positive emotion, it is an additional motivating factor for a new, more intense activities. The feeling of success, according to psychologists [1], also plays a big role. The more students succeed in learning activities, the more likely they perform new tasks. Even if the risk of failure rises, those students who succeeded in performing their tasks in the past keep trying, and the more often they fail, the less they are willing to risk again, such students often fall into the group of “unmotivated”. Therefore, the teacher should apply an individual approach and make the tasks so that they are feasible for each student.

These three factors have a combined impact. Great attention should be paid to the development of cognitive interest of students in learning foreign language. There are two ways of developing this quality. The first is to attract materials from the life of the student, using examples from his own life, the positive reviews of his work in class and his abilities. The second way is to interest – to highlight something new and interesting from a vast amount of materials. Nothing can remain new for a long time, the teacher should manage to use attention reflex in order to teach a student a material during this time and so that this material began to have an independent significance for him. The knowledge of results is a kind of a feedback, which helps students to learn about their successes or failures. Motivation will increase if students know the results of their work, specified information about what needs to be changed or fixed, modified. The positive results particularly encourage and stimulate them. External and internal motivation, taking into account all the above factors, is able to improve the quality of education. External motivation, which has factors of the external world at it’s basis, expressed in various forms of encouragement: appraisal, praise, threat, result (certificate, medal), shifts to the internal motivation, based on personal desires and needs of students (satisfaction with process and results, the need for self-improvement, desire to learn new things, etc.).

The teacher needs to be aware of the incentives that resonate with the motivational factors and that may stimulate learners. Such incentives include: the incentive of trust, the incentive of interest (for students’ tasks to acquire the interesting status, they should be easy to understand for both strong and weak students), the incentive of importance (the teacher should highlight all the important points, pointing to their importance in a particular task), incentive of control (ensures a stimulating learning situation, encouraging students to systematically prepare their tasks, follow all the teacher’s instructions, exercises will), incentive of liability (creates a responsible attitude to learning, the teacher can awaken this responsibility assigning the student some responsibilities for group work), incentive of time (the students should be limited in time to develop a “sense of time”). The simultaneous use of incentives makes the learning process interesting, and educational working process – productive. Developing the motivation, the teacher can move from intuitive and random selection of pedagogical techniques to usage of motivational factors in learning activities. Ultimately, students will move from a purely external motivation to internal. Over time, the success of students will provide the teacher a higher internal motivation and, as a result, a steady professional growth. Next, the ways of enhancing internal motivation of students. Exclude awards and prizes for correctly completed tasks, limit them only to assessment and praise. Accustom students to the analysis and comparison of their own results and achievements. The situation of the competition can be switched on to the gaming activities. Try not to impose educational goals, group work with students to develop goals and objectives may prove to be more effective. You must also remember that the penalty for a wrong solution to the problem is extreme and the least effective measure that always causes negative emotions and affects the student’s attitude to learning activity. Try to avoid setting time limits where possible, as this not only suppresses creativity, but also prevents the development of internal motivation. You need to ensure that learning activities are in line with not only age-related capabilities, but also have the optimal level of complexity, encourage the manifestation of skills and competence of students. Adjust the level of task complexity, increasing it each time, to give the students the right to choose, without limiting their freedom. It is preferable to select learning tasks with an element of novelty that contributes to the formation of the internal interest in the process of doing them.

For successful academic work in teaching a foreign language it is important to have an idea about the real level of development of independence, motivation, knowledge and skills of students in this subject. The teacher should know and take into account the levels of motivation:

– high – characterized by a high educational activity, the desire to do all the tasks given, appears less dependent on strict requirements and standards while answering questions, such students study with pleasure, they are driven by internal motives;

– intermediate – positive attitude towards school, but the school attracts more on the extra-curricular side, such children feel good at school but often go to school to socialize with friends and students; internal motivation of these students are formed to a lesser degree than students with high level of motivation;

– low – students with low motivation attend school reluctantly, prefer to skip classes, have significant difficulties in learning activities, internal motivation is almost not formed.

Components of a complex process of learning a foreign language is extra-curricular and classroom learning activities. While extra-curricular (home) work is a necessary preparatory stage of the language, classwork is a speech stage that logically concludes the formation of speech skills. The necessity of homework is caused by the formation of skills of independent work and students’ preparation for self-education. Often, the home work remains out of sight of researchers, and its importance in the process of learning is underestimated and it has not been given due attention. The reasons of this situation are low efficiency, pedagogical, and psychological errors of organization and control of homework. Typical tasks for homework are still of reproducing nature, aiming on only reinforcing and revising the material learnt in class. Meanwhile, as B. Okon notes [2], depending on the aim the homework can be divided into several groups:

a) the new knowledge acquisition;

b) the reinforcement of previously learned material;

c) the development of skills and abilities;

d) the development of independence and creativity of students.

As practice shows, the lack of individual approach to teaching student, to the determination of the amount and aim of homework is an important factor reducing the motivation of doing the homework thoroughly. Homework in this case is not only not beneficial but even harmful. The necessity of an individual approach follows from the very nature of homework, the homework depends entirely on the individual characteristics, abilities, organization and the level of independence of students.

In educational practice, there is the teachers’ violation of standards of maximum workload of students. Often teachers simply do not reflect on the diversity of features and capabilities of homework, do not appreciate their role and importance in the field of education and training and give large amounts of homework. However, this approach to homework is not beneficial. It leads to an overload, loss of interest in academic work, and, consequently, to inner opposition to the fact that it needs to be done. And the lack of organized homework leads to the fact that learners fail to do it. “There is often not enough time for the explanation of the homework, it is answered in a hurry. Teachers seldom guide students in the challenges they can face while doing homework, they do not indicate the ways to overcome them. As a result, homework is often uncontrollable and is not very effective”, – noted I.P. Podlasiy [5].

There is an issue of monitoring and evaluation of homework. Pedagogical experience teaches us: make sure that when you give homework you will be able to check and evaluate it [8]. The more often and more thoroughly the homework is checked, the more systematically and thoroughly it is done. However, the homework check is not a goal in itself and according to the methodological requirements should not take more than 5–7 minutes. The lack of a variety of forms of control leads to the fact that in such a short period of time, teachers simply do not have time to monitor and evaluate all students. The negative consequences of not checking homework should be expected especially when a student does the work thoroughly, with dedication. “It is also necessary to have an environment where the students never had any doubts about whether they must do homework. Each unprepared homework, with which the student managed to get away, adds to irresponsibility”, note the experienced teachers [7].

In addition, the standard errors of the teachers in setting objectives and tasks for students are: substantial inaccuracy and uncertainty of the aim of the assignments, the lack of variability and diversity of tasks, the failure to comply with psycho-pedagogical requirements of homework checking, and the formality of the approach to the assessment of the answer. Thus, there is a paradoxical contradiction between the increased awareness of the importance of academic work and disregard of the role of homework. Homework is a link that combines education and self-education, “forms the will and the character of students, develop the consistency and accuracy, initiative, ingenuity, strengthens faith in their own power, brings a positive attitude to work” [6].

The most vulnerable area of homework – the organization of feedback. Traditional oral forms of supervision – individual, general and combined questioning have a number of disadvantages and as P. Pidkasistiy says, “using verbal control it is impossible to monitor all students” [4]. Assistive feedback and written surveys also are not a way out, because the teacher must constantly work on the development of linguistic culture and students ‘ thinking, abilities to give a detailed, complete, coherent and reasoned response. In order to resolve the issue of feedback the ideas of E. Passov can be used about giving the students in class the tasks similar to their homework as the way of checking, and that homework should serve as the basis for more difficult types of tasks [3]. If a student prepares homework independently, then a task given by a teacher most likely will not cause difficulties. Thus, it solves the problem of combining the homework checking with the teaching, developing skills and acquisition of new knowledge.

Basic requirements and recommendations for the organization of homework can be formulated on the basis of the above-mentioned drawbacks and shortcomings of its organization. It is, firstly, the integrity of the classes and homework as a unified process of learning and the development of students. Homework, being a supplement and the continuation of the work in class, deepens the knowledge of students and teaches them to think independently, teaches the ability to apply the acquired knowledge, to prepare the task given to him independently and creatively. Secondly, homework must be differentiated and have a feasible size and complexity. It is important that teachers choose appropriate tasks for the students. They should be within their understanding and not take up too much time. The tasks should be differentiated by complexity and amount, and be broken down to the necessary minimum (the standard for “satisfactory”), tasks on “good” and “excellent”. The system of exercises done at home allows a student to prepare for the testing. Thus, the tasks are individualized and has a manageable amount and difficulty. Thirdly, the tasks should be varied, flexible and creative. Fourthly, the clear organization of homework preparation is needed. Assignments must be commented on and the students must have methods for their preparation. Fifthly, homework should be systematically checked and evaluated, but not just for the sake of checking. “The objective is that the questioning was directly involved in teaching, organically joined one of the types of academic work and were not so much for control purposes, but for the development of skills and acquisition of new knowledge” [9]. The above shows that to increase motivation and to organize different types of academic work: homework, class work, extracurricular activities, the engagement of an individual approach is needed.

Home reading can be a very effective method of learning because it is very important to introduce students to cultural values of the nation – native speakers. The use of authentic materials (drawings, texts, sound recordings, etc.) would therefore be of great importance. Acquaintance with the life of other countries occurs mainly through the text and illustrations to it. In the context of new approaches and changes in the methods of teaching foreign language, home reading of literary works of the country of studied language is becoming an important and integral aspect of the learning process. Thus, the concept of “home reading” requires a new interpretation, and its implementation as a substantial component of teaching needs the development of a number of provisions associated with its organization and methodology support. This method is able, on the one hand to provide a more lasting formation of all kinds of communicative competence, on the other hand to solve in the process of learning a foreign language challenges that require special teaching and content-related context. Home reading is one of the types of students’ work on a foreign language, which purpose is to impart the skills of conscious reading and understanding without translation reading. It is an additional source of information that will broaden the overall outlook of students, helps the teacher to form their identity. However, both reading and speaking have their own specifics, and each of them has its own peculiar sphere of functioning. Abundant reading to oneself, which is most often carried out in the course of reading at home, gives the option to run through the mind of a student a considerable number of language combinations, grammatical structures and word combinations in a unit of time. This method can help to ensure that reading turns from educational activity to fun activity, becomes naturally motivated, that the students have formed the habit and need to read literature in a foreign language. At the same time it develops linguistic thinking of the students, helps not only to revise and reinforce the learned lexical material and grammatical structures, but also to increase their potential vocabulary. In addition, the text enables students to be systematically in the atmosphere of a foreign language as inner speech while reading is also a form of communication in the target language (with author, characters), contributing to the formation of strong communicational skills. For the successful organization of students’ work on home reading, the teacher should arouse students’ interest to the information they can get by reading a particular book. Here you need to take into account individual interests, aptitudes and hobbies. If a student takes more interest in traveling, the teacher can recommend him to read books about travels. For fiction lovers – adapted edition of the works of progressive writers; for those interested in the exact sciences – related publications in the scientific literature or in the press.

To make the reading process really motivated, to avoid a mechanical and mindless repetition, a text analysis can be used. The analysis of the content of the text reflects perceptual and logical-semantic levels of processing information and expressing its understanding. The task for students to analyze the text encourage them to read closely, to pay attention to details and vocabulary. Also, the teacher can use literature, literary translation, as means of positive motivation and development of creative activity of students. At an early stage of language learning, the materials for literary translation may be quatrains, stories and adapted texts. At later stages poems, newspaper articles, works of art can be used. The work on a piece of art consists of several stages: first of all, you need to work with lexical material: semantization of words, each with its own characteristics and difficulties of comprehension; the initial listening of the work performed by the teacher or recorded; testing of the content understanding; discussion of the content of the poem (what thoughts, feelings do you have?); literary-stylistic analysis occupies a special place in the work; the analysis of the representational resources of the language; reading (recitation) of the poem by students; students’ literary translation to the Russian language (in verse form); if there is a well-known professional translation we can introduce the students to them. The work on the poems is very exciting for the students. Poetry teaches us to see the beauty of the world, nature, feelings, and relationships. It has an enormous potential impact on feelings and emotions, develops imagination, increases interest in the subject, enables us to make a foreign language lesson and the academic work aim at motivation.

In terms of learning a foreign language outside the language environment, well-organized understandable reading can give a great psychological effect – give students a sense of progress and success in a foreign language acquisition. It also creates an opportunity to experience reading as a real speech activity in school – mediated communication, literature and culture of the people, the language of whom the students acquire. Such reading requires a deeper consideration, it is able to make the desired changes to the hierarchical structure of motivational sphere of educational activity of students of a foreign language acquisition, to the development of personal qualities of students, because reading “sharpens the intellect and sharpens the senses” [10]. The success in this activity, in particular, depends on how pedagogically and methodologically reasonably will be formulated the functions and tasks of foreign language teaching and the ways of their implementation.

Thus, in teaching a foreign language the teacher must develop the cognitive interest of students, choose adequate didactic objectives and the most effective methods of teaching, great importance should be given to the selection of educational material, using an individual approach.