Problems of bilingualism in the context of mastering a foreign language

Helena Bourina & Prof. Larisa Dunaeva, MGIMO University & Lomonosow State University in Moscow, Russia;          Abstract:  The foreign language education at a modern Russian university is implemented in compliance with established international levels and standards for higher professional education and is aimed at providing educational programs that meet the requirements of the Council of Europe. As a result, a Russian linguistic university seeks to form a special type of a bilingual person who would be capable of participating in intercultural communication.The interest in studying the problem of bilingualism is connected with an increase in intercultural communication in the world and development of cultural, political and economic processes occurring in multinational states. For this study, devoted to the development of a methodological system for teaching a foreign language in artificial learning conditions, the most important approaches to bilingualism are those, taking into consideration the level of proficiency in native and non-native languages. Level approaches to the consideration of the phenomenon of bilingualism are conventionally divided into three groups: functional, differentiated, identical. From the functional point of view bilingualism means competence in two languages and their use in communication, but the level of competence is not taken into account, which has a direct connection with the formation of a special type of a bilingual personality in the conditions of subordinate bilingualism, when the native language is acquired in natural linguistic environment, and foreign languages - in artificial language learning environment. In the framework of a differentiated approach bilingualism implies a different level of command of two languages, where communicating with native speakers in the second language (a foreign language) is a necessary condition. The identical approach to bilingualism presupposes proficiency in the native and foreign languages at approximately the same level.The most common types of bilingualism are natural and artificial, determined on the basis of conditions of their occurrence.The most complete comparative analysis of the natural and artificial types of bilingualism is presented in A.E. Karlinskii. According to his concept, the main differences between the two types of bilingualism are manifested: for the purposes and prospects of the practical use of a non-native language, in assessing the speech activity of a bilingual, in the number of social functions, in the types of connections with linguoculture. In the course of the study, the following understanding of artificial bilingualism was formulated: competence in communicative bilingual skills sufficient for carrying out the process of communication within the framework of two language systems, formed outside direct contact with the speakers of the studied language, but in the process of training supervised by a teacher or a non-native speaker in specially created learning conditions. According to the differentiated approach, which is taken as a basis in this work, for bilingualism formed in educational conditions, any level of competence in two or several languages is possible, from beginner (A1-A2) to advanced(C1-C2).

Problems of artificial bilingualism in the aspect of teaching a second foreign language

The process of mastering a foreign language at a Russian university is carried out in a specially organised linguodidactic environment, which implies a methodical system created in accordance with peculiarities of a natural linguocultural society. This system combines components of effective teaching and methods of pedagogical management ensuring a step-by-step development of students’ linguistic personality based on European standards of language proficiency. The necessary basis for a modern linguodidactic environment is Information and Communications Tecnology (ICT), which opens unrestricted access to the world of native speakers in the global communication network. The linguodidactic language environment, which is based on ICT tools, demonstrates and thereby shapes sociocultural stereotypes, provides an opportunity to learn peculiarities of communicative behaviour in a foreign language. Moreover, such linguodidactic language environment ensures students’ participation in real language communication and pushes the boundaries of conventional educational situations, thus, expanding students’ experience of intercultural communication. It is advisable to study a foreign language basing on a comparative analysis of the specifics of a foreign and native language, as this facilitates the formation of communicative bilingual skills, and helps to understand the similarities and differences between Russian (native) and French (foreign language) speech.

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