TEACHING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION TO STUDENTS OF RUSSIAN UNIVERSITIES

Helena Bourina & Larisa Dunaeva, Peoples Friendship University of Russia in Moscow, Russia, ID LLCE2018-337;   Abstract: Russia is an active participant in the process of globalisation and integration of modern society. An important role in the process of expanding interaction between representatives of different cultures is given to intercultural communication, which is today viewed both as a science and as an educational discipline of integrative type. The changes in educational policy are closely related to the changes in society. The changes in society led to the modernisation of requirements for universities and the growing interest in the problem of teaching intercultural competence. One of the tasks of higher professional education is the introduction of a competence-oriented model of education, in which teaching intercultural communication is one of the priorities. In order to be able to effectively realise themselves, and to be ready to solve problem situations in the process of intercultural interaction, students should be trained based on the following methodological approaches: culturological, systematic, integrative, personally-active and competent. Teaching a foreign language to students cannot be effective unless there is a unity of language and culture. The foreign language class is a crossroads of cultures and practice of intercultural communication, as each foreign word reflects the foreign world and culture. It is necessary to go through acculturation, that is assimilation of the elements of another culture by a person who has grown up in a different culture. E.M. Vereshchagin offers a typology of acculturation: initial; advanced and final. For the successful implementation of intercultural communication knowledge of the rules that are characteristic of the target speech behaviour is not sufficient. It is necessary to have a close connection with the traditions of one's own speech culture, as it directly influences the development of bilingualism. Studying intercultural communication implies a pronounced dialogical character of a class. The concept "dialogue of cultures" is an interaction of different worlds, the exchange of opinions between representatives of different cultures. A special role in intercultural learning belongs to a learning game that promotes the acquisition of new knowledge and the formation of foreign language skills and abilities; motivates students and positively influences language acquisition; widens students’ horizons; develops their creativity and thinking; promotes the development of intercultural competence; helps orientation in a specific situation and encourages the use of necessary verbal and non-verbal means of communication; compensates for the lack of practice in using a foreign language; makes the foreign language lesson closer to real life conditions.  In the process of teaching a foreign language, it is necessary to instil in students a love of the target country, its culture, history and traditions. Studying a foreign language in class is, in fact, a dialogue between two cultures. In the process of intercultural communication, discovering the culture of the country, its history, customs, national peculiarities along with the language enables the student to assimilate into the "alien" culture, and it ceases to be unfamiliar.

Keywords:  intercultural communication, teaching a foreign language, speech behaviour, acculturation, knowledge, national mentality