The Russian language has a rich cultural heritage and great internal potential for further development. Nevertheless, it has been steadily losing its positions in the world in recent years, and this trend can remain for a certain period unless effective measures are taken to support and promote the Russian language in the global community. However, international communication in Russian between people interested in culture, economics, and Russian politics is complicated by the existing myth that Russian is difficult to study. This has to do, first of all, with the very methodology of teaching the Russian language, which primarily deals with intralinguistic problems and takes little account of the ethnolinguistic features of other languages and the ethno-cultural differences of the speakers. Currently, the international academic mobility of students is not only a significant phenomenon in the integration processes of higher education in the world community, but also plays a central role in the development of home universities. According to the Ministry of Education and Science, the total number of foreign students studying at Russian universities was more than 270 thousand people in 2015-16, which is 6% of the total number of students. About 20 thousand of them are students from China. This indicator is relatively small: in the overall rating of Chinese students' mobility around the world, Russia occupies only the 11th place, since many students from China prefer to study in Russia only after unsuccessful attempts to enter an American or European university. Apart from this, Chinese students need much more time and effort to learn Russian than European students. Taking these facts into account, it is necessary to optimize the methodology of teaching the Russian language and to offer culture-oriented models of teaching. The authors define two teaching methods that can be used in teaching Russian as a foreign language: a culture-oriented and pragmatic one.The idea of the pragmatic method suggests a possible alternative in teaching and learning foreign languages. Compared to native speakers, students of foreign languages grew up in a completely different social environment. Thus, it seems impossible for them to master a foreign culture in a short period of time, although they would have the opportunity to live and study in a foreign environment. Consequently, studying culture does not have a positive correlation with learning the language, and culture can be separated from the language. The culture-oriented method in teaching Russian is the most vital in author's opinion. To test the validity of this approach an experiment was conducted. Participants of the research (30 Chinese students in general: 10 students at foundation course and 20 Master's students at B1 Russian level at Mordovia State University) were taught Russian for an academic year. The first group was taught Russian with the pragmatic method, the second – with the culture-oriented one. At the end of the course both groups did several tests and were interviewed in order to check their language and culture acquisition. The results obtained in the research prove the effectiveness of the culture-oriented method.

Чубарова Ю.Е.1 , Шикина Т.С.1 , Резепова Н.В.2, 3 , Балыхина Т.М. 4
IATED Academy
  • 1 Национальный исследовательский Мордовский государственный университет им. Н.П. Огарева
  • 2 Московский государственный университет пищевых производств
  • 3 Российский университет транспорта (МИИТ)
  • 4 Российский университет дружбы народов
Ключевые слова
RUSSIAN language; CHINESE students; language acquisition; foreign language; teaching method; culture-oriented approach
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