Teaching Chinese Learners to Express Predicative Meanings in the Russian Sentence (On the Example of Meanings of Time)
The article discusses the development of Chinese learners' grammatical competence using the example of work on linguistic phenomena absent in the learners' native language. The analysis of scientific and methodological literature on the research issue and of Chinese learners' mistakes suggests that their typical mistakes in expressing time (one of three predicative meanings) in the Russian sentence can be explained by the influence of the native language. The hidden nature of the Chinese grammatical system, its closeness to direct observation, on the one hand, and the specifics of teaching the mother tongue in Chinese schools (grammar is not taught as an independent discipline, but introduced as commentaries on texts at the lessons in native speech and literature), on the other hand, help us to understand and describe the most important difficulty in mastering the grammar of Russian (a fusional language) by Chinese learners. In Chinese learners' minds, knowledge of grammatical meanings (time, modality, person, etc.), which are generalized, abstract from concrete lexemes and utterances, is not fully formed. The Chinese have all these meanings in the field of the subconscious, "linguistic intuition". This significantly complicates the study of a foreign language since mastering a foreign language is based on the conscious transfer of the already formed system of meanings in the native language into the sphere of another language. Lack of grammatical meanings in the linguistic consciousness underlies the fact that a form in the Russian language (e.g., tense form, modality form, person form) often turns out to be unrelated to any specific content in Chinese learners' minds. For this reason, Chinese learners cannot efficiently use this form when making up their own sentences in the foreign language studied. The thesis is put forward that, to develop Chinese learners' grammatical competence, it is necessary to remove grammatical meanings from the field of the subconscious to the sphere of consciousness. It is argued that the awareness of grammatical meanings by Chinese learners can be facilitated by invoking the conscious-comparative teaching method. This will help to most effectively accomplish the tasks facing learners at the stage of language awareness-the stage of the formation of knowledge about the linguistic phenomenon studied. The article proposes exercises that demonstrate the possibilities afforded by the conscious-comparative method when teaching Chinese learners to express one of the predicative meanings (meaning of time) in the Russian sentence.