THE ROLE OF AN AUXILIARY PHONETIC COURSE IN TEACHING RUSSIAN FOR PROFESSIONAL PURPOSES TO INTERMEDIATE LEVEL STUDENTS
The article substantiates and justifies the need to include an auxiliary phonetic course in teaching Russian for professional purposes to intermediate-level students. The purpose is to give methodological clues to teaching Russian pronunciation to intermediate-level learners speaking different native languages. Pronunciation is an essential part of acquiring a second language, but little time or not at all is spent on teaching it beyond the bounds of elementary level. It seems as if it is generally thought that pronunciation is something that will be maintained and developed on its own. However, it's useless to say that the development of communicative competence in any type of language activity reading, listening, speaking and even writing is impossible without established listening comprehension and pronunciation skills, which ensure adequate perception of other people's speech and the natural sound of the produced utterance. Usually, these skills are underdeveloped in many intermediate-level students. In this article we propose a concept of an auxiliary corrective phonetic course aiming at pronunciation skill automatization and accent neutralization (the accent is viewed as an interference of the native language). The concept stems from our research on the development of articulatory and prosodic skills in Russian learners with different native languages. In this study, audio recordings (3.5 hours in total) of first and second-year students' answers at an oral examination in Russian language were analyzed using the following methods: auditory analysis of the students' speech (listening and transcribing); definition of the acoustic-articulatory characteristics of vowels and consonants in different positions in the sounding speech and their comparison with the corresponding sounds in the students' native languages; analysis and classification of phonetic and prosodic errors typical for a particular group of students. The article lays out the main linguistic and methodological principles of the course and gives guidelines for selecting and sequencing vocabulary, grammar and phonetics material, based upon methods of teaching Russian as a foreign language in mind with a student's native-language specific characters. Consistent work with the course materials contributes to establishing native-like pronunciation and prosodic skills, which are an essential prerequisite to the natural and adequate professional and business communication in Russian.