DEVELOPING ESP STUDENTS' AUTONOMY IN RUSSIA: CHALLENGERS AND PROSPECTS
This article deals with issues related to the development of ESP (English for Specific Purposes) students' autonomy in Russian universities. A particular emphasis is laid on the country-specific features that make the process of learning and teaching a foreign language challenging, innovating and inspiring. From the very beginning and throughout the university language course, learners get used to adapting new strategies, innovative methods, creative tools and novel principles of learning that they had never been aware of before. Students get motivated and inspired by these techniques, and become more self-confident and professionally oriented; they share responsibility for the educational process, collaborate in and enjoy the so-called life-long learning process, and finally overcome the barriers imposed by traditions, out-of-date methods, techniques and country-specific traits. The other purpose of this article is to reveal the new challenges that the ESP professor faces at the moment. It is the ESP professor who first and foremost has to be fully aware of the primary role of autonomy in achieving positive results and bringing up a completely new personality with new learning skills - mature and capable of being self-sufficient and independent, responsible for his/her own results; a creative, innovative and full-fledged member of 21st century society.