Academic journal article Review of European Studies

The Role of School Management in Enhancement of Foreign Language Education

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

The Role of School Management in Enhancement of Foreign Language Education

Article excerpt

Abstract

Improvement of foreign language teaching in schools is a major political and social challenge in today's globalized world. Transition to competence-based paradigm requires proficiency in new methodology, curriculum design and assessment techniques. The present article examines the specifics of the implementation of new Federal State Educational Standards (FSES) in the context of foreign language teaching in Russia. The purpose of the article is to describe the authors' conception on achieving the Standards requirements in foreign language schooling. In the beginning, this paper highlights the reasons for prioritizing foreign language proficiency at school level and evaluates the situation with foreign language teaching in the Russian Federation. Further, the paper looks at the traditional roles of teachers in a teacher-centred classroom that is detrimental to the development of learners' personality. The paper then goes on to present key innovative multi-facet roles of the foreign language teacher. The conceptual approach focuses on the prerequisites for the development of a new socio-educational environment and gives educators practical advice concerning the ways of successful transmuting the FSES requirements into foreign language teaching.

Keywords: competence-based approach, foreign language education, teacher roles, education management in FLT

1. Introduction

1.1 Significance of the Problem

Development of information technology have triggered significant changes in global economy and social life. Education system must respond to these changes to be confident that younger generation is well prepared to work and live in the new conditions. Current reforming in the education system of Russia is predominantly determined by worldwide tendencies in pedagogic sciences, the foundation of which makes up the transition from knowledge-focused teaching practices to a more practical methodology targeted on the development of competences as an ultimate goal of any training, including foreign language teaching.

Today management of educational institutions as well as foreign language teachers in Russia must design their curriculum in agreement with the academic achievements featured in new Federal State Educational Standards (FSES). It is the competence-based approach that underlies the core of the FSES, which determine the foreign language syllabus as a set of competencies. However, the implementation of FSES faces numerous difficulties, one of which is due to the fact that all-level educators are not fully aware of new conceptions featured by the Standards. Consequently, various stakeholders have disparate views both on theory and on practice of competence-based approach in foreign language teaching. The basic assumption is that successful implementation of the new approach and the Standards depends on teachers and administrators expertise in translating the Standards requirements into school and classroom practices, assessment techniques and procedures.

Before addressing the main issues of FSES implementing, the next sections dwell on fundamental principles regulating current education reforms and language policies all over the globe.

Political, social and cultural context of foreign language education in the modern world

Traditions of economically leading countries proves that community proficiency in other languages is a national heritage gained throughout the long history. At the beginning of the XXI century most governments all over the world acknowledged that successful teaching of additional languages at school level is a key contributor to the state's success in the international arena.

Accordingly, in a 2006 report entitled, Education for Global Leadership: The Importance of International Studies and Foreign Languages for U.S. Economic and National Security, the Committee for Economic Development declared, "To confront the twenty-first century challenges to our economy and national security, our education system must be strengthened to increase the foreign language skills and cultural awareness of our students. …

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