Twelve year education in high schools: problems and prospects

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №3 - 2011

Author: Sticheva Olga, South-Kazakh State Pedagogical Institute, Kazakhstan

When speaking about the necessity of special preliminary study of school children going to continue education in higher school it should be noted that the transition to twelve year school in Kazakhstan is becoming very actual as it provides the future students with the organization of different forms of professional (primary) and special (advanced) grounding.

The period is not aiming to eliminate shortcomings: it aims at creating conditions for qualitative mastering the disciplines of higher school. The Project of the State Normative Document on twelve-year school (Astana, 2005) is oriented on modernization, improvement, renovation of education, capable of meeting the new demands, norms, and regulations.

In this period the role of qualitative language grounding is extremely high. It may be done thorough deep and versatile investigation of the lingua didactic experience, analysis, and selection of the most rational and effective ways that are called for solving teaching tasks. To achieve this goal successfully one should first of all define the structure and the content of teaching, these are presented in the syllabus meeting the State Normative Document requirements. The aim of the syllabus for school graduates is to show the ways for systematization and developing linguistic theory knowledge got in the basic school and techniques of forming skills and habits in using them in different communicative situations. The tasks of teaching at that period are aimed at developing logical and associative thinking of the learners, forming firm linguistic knowledge, improving all speech activity types, striving for self-perfection.

We have compiled a syllabus in which we present the author’s vision of the twelve form period instruction tasks. The syllabus is based on both general and particular didactic principles that take into consideration school graduates’ experience in mastering languages.

They are:

- the principle of considering real and potential possibilities of the learners;

- the principle of organizing repetition including the elements of new into the content of each lesson;

- the principle of the linguistic material correction based on communicative tasks determination;

- principle of interference in bi- and poly-lingual teaching;

- the principle of creative approach to using the interactive innovative techniques in the aspect of the status of the target language (native, non-native, foreign);

- the principle of using the professionalization material;

- the principle of organizing universal regime for the work on forming skills and habits in general subjects.

Compiling the syllabus for the applicants seeking admission to higher school we proceeded from the assumption that an ideal model of a school leaver is supposed to be an intellectual, aware of the language and culture of his own nation and taking interest in the languages and cultures of other nations. New conditions of teaching were also taken into consideration. They help to raise the school leavers’ activity, their wish to realize their own possibilities in realizing the perspectives of teaching. Special attention was paid to the principles of continuity of secondary and higher school and teaching perspectives; as in different schools one may observe both the firmness of the previous work and ”pedagogical cracks”; recommendations should be found on how to escape them.

The content correction was organized on the basis of entropy approach, that is by linear-boundaries setting data on linguistic and their adequate usage in composing texts of different styles and genres. Repetition and generalization character of learning the subject and its communicative nature supposes to introduce new data for preliminary study.

Theoretical foundations for lingua didactics are usually based on a systematic structural approach. It singles out three groups of notions. The first group lists notions of general didactics (methods of scientific research, ways and techniques of teaching, knowledge, skills and habits, lessons, didactics, stages of the lesson and others) and psychological characteristics (thinking, memory, perception, interpretation, memorizing, reproducing, usage).

The second group of notions reflects the peculiarities of the subject taught and may be characterized as the discipline general methodical basis, which is fully correlated with the term lingua didactics.

Having analyzed the possibilities of the discipline and considered the structure elements of the subject we singled out the following points as the main content components: aims of teaching language, means of teaching, and organization of learners’ activity at different stages of mastering the discipline. The enlisted elements compose the structure of lingua didactic knowledge.

The third group of notions is related to the content of concrete themes. For example, the content structure of teaching material related to the theme ”Phonetics” would contain the following elements of knowledge: aims of teaching, content of teaching, particular principles of phonetic acquisition, peculiarities of didactic material selection for mastering phonetic laws, the role and function of audio-lingual means, peculiarities of students’ speech activity.

Teaching school graduates requires a special system of work. It should be directed on simultaneous theoretical and practical mastering of language phenomena by means of correct selection of training, linguistic and communicative exercises, parallel developing of all the types of speech activity – listening, speaking, reading and writing. Nowadays in the content of linguistic disciplines cycles normative language aspect prevails, less attention is given to the communicative aspect of the subject. Necessity arises to a more thorough selection of the material for mastering the themes “Speech Culture (Etiquette)”, and “Stylistics”.

Mastering a language supposes the existence of the communicative approach as a basis, so it is necessary to organize the correct dosing of the material and systematize the data on functional stylistics. For this one should organize correct selection of linguistic theory, rational introduction of speech notions and tasks for training exercises targeting the necessary grammar minimum mastering, and working out stable communicative habits. We think that the problem may be solved by introducing elective courses into school teaching and by means of well-organized subject interaction between the disciplines of humanitarian cycle that are remarkably related with communicative function

The syllabus pays much attention to forming universal skills. While studying humanities the pupil is supposed to a) learn to compose simple and complex plans of the texts and use these plans correctly, b) get information on theses, c) learn peculiarities of free, text bounded and planned synopsis, d) get ideas on the spheres of application of review and annotations, e) get acquainted with the informative and indicative reports functioning, f) master the skills of compiling references and reviews. These skills will be improving at other lessons but the universal procedure of their forming and structuralizing is done at linguistic lessons.

It should be noted that the group of habits pointed out is not only of universal and interiorized character but it also directly promotes to the prospect principle: having mastered them while school leaving period the student will feel comfortable and will be able to organized independent cognitive activity. For this purpose the senior pupils are associated with research work. Research is actively included into school practice, and becomes an important mark for social status of secondary educational institutions. In lyceums and gymnasiums teachers’ linguistic associations are being transformed into chairs. This is done not only for improving teachers’ research activities, but for forming pupils’ research skills.

Researching activity is a remarkable form for schoolchildren development. It is organized to raise their theoretical knowledge and to work out an independent and creative approach to learning.

Changes in the sphere of education are closely connected with teaching languages at school. Increasing the importance of the school subjects demands a new approach to mastering languages and different variants of their teaching in particular. Nowadays theory and practice development of language teaching is characterized by different researches, aiming at the more effective ways of teaching that lead to forming a solid scientific foundation. It will provide for the correct an effective procedure of pupils’ knowledge repetition and generalization.

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №3 - 2011

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