Rus Articles Journal

Run behind the engine

the English special school - it sounds is proud. Or, at least, sounded it is proud many years ago, before reorganization when the English special schools in the big city were each and all, and their graduates went to the best universities of the country. Twenty years of changes mixed everything. What is represented now by the English special schools?

have not enough

of the German, French, Spanish special schools. Embassies of the respective countries can quite hold them under review, from time to time be interested in quality of training, carry out for teachers of training or advanced training courses, and even to arrange standard language examination for graduates. There is too much English special schools in Russia in order that someone (except, of course, appropriate official bodies) could follow them. Teaching level in them the most different. And that the most interesting, is not present resolutely any formal criteria on the basis of which it would be possible to tell that at one school learn well, and in another - not really.

to you language or contingent?

of the Special school - not the only establishments where school students can be taught language. They are competed by the gymnasiums, lyceums, private and just comprehensive schools entering training in English from the second and even from the first class. Teaching language stopped being unique to no - Hau of special schools, his knowledge - something special, allocating from a general series; it is considered now more likely as necessary skill, something self-evident. To learn language, it is not obligatory to go to a special school - a language course can quite be enough. It is not excluded that will turn out quicker, and in certain cases cheaper. Therefore parents even more often are interested that the school can give besides language and “contingent“. Perhaps, the gymnasium with its broad coverage, mathematical or economic school and really is more preferable?

the Minimum - knowledge of language within the school program - all special schools give (whether all pupils take this knowledge - other question). Special schools with what they offer over this minimum differ. One - studying of several objects in English, others - additional courses (from traditional “regional geography“ or “technical translation“ to fashionable “business - an English“), the third - preparation for the international examinations, etc. By the way, you should not pay special attention that the school “will organize trips to the country of the learned language“: parents pay all the same. And what family in the presence of money will not be able to organize a trip independently? It is necessary to look narrowly absolutely at other things.

Most important - that school students will have in the asset at the exit from school. Good language? Let`s allow. And than you will prove? The uniform quality standards of education are not developed for the Russian school including on a foreign language. The assessment in the certificate is extremely subjective, and objectively it is impossible to check anything. USE on English did not come out an experiment stage yet, and it is unknown when leaves. It is really acting unless system of the international examinations, and many schools reorient teaching on them. The most known and quoted examinations are the Cambridge. In system of the Cambridge examinations there are also nurseries three-level (Starters, Movers, Flyers), it is possible to hand over them since seven years. The last level, Flyers, corresponds SIBERIAN SALMONS, to the first of “adult“ tests, and smoothly removes in system of examinations for adults. It is plus very much: the teacher knows what he has to teach in a definite time, the pupil to - that it has to acquire, the parent (who often does not know language and cannot independently estimate quality of teaching) receives an independent assessment of knowledge of the child.

At last, Unified State Exam materials on English are prepared taking into account the international standards; the first Cambridge certificate of FCE can be compared conditionally with “five“ on USE. It is quite natural that those who already have skill of work with test tasks, are the winner in comparison with got used to report in the form of delivery of the “topics“ learned by heart about Robert Burns or geography of Australia.

Rarities - in a class!

parents of second-graders of many Moscow special schools endured

this academic year difficult September. Their children started learning of foreign language, and schools gave to families a task: to acquire Vereshchagina, Pritykina and Dubrovin`s textbooks of 1990 of the edition, and by all means in a blue cover with the engine. The problem was almost unsoluble: authors released several updated versions of the textbooks, the book in a blue cover already long ago many years do not come to shops, and speculators in the book markets, understanding hopelessness of position of parents, raised the prices to 2-3 thousand rubles for a copy. At the same time it is necessary to tell that Vereshchagina`s textbooks and To are exposed to fair criticism for outdated, lifeless language, discrepancy of children`s psychology, poor cartridges, etc. long ago. Meanwhile the market is oversaturated by textbooks, including authentic, with good audiomaterials. Why it was impossible to take something is newer?

answer with

of the Teacher this question so: from all textbooks for the English special schools having a ministerial signature stamp it “is recommended“ or “allowed“, only this gives a good introduction phonetic course. It is not in other editions. Or there are good textbooks, but the ruler is not finished - there are no textbooks, say, for the second and fifth classes (the ruler, or the line, is, in a case with English for special schools, a complete set of materials with second on the eleventh class).

Textbooks really happen “recommended“ and “allowed“ by the ministry. All of them are domestic: for what reason to the ministry to support some specific western producer? Besides it is about considerable money: school students in the country millions. To choose the textbook or uchebno - a methodical set from the ministerial list the teacher can, but the choice is small. The federal list of the textbooks recommended (allowed) by the Ministry of Education and Science for use in educational process in 2005/06 academic year contains on two - three complete subject lines for elementary, high and high school. If check comes to school, on tables children have to have textbooks from this list. Teachers, naturally, prefer to choose what they are able to work with, what well familiarly and long ago is tested in practice. Also stop the choice on fifteen-year prescription the blue textbook with the engine. No, it is possible to teach, of course, absolutely differently: all right, an introduction phonetic course - there are modern techniques of training of younger school students in reading without any transcription … But at first the teacher has to learn!

also the British textbooks which got approval of Federal advisory council Are. Teachers use them too, supplementing the Russian: everything is strange - in the 21st century to teach at the level of the middle of XX. At some schools part of lessons work, say, according to Vereshchagina-Pritykina, part - on English Together., It seems, everything is good, but children complain of bifurcation of consciousness: it seems, these are in general two different disciplines. Business is aggravated with frequent change of teachers (everyone comes with the ideas and suggests parents to buy the new textbook), inability to work with foreign grants, the choice of the grants which are not corresponding to age (the teenage textbook in the fifth class even if it is very good, it is impossible to use). In other class one textbook lies for form`s sake, the second - because on it works all school, and the teacher orders to buy the third as it is pleasant to it more … In this situation consecutive work with the line of textbooks even if outdated, indeed it seems the smallest evil from all possible.

the Gloky kuzdra

the Traditional technique by which long since taught special school students - lexicon - grammatical, training in reading and the translation. Usually oppose it the “western“ communicative method: children learn to communicate first of all in language. Now even more often it is possible to hear statements as if the Russian schools endured hobby for a communicative method, “had“ it - and returned to traditional.

It both so, and not so. In an amicable way, ability to read and ability to speak are not contrasts at all, their opposition is artificial. Language proficiency is an ability to read, write, understand oral speech and to speak. These skills in a complex also have to develop training courses. However at the Russian schools audition is very often excluded for technical reasons (cartridges to the textbook are not released yet, bad quality, there is no equipment for listening), the spontaneous speech in a class can sound only from the teacher`s lips... Younger school students cram a transcription, write phonetic dictations, read, learn by heart, answer questions. Seniors read, translate, retell, learn by heart, “hollow“ grammar. But do not speak. Even if in the textbook there are tasks assuming discussion, the teacher - traditionalists feel on this unsteady soil unsteadily and pass them - out of harm`s way. It is better to repeat grammar. Too standardly choose from foreign grants of school grammatical (most often - Round Up and English Grammar in Use). A result is as follows: graduates of special schools easily can learn by heart by heart the page of prose, but state own thoughts in a foreign language in the same volume for them a sheer torture. At best can “prepare the oral statement on a subject“. And special grammatical knowledge of many cases are not observed too.


In a special school in the concentrated look shows feature of teaching at the Russian school in general: to teach the child to each subject as academic scientist. To English - as linguist. And to the linguist to analyse structure of language, to understand its device, to learn to translate - at all it is not necessary to be able to speak language and to understand it aurally. Foreign in special schools continue to study as dead language - Latin or Ancient Greek.

Not that it was absolutely bad

. It is necessary to understand the device of language. And children with linguistic endowments, with analytical mentality dig in it not without pleasure as born mechanics in the motor. And the others roll up to parents of a hysterics: I hate your English why it in general is necessary to me, I do not want to study it! In this sense foreign uchebno - methodical sets (UMK), it is necessary to pay them tribute, it is much better than ours “old kind“. They are carefully rolled in classes. In them the subjects really interesting to children rise. In them the equal attention is paid to all aspects of studying of language (reading, audition, oral speech, the letter). In them ways of submission of information are well balanced and information is much better picked up, than in many domestic textbooks. You should not underestimate this factor: in ten years of studying of language school students can find the mass of useful material in such textbooks. And not only regional geographic and culturological as which authors of the Russian grants from time immemorial understand a set of banal data on Westminster, Big Ben and the Union Jack, but also subject: from the field of biology, history, physics, etc.

Here I vividly remember the familiar teacher who hot praised highly the grammatical collection of Golitsynsky, and her pupils who were exhausted over this grant. It is a lot of - many pages of fascinating exercises: “When phone rang out, it already left. If he foreknew, he would not be late for a meeting. If the shop is closed, you will not be able to buy it a gift. He warned that they did not wait for it“. It is not a living language, but the designer, abstraction, structural linguistics, a gloky kuzdra of the academician Shcherby. And to talk?

Is not present

, of course, foreign textbooks are unreliable ideal (I know, for example, one where all texts - only about exotic adventures: the plane fell to the jungle, survivors struggle with boas). And the purposes at them different. Anyway, the divergence in approaches, in preparation, in views of the purposes and problems of teaching language is so big that the Russian teachers cannot often work according to foreign textbooks: they do not give grammar! And where, it is asked, good long texts? Everything is very superficial! Well they are to enter the passed words! A similar claim is made also by parents: lightly supposedly somehow all this: children do not read, do not translate what they do there? And why we pay for these expensive glossy books when there is old kind Ekkersli, Headway, Bonk, Vereshchagina, even Starkov-Dixon with their unforgettable “Femila stacks“...

It is possible, the best option - adaptation of foreign textbooks to the Russian school taking into account specific difficulties which arise at native speakers of Russian when studying English. Or creation of the Russian textbooks on modern language material, taking into account age psychology, laws of perception of information etc., etc. In both directions work is conducted: teachers also adapt the existing textbooks, both write new, and finish already existing UMK lines. Perhaps, in the near future schools will have more choice.

Old yes small to

It is already quite obvious to

: can teach language not where there are mountains of modern textbooks, and not where parental efforts created a magnificent language laboratory, and not there where very much - it is very difficult to get - do not ask why. Well learn where there are good teachers. And the few schools can brag of it. Teachers who were able to teach or at least thought that they are able as spugnuty birds, rose from familiar spots, left school and scattered who where. A personnel problem, probably, the biggest for many English special schools where remained, as in the village after war, only old yes small - pensioners and probationers.

it is easy for p to Frighten off the good teacher, and difficultly to hold. They keep where for them create conditions: where it is interesting to work where professional growth is possible. Therefore it is good if at school there is a language department or methodical association of teachers of a foreign language if they have an opportunity not only to work very hard, giving forty lessons a week, but also to conduct researches, to write theses or grants, mug messages, to pass trainings and advanced training courses - the word, to lead rich professional life, increasing at the same time the value as expert.

the most important is obvious to

A: good teachers have to know language. And his nobility not at the level of the graduate of lips - kukuysky teacher`s college of 1952, and at the level of, for example, owner of the Cambridge certificate of Proficiency. In many countries of the world incline to thought that language competence of the teacher has to be documented. It is easy to guess that estimates in the high school diploma in this sense of a maloinformativna - unlike independent international certification which checks compliance of knowledge to quite accurate standards. Certification and professional development of teachers of English - business for Russia not it new. Opportunities - weight: it is possible to be trained, it is regularly possible to attend seminars, courses and conferences, it is possible to take the international examinations, to participate in joint projects, to help a running in of new textbooks. There is even a small layer of teachers who understood it long ago, were learned, received the document, but also now do not miss an opportunity to learn something new. However the layer is so far very thin.

Not the ballet everything is

Parents send the child to a special school, believing that with language - at it problems will not be, language - in a pocket. The child does homework, textbooks expensive are bought … and only by the time of leaving school the family suddenly realizes that time is missed. In ten last years it was possible to learn language in perfection, and the pupil was not beyond “I know, but I cannot tell“. Of course, not everything is lost: language not the ballet, the adult can quite master for few years it from scratch to decent level. But it is more difficult to retrain, than to learn, and nobody will return the spent time, and, most likely, it is necessary to fork up on the tutor.

Therefore it is necessary to approach the choice of the English special school with special care. To learn who teaches language what qualification of teachers, with what documents is supported. That school students will know and be able at the exit that confirms their knowledge. That the school gives except an obligatory minimum: can be, in it there is the English theater, literary or linguistic club? Perhaps, school students work on online projects? Write scientific works? Speak at conferences? Correspond with foreign schools? Are engaged in theory and practice of translation? Learn English for business communication? Whether there is the second language and from what class? (The best - somewhere from the seventh, not too early and not too late). And if anything there is no it, and there is “a learning of retellings by heart“ (yes, and it happens too), then it is better not to stake on English and to choose school in other parameters.

English stopped being a key factor in the choice of school. It can be “gathered additionally“ and independently - the market abounds with offers. It strongly complicates life of special schools and imposes on them heavy responsibility: they have no monopoly any more, it is necessary to take quality. The best already understood it. Let`s hope that sometime will understand also the others.

Alexander Wilson, CEO of Stolichny lyceum: “When training use foreign is the most important during a lesson and the minimum appeal to the native language. Our school is guided by the language standards accepted by the Council of Europe. They allow to set accurately the purposes of training at each stage, give the predicted prospect of achievements of the certain pupil“.

Raisa Anisimova, the principal No. 1279 with profound studying of English:“ In educational process the major role is played by the identity of the teacher. And the result in many respects depends on its approach. Traditionally the school places emphasis on grammar (when the child knows it, informal conversation accustoms better and quicker)“.

Before Peter I`s reforms by the centers of learning of foreign language in Russia generally, manuscripts were rewritten. During a post-reform era there was a need for the most different experts knowing languages and them began to train in gymnasiums. The school opened by Nikolay Shvimer in Moscow in 1701 taught rhetoric, Latin, the German, French, Greek, Syrian, Hebrew languages. In St. Petersburg the first gymnasium opened in 1704. Later the gymnasium at Academy of Sciences was created - the Russia`s first secular high comprehensive public school preparing youth for entering a university. Here learned languages, history, literature, geography, mathematics, natural sciences. By the way, in the project of 1755 about establishment of university it appeared:“ Vsyak the person interested at university to take a professorial course has to learn beforehand languages and the first bases of sciences“.

Scientists state

: more and more parents give children to learn a foreign language at preschool age. But expediency of such step - a controversial issue. On the one hand, researches and experiments made in our country since 1985 proved positive influence of early bilingualism on a self-assessment, motivation, richness of the speech of the child. And modern life (school exchanges, tourism, the Internet) demands from school students of knowledge of “foreign“ languages. On the other hand, not without reason nearly two centuries began to learn a foreign language in boyhood. Many modern psychologists agree in opinion that it is impossible to begin to learn foreign language, is not mastered native yet. If too early to undertake foreign, Russian suffers: literacy decreases, the speech becomes poorer in comparison with the speech of peers. However there are no firm proofs in favor of any, other point of view. Parents still should rely on the experience, intuition.