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Language education, its major problems and aims. Language education includes the teaching and learning of a language
Language education includes the teaching and learning of a language. It is more commonly used with regard to foreign/second/new language teaching (FLT, SLT, NLT). English language teaching (ELT) or teaching English as a foreign/second/new language (TEFL, TESL ,TENL) is a branch of methodological science which studies why we study/teach English or other foreign/new languages, in other words, what aims and objectives are stated; what we actually study/teach in the educational process or what the content of the course is. ELT course and methodological science can help a practical teacher to decide with the help of what to teach, what teaching aids and materials are the most effective and relevant to teacher’s aims and, last but not least, how to teach, what approaches, methods, principles and techniques will be the most successful in the language classroom for achieving necessary results.
The aim of teaching a foreign language is fourfold. Firstly, teaching foreign languages has its unique practical value. Learners are supposed to have an effective command of the language in familiar situations; to be effective communicators in social, cultural, educational spheres and in everyday situations. Secondly, the aim has an educational character as learners are supposed to get acquainted with a new culture and be involved into cross-cultural study. Thirdly, the aim is valuable from cultural point of view as learners are supposed to adopt an appropriate system of communication in a modern society, to show their positive attitude to the target language and traditions of the target culture, to be brought up as tolerant, hard- working, active, outgoing and helpful people.
Fourthly, the aim has a developmental dimension, as learners are supposed to be able to provide problem solving activities, to develop their speech abilities (imitation, logic, phono- and intonation hearing, language guessing, etc.) 4). The content of ELT should ensure the achievement of the main aim of teaching - to teach students to communicate in typical real-life situations in the range of material learned. Students’ ability to communicate is provided through the acquisition of communicative competence, possessing certain language skills. So, skills acquired by learners contain the first component of the content of FLT. In the course of communication the communicators reveal themselves as bearers of appropriate interrelations and social contacts which appear in this or that sphere of activity and are realized in specific speech situations. Acquisition of communicative competence in educational process is possible with the help of modeling typical real- life situations which cover different topics and different spheres of social intercourse. Thus, spheres of social intercourse, topics and situations contain the second component of the content of FLT. The third component is the language material proposed to train and practise such areas as grammar structures, vocabulary study, pronunciation issues, spelling.
Effective acquisition of content and achievement of aims of teaching by learners are possible as a result of appropriate organization of the teaching process according to some important principles, with the help of effective methods and approaches, using challenging techniques for language acquisition.
Methods of FLT is a body of scientifically tested theory concerning the teaching of foreign languages in schools and other educational institutions. It is a science which studies aims, objectives and content of the educational process, teaching aids and materials involved as well as methods and approaches, principles and techniques of training and instruction; educational value of teacher-student interaction on the basis of foreign language teaching.
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