Iryna Ponomarets,

teacher of English,

Collegium 1, Pology

FORMATION OF SOIO-CULTURE COMPETENCE

AT THE ENGLISH LESSONS

Nowadays when English has a predominant role in communicative sphere of the world it has become one of the main subjects in schools and higher educational establishments because of its international importance. Naturally, there are still many challenges facing the language learning and different ways are proposed to solve them at secondary and high levels. The educational system has improved methods of studying and changed its main objectives. As it is generally known, the leading aim of teaching English is forming communicative skills and socio-culture competence based on country-studies and socio-culture patterns. In Ukraine such researches as V.M. Topalova, L.P.Holovanchuk, N.K.Sklyarenko, O.B.Tarnopolsky, L.V.Kalinina and many others work at forming socio-culture competence at English lessons.

Socio-culture competence is a complex phenomenon [ 1; 81 ] that includes such components as linguistic, sociolinguistics and cultural. The last one is one of the most important as we live an era of modern technologies and students has lots of possibilities to use English for communication. They should have not only good knowledge of lexical and grammar material but also be acquainted with national peculiarities of native speakers. Needless to say, it is necessary for students to know about history, literature, customs, traditions, cultural dos and donts and what not. Of course, its enough to get general information that could help them in different situations. It will be easier to understand foreigners, recognize their values and develop love to the English learning.

Unfortunately, current school curriculum does not provide students with a great amount of culture studies information while most of different state language contests, international testing and others are requiring knowledge of it, sometimes even the tiniest details. Most attention is focused on British culture and thats right because English origins from the British Isles but we should remember that its the national language such leading countries as the USA and Canada. For a pity, sometimes students cant distinguish British traditions from Americans though they have to know that these are different countries that are divided by the ocean and their inhabitants have quite different mentalities because of many factors.

One of the main questions for English learners is spreading American English into all spheres of communications and sometimes they have problems with understanding. It is a remarkable phenomenon in cultural history - the spread of American English with its own distinctively rich idioms and vocabulary[2]. In a certain extent, the difference isnt huge but it is. Luckily, most of the book authors give both variants of the same word in such a way putting an accent on vocabulary. About ten years ago it was rarely mentioned or even wasnt at all. This is a positive tendency that should be continued and developed.

Presently teachers have a lot of possibilities to form socio-culture competence and broaden students mind. Thanks to Internet and modern technologies they use audio-visual methods of teaching that are the best way to inspire English learning, either. Students do different project works looking for interesting information, photos or videos. During the lesson children can have a mind trip to any English-speaking country. A further advantage is international epals. That is a great chance not only to improve English but also to exchange knowledge about other unknown cultures and to leap over barriers.

In a way, as we live in a period of fast changes, amazing discoveries and new ideas much attention should be concentrated at the educational system. English language curriculum should be redesigned because it is one of the demands of this and future generations. Students should be acquainted with culture of other countries and that will help them to understand other nationalities. What is more, forming socio-culture competence at the English lessons will interest them in learning the language.

References

1.     Formation of Socio-Cultural Competence in Foreign Language Teaching. [ ].- :

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042814037732

 

2.     The Rise of American English: Culture, Creativity, Language and Power [ ].- :

http://www.li.com/news/the-rise-of-american-english-culture-creativity-language-and-power