Release:2018, Vol. 4. №2
About the authors:Svetlana E. Rakhmankulova, Dr. Sci. (Philol.), Professor, Department of the English Language, Faculty of Translation, Nizhni Novgorod State Linguistics University; firstname.lastname@example.org
This article proposes a functional and cognitive approach to teaching foreign language syntax.
The purpose of the study is to offer a functional-cognitive approach to learning the syntax of a foreign language, in particular to developing English learners’ skills of making a syntactically simple utterance. The objectives of the study are to determine the basic unit of teaching syntax – syntactic model of the sentence, to establish general principles and specific ways of shaping the skill of using models of foreign language sentences in speech from the standpoint of functional-cognitive approach. The study is based on a number of empirical methods used in the practice of teaching a foreign language, on the analysis of teaching experience and on linguistic methods of functional analysis, cognitive modeling, comparative and contrastive analysis of language and speech material.
The study shows that in contrast to the traditional methods of teaching grammar, the purpose of teaching foreign language syntax within the functional-cognitive approach is to help students assimilate the cognitive propositional models of structuring fragments of reality which are peculiar to the language speakers and are fixed by simple sentence patterns of this language. The main difficulties in teaching foreign syntax are caused by the differences in the use of these models in speech in native and foreign languages for reflecting the same fragment of reality. When teaching the syntax of a foreign language, it is proposed to use the principles of referring to the prototype, applying the meta-language consisting of the words of the learner’s native language, taking into account the typological differences of languages when choosing a syntactic model for expressing a certain type of situation.
As a result, within the framework of the proposed approach, the author substantiates a model of syntax teaching, focused on modeling the process of conceptualization of the world by a native speaker of a foreign language and aimed at the formation of appropriate syntactic concepts in the minds of students.