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Psycholinguistics and English Language Teaching

My teaching activities at the Institute of English Studies are addressed to prospective teachers of English as a foreign language and include a) a lecture on the psycholinguistic foundations of foreign language didactics, b) three courses dealing with the key issues of TEFL presented in the context of available professional knowledge and research findings, and c) an M.A. seminar in TEFL which enables students to earn an M.A. degree. The lecture on the psycholinguistic foundations of foreign language didactics presents topics in first language acquisition, bilingualism, second language acquisition research and developing the four language skills in English. Its purpose is to familiarize students with key issues in language learning and teaching in order to understand the real cognitive processes of classroom language learning.

The three courses which I conduct at present concentrate on more specific problems relevant to language learning and teaching, such as the psychology of communication, its structure, its nature and numerous varieties in mono- and intercultural contexts. The course on the current trends in TEFL covers such topics as learner autonomy, motivational strategies, strategies of language learning and teaching, authentic materials, content-based language teaching, vocabulary in TEFL and form-focused instruction.

Designing tasks in teaching the four language skills in English is based on the handbook which I have authored and it gives students an opportunity to develop their professional expertise and creativity in design tasks for various groups of learners. During these courses students read and discuss various texts as well as prepare presentations and semester papers, and, first and foremost, design activities of their own. My guiding principle is to seek justification for teaching choices in professional knowledge, constantly ask questions such as “why” and deal with teaching strategies rationally rather than intuitively.