PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE AS A BASIC COMPONENT OF A FOREIGN LANGUAGE INSTRUCOTR’S AUTHORITY

У статті пропонується розглянути особливості поняття професійної компетентності викладача іноземної мови та її роль у формуванні педагогічного авторитету. У роботі також представлені необхідні риси, якими на думку студентів факультету романо-германських мов повинен володіти авторитетний викладач, що було виведено на базі проведеного соціологічного дослідження

The article is devoted to the notion of professional competence of a foreign language instructor and its role in pedagogical authority formation. Important qualities that an authoritative foreign language instructor should have, in opinion of the students of the Department of Romance and Germanic languages, are introduced, the characteristics are based on the results of the scientific research.

Educational process organization is a complicated phenomenon that requires certain theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Many factors influence the successfulness of an educational process flow and teacher’s personality is definitely among the important ones. In order to organize a productive educational process one should have certain personal and professional qualities, among them leadership skills, creative approach in teaching, ability to make students interested in what they study and explain material clearly, find individual approach to students etc.

Pedagogic defines the optimal form of discipline and democracy development in teaching that is realized by a specifically educated authoritative person. It has been proved that the information that comes from a person that is highly respected is adopted and memorized by students much better [2]. If to speak about definition of the notion of authority, Ukrainian pedagogical dictionary defines it as generally recognized human’s importance, his influence on others, support of his ideas and actions by public opinion, respect and trust in his intelligence, will, morality [3]. The notion of pedagogical authority interested many scientists. Particularly, it was enlightened in works of A. Shyshko, M. Kondratiev. I. Andriadi, N. Levitov, I. Pyrohov, M. Suhomlynskyi and others.

Speaking about the structure of pedagogical authority, we can define two main components: personal and professional one. Personal component includes teacher’s appearance and behavior, tactfulness and other personal characteristics. Professional component includes pedagogical competence and professional tact [1]. By the notion of professional tact we understand the usage of creative approach by a teacher in the salvation of various problems that occur during educational process. As for the notion of pedagogical competence, A. Shyshko defines it as an integrated phenomenon of professional structure that reveals one’s professionalism, formation of professionally important qualities and characteristics that are based on theoretical knowledge, personal experience and determine readiness to perform pedagogically [4].

Pedagogical authority is a very important aspect of educational process as it guarantees not only a good discipline during classes, but its effectiveness in general. Relations between students and a teacher influence the result of pedagogical activity greatly. Successful salvation of complicated tasks during teaching process depend on the personality of a teacher a lot, his ethical opinions, professional skills, culture and erudition.

Although the importance of pedagogical authority is more or less realized by many teachers, the image of an authoritative pedagogue remains unclear. It often represents a hybridized phenomenon that combines features of dictatorship methods used widely in the USSR and new democratic values. For this reason it is important to define the qualities that a teacher should possess in terms of current social transformations. Moreover, it is important to reveal what kinds of a teacher, pedagogical relations students want to see and if the new generation is ready for the transformations in Ukrainian educational system, its democratization.

Taking into account current social changes, new specifications become extremely important for a teacher, especially for a foreign language instructor as a knowledge source of language and culture of other countries. These demands include not only professional competence, but also readiness to pedagogically perform according to the new demands of education, its democratization, transitions to new forms and methods of teaching, provision with students and staff mobility etc. For these reasons teacher’s personality and his authority become very important factors in successful flow of the current social processes.

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In order to find out what kind of a foreign language can win authority among students and hereby organize a successful educational process, we decided to conduct a survey among the students of the College of Romance and Germanic Languages of the National University of Ostroh Academy. Students were asked to fill in the questionnaire that included tasks concerning their image of a perfect foreign language instructor. Thirty students took part in the research; all of them representing different years of the program as we wanted to include opinions of all age categories. The aim of the survey was to find out what features should a teacher have in order to become authoritative, win respect among students and to make a general image of a perfect foreign language instructor according to the points of view of the students of the National University of Ostroh Academy.

In general, students proved to be very demanding to their university professors. Convincing majority of them (80%) is sure that in order to become a successful foreign language instructor, one should have natural flare for teaching. Mentioning professional qualities of a perfect foreign language instructor, students mostly focused their attention on a solid knowledge of the language that is taught and pedagogical skills to teach others. As for the personal characteristics among most frequently repeated were creativity, flexibility, sociability, tolerance and a good sense of humor.

Evaluating questions concerning professional competence of a perfect teacher, we received the following results. Among four professional characteristic of a foreign language instructor (communicative skills, theoretical knowledge of a language, its practical knowledge and ability to explain material clearly) for most respondents that took part in the questionnaire, successful pedagogical performance turned out to be the most important; the quality that followed it in most cases was communicative skills. The next aspect that students find important is the knowledge of language practice and most students mentioned theoretical knowledge of a language as the least important.

A set of questions was devoted to interdependence of a teacher’s personality and successfulness of a study process. Majority of students (87%) mentioned that teacher’s personality greatly influence their interest to the course taught by the instructor. Moreover, students believe that successfulness of the educational process for nearly 50% depends on a teacher’s individuality. Hence, we can see that the theory mentioned above that teacher’s personality influence the successfulness of the studying process was confirmed and students also acknowledge the considerable importance of a foreign language instructor’s personality in a successful educational process.

Describing perfect relations between students and a foreign language instructor, respondents mentioned their preference to friendly, democratic relations. Still, a vast number of students mentioned in the questionnaire their preference to feel the dominance of an instructor during the class and their strong appreciation of his leadership skills. The aspect that didn’t come by surprise but was still mentioned in most questionnaires is respect of a foreign language instructor to students’ personal space and choices.

As we can see, students were very active in describing qualities and characteristics of a perfect foreign language instructor. Making a general, integrated image of a perfect teacher, following aspects should be mentioned. On a personal level, students would like their teacher to be creative, flexible, communicative, easy-going, sociable and have a good sense of humor. Students really want him to be demanding and respectful to their private space. Speaking about his professional competence, respondents most of all appreciate pedagogical and communicative skills. We could also see that students express their preference to the democratic style of teaching as perfect relations between a foreign language instructor and students, participants in the survey see as equal but at the same time they would prefer their teacher to demonstrate his leadership skills. The respondents agree on the importance of a teacher’s personality in a successful educational process and majority of them believes that a perfect foreign language instructor possesses a solid professional competence and has a natural flare for teaching.

In conclusion, pedagogical authority is a very important component of a successful pedagogical process as without it current educational and social transformations would be hard to be conducted. Current changes require new specifications from a foreign language instructor that is why the personality of a teacher becomes an important factor in these flows. The true pedagogical authority is a complicated phenomenon that requires certain personal qualities and professional skills. It is a very important issue to be paid attention to as pedagogical authority ensures decent adoption of the material taught and effectiveness of educational process in general.

References

Зимняя И.А. Ключевые компетенции – новая парадигма результата образования / Зимняя И.А. // Высшее образование сегодня. – 2003. – № 5. – С. 15-19.

М.Ю. Кондратьев. Взаимосвязь авторитета личности и авторитета роли учителя, from http://www.voppsy.ru/rubr25/09040112.htm

Український педагогічний словник [уклад. С.У. Гончаренко]. — К.: Либідь, 1997. – 376 c.

Шишко А.В. Основи педагогічної компетентності майбутнього викладача іноземної мови. – Кіровоград: ТОВ “Імекс-ЛТД”, 2008. – 66 с.

Key words: professional competence, pedagogical authority, foreign language instructor

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