УДК 372.881.1


Ушерович Полина Евгеньевна
Московский государственный университет имени М.В. Ломоносова

Обучение лексике является одним из особенно трудных аспектов преподавания иностранного языка, в частности, русского как иностранного. В данной статье предпринимается попытка систематизации методических приёмов преподавания лексики с опорой на коммуникативный подход, предлагаются эффективные способы обучения словарному составу языка. В исследовании подчёркивается, что выбор лексики и методов обучения обусловлен уровнем владения языка и целями студента.

Ключевые слова: коммуникативный подход, лексическая компетенция, методика преподавания иностранного языка, русский язык как иностранный


Usherovich Polina Evgenevna
Moscow State University

Teaching vocabulary has proven to be one of the main challenges of language teaching and learning process. This contribution attempts to consider the methodology of teaching Russian vocabulary. The study relies on modern communicative approach and suggests efficient ways of memorizing new words. The research has demonstrated that the choice of lexical units and didactic materials depends on the level of language acquisition and the learner’s objectives.

Keywords: communicative approach, lexical competence, Russian as a foreign language, teaching, vocabulary

Библиографическая ссылка на статью:
Ушерович П.Е. Teaching Russian vocabulary: how to organize and introduce it // Современная педагогика. 2016. № 12 [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://pedagogika.snauka.ru/2016/12/6540 (дата обращения: 03.10.2017).

Until a few years ago grammar was the main focus of language training. Vocabulary was considered to be far less important, however, it is now coming to the fore. As the communicative approach has been adapted by many teachers instead of the grammar translation method of language teaching, the main goal has also shifted to acquiring communicative competence.

To gain a better understanding of a communicative approach, its underlying ideas will be outlined briefly. It is essential that students are given every opportunity to practice communicating during their classroom activities. Even when teaching skills such as reading, writing and listening, this must be done communicatively with plenty of opportunities for speaking practice involved whilst also building required abilities. In the classroom, tasks and activities should, as far as possible, be carried out in the target language. Apart from fostering fluency and integration of different skills, activities are used to practice real-life situations involving social interaction and so a high level of social and functional language should be expected. Teachers should get their students to communicate using real language by providing them with instruction, practive, and, above all, opportunities to produce the target language in activities which encourage acqisition and accuracy.

When teaching vocabulary, students tend to focus on certain characteristics such as meaning, form, pronunciation, spelling, stress and register. They need to learn these aspects to use newly acqiured words in the speech as naturally as possible, But one shouldn’t overlook an important area of vocabulary that comprises collocations, fixed and semi-fixed expressions. Each language has many unwritten rules about which words can be used together. Even though one can try to use synonyms or any other word that carries all the similar meaning, no native speaker would feel right about an incorrect choice of wording. In the following article main attention will not be pointed towards word-learning strategies, but directed to different ways of introducing lexical material and practicing proper word usage.

To foster such aspects of language use as understanding, coherence, fluency and accuracy, the user should constantly enrich their vocabulary, no matter which level of language proficiency they possess. One can distinguish certain stages of lexical skills acquisition, among which are:

1. Perceiving a word in a context;

2. Gaining understanding of its meaning;

3. Using the word in a phrase imitatively;

4. Using the word in a limited context as a matter of designation;

5. Using the word in different word combinations;

6. Using the word without any restrictions. [1, с. 181]

Therefore, in the learning process the teacher observes a transition from the stages of learning and improving certain skills to the stage of developing a language ability and competence based on those skills. As far as vocabulary learning is concerned, it should be noted that drilling word lists works only to a certain extent. Learning vocabulary implies studying words with their nominative and (on more proficient levels) figurative meanings and perceiving connections and interactions with other words. New words should be introduced and applied in sentences and contextual situations, as there is no need to learn them completely separate from the meaningful context. [2, с. 81] Learners are mostly able to glean the contextual meaning of an unknown word after having learnt a foreign language for some time. They can either figure out the meaning contextually by assuming what an incomplete situation calls for, or by deducing the meaning of a word from its structure.

What if a learner is not able to draw any logical conclusions of this sort due to their lack of language knowledge? As the general functions of education are based on “direction, control and guidance” [3, с. 28], the teacher is there to assist a learner. The teacher should support a learner both by providing necessary learning materials and by personally supporting the learning process. Following the theory about the continuity of knowledge in education, every experience “both takes up something from those which have gone before and modifies in some way the quality of those which come after”. [3, с. 35] Therefore, all words that were previously learnt should recur in exercices and texts for discussion.

While CEFR [4] managed to provide a reference for exact functions, notions and grammar necessary to fulfil communicative tasks listed in the scales of descriptors, one is only able to measure an approximate number of lexical units required for each level. Furthermore, there is a demand for a framework that structures at least the minimum amount of words ascribed to a certain level. The Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation has compiled a similar reference for skills and abilities [5], necessary for each level of language proficiency. For instance, A1 corresponds to ТЭУ (elementary level), A2 – ТБУ (basic level), B1 to C2 are equal to ТРКИ-I to ТРКИ-IV.

In Soviet methodology and Russian teaching tradition the concept of a word list that a learner has to know in order to prove their ability to express themselves in defined communicative situations is referred to as “lexical minimum”. It may partly correspond to such terms as “minimum vocabulary” or “base vocabulary”. These word lists are compiled for educational purposes and include an amount of words that the learners must acquire in a fixed number of class hours. [6, с. 88]. Though it may seem reasonable for some people to introduce word lists at the beginning of a new thematic chapter, there’s no need to do this at elementary and basic levels. Vocabulary lists can be introduced as a means of support at the end of each theme (suitable and advisory for any level) to review and consolidate the knowledge.

One of the main issues of language teaching is finding a corresponding language level to lexical units and expressions. Vocabulary lists should be chosen in accordance with the level of language proficiency, both written and oral. Those lists should primarily include separate words, collocative phrases and fixed expressions that can be used in speech on a daily basis (especially on lower levels) or in professional communication. Studying Russian at a higher level, one may also want to introduce convenient fixed expressions and phrases as a constant part of a lexical minimum. Beginners need to be provided with pre-fabricated chunks of words and full sentences to facilitate output communicative skills.

  1. Пассов Е.И. Урок иностранного языка / Пассов Е.И., Кузовлева Н.Е. – Ростов н/Д: Феникс; М: Глосса-Пресс. – 640 с. – (Настольная книга преподавателя иностранного языка).
  2. Костомаров В.Г., Митрофанова О.Д. Методическое руководство для преподавателей русского языка иностранцам. 3-е изд., перераб. и доп. М: Русский язык, 1984. – 159 с.
  3. Dewey, J. (1916/1966). Democracy and education. An introduction to the philosophy of education. New York: The Free Press.
  4. Council of Europe. 2001. Common European framework of reference for languages: learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge, U.K.: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge.
  5. Приказ Минобрнауки России от 1 апреля 2014 г. № 255 «об утверждении уровней владения русским языком как иностранным языком и требований к ним».
  6. Леонтьев А. А., Королева Т. А. Некоторые проблемы обучения русскому языку как иностранному. М.: Изд-во Москов. ун-та, 1970. – 243 с.

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