Learning EFL in the 21st Century Russian Classroom

The presenter will describe the current socio-cultural context of the EFL education in  Russia caused by quickening globalization, computerization and the increasing importance  of language education for an effective intercultural communication. This new learning environment focused on worldwide communication in different spheres, easier access to knowledge, a greater role of a learner in the educational process brought about changes in the Russian ELT theory and classroom practice. The main approaches that are being implemented now while teaching EFL in Russia are characterized, on the one hand, by learner-centeredness, communicative and socio-cultural orientation, integration of content and language learning but, on the other hand, by standards and competency-based orientation that very often undermine the atmosphere of creativity and spontaneity and leads to the students’ fear of failure. There is no ideal solution to this contradiction but one thing seems to be clear: a modern teacher designing  a 21st century classroom should be able to address all  the components of the   current educational situation, namely: teaching goals, learners’ needs and differences, recent pedagogical technologies and forms of classroom work, resource availability, appropriate assessment tools and many more). Taking into account the complexity and largeness of the problem the presenter will mainly discuss the challenges and opportunities of   innovative  pedagogical technologies that are currently used by Russian school and University EFL teachers and  share her own experiences of using  various Web resources, including mobile ones, for developing communicative and professional skills of the pre-service EFL  teachers studying at the Teacher Training  Institute of the Pacific National University in the city of Khabarovsk, the  Russian Federation.