Learning a foreign language has always been closely linked to modern technology. At first, sound recording was actively used, then video, then computer audio processing programs appeared, so now we can confidently speak about the existence of a virtual language environment.
During 2020, the study of foreign languages with the involvement of computer technology intensified due to the mass transition of educational institutions to the remote training. The transition was hard and too rapid, but in ZSMU this process went smoothly and gave positive results.
The Department of Foreign Languages is no exception. Thanks to the stable financial support from the University Administration and competent technical support of specialists of the Department of Medical and Pharmaceutical Informatics and the Latest Technologies, the department very quickly and skillfully mastered the resources of the MS Office 365.
At the beginning of the new academic year, the staff of the department has already created almost 100 Teams-classes for students of 2-4 courses, groups of promising youth and postgraduate students. The online discipline "Foreign Language for Specific Purposes" is actively taught to medical and pharmaceutical students. Fourth-year students majoring in "Laboratory Diagnostics" began online preparation for the Unified Entrance Examination for Master's degree. Senior and postgraduate students master "English Language for Specific Purposes (Medicine)".
In order to ensure the stability and clarity of system of teaching and control of learned material, the Department uses MS Teams, Microsoft Office 365, Skype for Business, RATOS, Quizlet, Kahoot, EdX ZSMU platform and others more common in social communication messengers and mobile applications.
Work continues on the organization of online classes in groups for teachers and staff of the university. Studying "General English", preparing for exams to obtain international certificates in foreign language (B2 level) and a certificate of the right to teach English to foreign students — MS Teams is now used to do all of these.
Perfect mastery of smart technologies allows achieving the "gold standard" of foreign language teaching, i.e. Speaking + Writing + Listening + Reading Each practical lesson is held in the Teams, all educational and organizational materials are placed in the "Files" tab of the corresponding class. All a student needs is to connect to an online meeting and become an active participant who sees, hears, and communicates with their teacher in real time. At the end of the lesson students receive automated Teams-tasks (tests), which allow them to improve and deepen the knowledge gained in the practical lesson asynchronously.
The accumulated experience of online work helped all teachers of the Department of Foreign Languages to smoothly join the educational process and encourage students to fruitful cooperation.
Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign Languages, ZSMU
23 September 2020