2014 | 10(44) | 184-193
Article title


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The main trends of the language education development in US Universities
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The article analyzes the main trends in the development of language education in the USA from the mid 20th to the beginning of the 21st century. It examines the influence of globalization and internationalization on the US education development, including language learning at schools, colleges and universities. These trends have contributed to reforming of bilingual and foreign language learning at the beginning of the 21st century. Nowadays learning at least one foreign language is compulsory for every US student to obtain a bachelor’s degree, regardless of his main specialization. The number of languages taught at universities has risen. There is also a significant increase in the number of university programs in foreign languages. An important trend in language education at US universities is students’ academic mobility. Students can receive a bachelor’s degree at one university and a master’s at a more prestigious one. Recently, «study abroad» university programs have been gaining popularity with students of different specialties that’s why foreign language learning is an essential element of modern higher education. In the article the author also focuses on the trend of multiculturalism in higher education, which is realized by means of implementing multicultural component to the curricula of the humanities and many other ethical and pedagogical subjects, and by means of teaching and learning foreign languages on the basis of linguo-socio-cultural method. Language education at US universities is also characterized by constant use of specialized educational technologies and means, such as special software for developing courses, and the use of computers, multimedia technology and network facilities to educate students and test their knowledge. Recent technologizing and informatization of educational process has also had a significant positive impact on the development of distant foreign language learning. The article also analyses such trends as specialty diversification and variability of language department university programs. It points out such features of modern educational process as flexibility and modularity and overviews current methods of intensive language learning. The author also considers the role of a teacher and a student in US modern higher education system and outlines promising areas for further research in the field of language learning in US universities.
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