Intercultural cooperation increases due to the international integration and globalization in recent years. Students play an active role in this process as they have different practices abroad. Today in Ukraine one of the significant tasks is to create the theoretical and practical basis for training of students for intercultural communication and cooperation. The knowledge of foreign languages helps the students of different specialties to promote their mobility and international competences. Learning a foreign language in higher education establishments has a cultural sense, because a future specialist who knows a foreign language has to perform professional activities on the international level, adapt to the new means of communication, learn another culture, comprehend own ethno-cultural source, adapt in multicultural space and show tolerance to foreign language and culture.
Keywords: Intercultural cooperation, integration, globalization, training of students, higher education.
The need to consider the issue of on forming intercultural communication of students of higher educational establishments of Ukraine on a new theoretical and methodological level is caused by the increasing dynamics of modern society development and the world community as a whole. Various aspects of intercultural communication are always will be relevant. Scientists from many countries have always taken interest in then. The question of intercultural communication is complex and multifaceted. As the famous explorer of the “Theory of Cultural Dialogue” Mikhail Bakhtinsaid that culture only in the eyes of another culture reveals itself more fully and deeply…[1,21].
During the dialogue meeting between the two cultures, they do not merge and mingle but enrich each other. In the social philosophy these relations of different cultures were named cross-cultural communication, which means an exchange between two or more cultures and products of their activities which are carried out in different forms. This exchange can take place both in politics and in interpersonal communication of people, at home, in a family, during informal contacts. And this finding suggests that the intercultural communication has a great variety of aspects which covers various sides of this process, not only linguistic but also social and cultural foundations of intercultural communication. Intercultural Communication means not only direct dialogue of representatives of different cultures but also pragmatic understanding of this communication.
Foreign language in intercultural communication
The role of the discipline “Foreign language” in intercultural communication is unique because mastering of foreign language provides functional dialogic interaction of different cultural world outlooks and traditions. Besides, foreign language classes create academic microclimate in which linguistic knowledge and skills of a student are fundamentally combined with intercultural basis S.Ter-Minasova noted that each foreign language lesson is a crossroads of cultures and practice of intercultural communication because every word gives an idea of the world depending on the national consciousness [4,32].
Thus, the mastery of the English language, like any other language, can be confidently classified as a component of the overall culture of the individual by which the individual is attached to world culture. It also should be noted that intercultural communication affects the development of the Ukrainian society. Not less important is the possession of the local lore, because it is a necessary condition for the interpenetration and interaction of cultures of such a complex and multifaceted process as intercultural communication.
Indeed, in a casual conversation with a foreigner who arrived in Ukraine it is hardly ever appropriate to turn to description of the charms of the capitals of the US or the UK, instead of stories about local attractions. Not less important is the role of ethno-cultural components of communicants (traditions, customs, national ceremonies, elements of the national consumer culture, national picture of the world, national artistic culture) in the process of intercultural communication which expands proportionally to the intensification of intercultural contacts. It is worth mentioning that over 100 nationalities live in Ukraine. The prominent position in the intercultural communication occupies the culture of the representatives of different ethnic communities where ethnic tolerance is a determining factor. Just student surroundings are one of the most intense areas of inter-ethnic and national contacts. Therefore, the important task of modern higher educational establishment to form the communication culture and train inter-ethnic tolerance.
In ouropinion, a student of the higher educational establishment, regardless of speciality, requires a complex of knowledge and skills that enable to perceive and produce messages containing local lore information both formal and informal intercultural communicative contacts.
International cooperationas a part of the educational process
A 2005 study by KanibolotskaOlha said that the world community has formulated the main task for the educational system of each country. The task is to educate the citizen who has an unbiased view of the world, is aware of the cultural differences among the various peoples and tolerates them [3,14]. International cooperation as a part of the educational process is important for the personal development and prospects of employment, because it creates an opportunity for young people to communicate with the representatives of other cultures and respect the varietyof their traditions, motives to verbal communication. Every year the representatives of higher technical institutions of Ukraine, such asNational University of Civil Protection of Ukraine, Kharkiv;Lviv State University of Life Safety, Lviv; Academy of Fire Safety named after Heroes of Chernobyl, Cherkasy exchange their experience and knowledge with representatives of units of Poland, Belarus’, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Romania during joint international trainings in the sphere of life safety.
Practically every spring the Main School of Fire Service organizes international trainings in Pionki, where each group of representatives from different countries exchange their knowledge and experience that consist off our blocks: rescuing and evacuation work, chemical and ecologic rescuing, rescuers’ work management and also the work of the staff. It is also worth mentioning that representatives of the Main School of Fire Service of the PPRD EAST (Prevention, Preparedness and Response to natural and man-made disasters) project, within the framework of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) conducted a series of workshops for representatives of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus’, Moldova and Ukraine.
As we can see, modern society brings new demands to professional training of specialists, as they have to use not only deep professional knowledge and be flexible in using it, but also must be ready to solve professional tasks in foreign language communication conditions. Acquiring professional qualifications by students fully conforming to the common European and world standards includes mastery of English with the aim of professional direction. That is why the topicality of the issue of professionally directed technologies for foreign language learning within the system of higher education does not evoke any doubt, since, “… one of the major targets of the university is to provide training of graduates on the basis of implementing new methods and techniques of learning, eurointegration of educational, scientific and innovative processes…” [3,12].
At the same time, international cooperation allows the education to be more "alive" and open to new trends, to deepen cooperation and competition among educational institutions, and also to strengthen intercultural communication. The need for effective intercultural communication, and hence the ability to identify cultural differences of peoples, respect them and find common ground, is particularly acute in the period of independent Ukraine when the issue of joining the European Union encourages the establishment of international and intercultural relations.
It should be noted that intercultural communication is not only a science, but a certain set of necessary social skills which are desirable. Therefore, the aim of communication in an intercultural context is the achievement of mutual understanding and solving of common personal or professional problems. The central concept in the field of intercultural communication is a “cross-cultural worldview”. It is connected with the rapid changes that characterize the modern society. It requires appropriate grounding of a student for the future life. Therefore, the primary role in providing the mobility and competitiveness of students - future professionals in the global labor market belongs to culture and education. The development of the intercultural communication in higher educational establishments should be in three main areas which can be achieved through the participation of students in projects and programs of international cooperation: interlingual communication; interdisciplinary communication, communication between educational systems.
Educational activitieswith forming of intercultural communication should be built on the base of features of the phenomena that occur in real life.
Although in the higher military educational establishments such as National University of Civil Protection of Ukraine, Kharkiv; Lviv State University of Life Safety, Lviv; Academy of Fire Safety named after Heroes of Chernobyl, Cherkasy prevail technical disciplines there is a number of disciplines of social trend and humanities which develop practical professional skills of communication and increase the overall level of individual language culture. They include the Ukrainian language (for professional purposes), Culture of business communication, Rhetoric, History of Ukraine, History of Ukrainian culture, The foundations of democracy, Philosophy, Political science, Religion history, Professional ethics and office etiquette, Demography, Sociology, Ethnic psychology, Psychology of creativity, Theory and practice of education, Higher education of Ukraine and the Bologna process and others.
For example, in the courses “History of Ukrainian culture”, “History of Ukrainian and foreign culture” students and cadets get significant supplement knowledge of the theory and history of culture. The teaching staff of the department of Ukrainian studies initiated the introduction of optional courses of the Ukrainian language “Improvement of language training” and “Culture of educational and scientific activities of cadets and students” to help freshmen easier adapt to the learning process and improve the quality of education.
Educational programmes, text books, manuals, methodological materials are worked out in the university, in particular: “Ukrainian language for professional purpose” and “Culture of interpersonal interaction” by Maryna Kulchytska and Olha Shelyukh. Adapting courses in rhetoric and culture of business communication to the practical needs of the field and the current requirements for the professional activity and interpersonal communication, cadets and students of the cultural club create the University literary and cultural wall newspaper “The feather of the Firebird”. It corresponds with Nataliya Halskova’s statement that “the process of acquisition by the students of personal experience of communication with the foreign lingvoculture needs to create situations of practical use of the language as a tool for intercultural learning and interaction”…The scholar offers to expand the limits of the educational process, i.e., she does not insist on an increase of the quality of hours for learning a foreign language, but promotes “the way out of your room” . It is clear that extracurricular activitiesin comparison with the educational process provide greater variability and space for many kinds of learning activities of students. It is important, that they provide in contrast to the learning process, organization of joint projects and seminars of different educational establishments [2,8].
Extracurricular activities provide the opportunity to communicate in real life with speakers of other languages and cultures. It gives the possibility to master the methods of: organization of intercultural exchange, as a part of the educational process; carrying out intercultural projects at various levels and content; revealing motivation to study lingvocultural and real communication.
Most scholars agree with an opinion that the use of extracurricular activities in the process of the formation of the intercultural communication is effective and should be unrestricted. S. Ter-Minasova asserts about the need of “development of communication in the extracurricular clubs, groups, public lectures in a foreign language, the scientific society of interests”. In recentyears, the department of foreign languages and technical translation of Lviv State University of Life Safety has “English Club” which focuses on communication skills with foreigners. The goals of the club meetings are the following: to improve the knowledge of English among the cadets and students; to enrich the level of spoken foreign language for specific purposes; to teach them to share interesting and necessary information; to assist in establishing contacts and facilitate communication in a foreign language. Not less important part of the formation of intercultural communication is organizing actions to mark the famous dates and international holidays: round tables, debates, contests and etc.
Since the students from different parts of Ukraine and close and far foreign countries study in Ukrainian universities there are actively carried out the measures, due to which way extends the knowledge of a different culture, changes some communicative and cultural assumptions and affects people’s behavior in the situations of intercultural communication. For example, in our University there is the culturological circle of cadets and students at the Department of Ukrainian studies which during the year organizes scientific workshops, international competitions, anniversary parties, lectures, discussions, master classes, film shows with comments and discussions.
At the same time,the pedagogical staff of University regularly organizes and conducts scientific and practical seminars for cadets and students, academic reading about important figures of the Ukrainian and foreign culture, dates and events. The International Competition of Ukrainian language named after Petro Jacyk and all Ukrainian Student Olympiads of Ukrainian language are also held every year.
The staff of the department of Ukrainian studies doesa variety of educational activities by which our youth understands the philosophical meaning of life and sees the world in its best.
This idea has been realized through the following projects: parties, lectures, talks devoted to outstanding Ukrainians and citizens of Lviv; annual anniversary memorial party dedicated to T. Shevchenko;annual workshop for Easter eggs painting;performances with staff and students of the University to participatein the annual competition of amateur theatre.
In the University there was introduced a new kind of education a cinema circle which opens for cadets and students the horizons of the Ukrainian poetic cinema. Before films are shown, there is always a pre-lecture on the important issues raised in the films, about directors who made the film. The participation of cadets and students in the work of the theatre circle helps to develop their moral and ethical values and aesthetic tastes. The participants of the theatre circle of the University do not aim to showthe historical events but through artistic word, songs, music, dance they evoke empathy, because just it makes us concerned about, and this is the main trait of a true rescuer. They say, the story tells about the events by means of the language of figures, and art, literature – by the language of human destinies. The human destiny, a Man is the most important thing in this world. The rescue of people was the main thing which courageous heroes namely fire fighters, liquidators did at Chornobyl Nuclear Power station. Every year our students through dramatizing commemorate this tragic event. Every two years the International scientific conference for cadets and students “Culture as a phenomenon of the human spirit” is held. It highlights the traditional conceptual principles and priorities of the modern Ukrainian and world cultural paradigm. The participants (155 people) were the cadets and students not only from our University but from the National Ivan Franko University, National University of Lviv Polytechnic, Lviv State University of Internal Affairs, Lviv University of Business and Law, Dniepropetrovsk National University of Railway Transport, Ukrainian Academy of Printing, Academy of Fire Safety named after Heroes of Chernobyl, Cherkasy, The Main Fire School of Republic of Poland, Institute for Command Engineers of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus.
The communication among educational systems
Today the communicative process is a necessary condition for formation, development and functioning of educational social system because through it the connectionbetween generations becomes possible, as well as accumulation and transmission of social experience, its enrichment, the division of labor and exchange of its products, organizing of social activities.
Thanks to themodern means of communication there is a possibility to get information and knowledge from different sources, in particular at a distance.
A good exampleis the creation of the first academic Internet – television in Ukraine. The idea of creating a media resource belongs to the doctor of pedagogical sciences, professor, rector of Lviv State University of Life Safety Mykhaylo Kozyar. “The level of safety culture of our citizens as compared with the European countries is rather low. Getting in extreme situations, people do not know how to act. Teaching safety culture should be started from childhood. As the educational establishment which provides a range of issues in the field of safety, we would like to improve the situation. Taking into account the increasing role of information technologies in the human life, we decided to use the online environment for training aims,” – said the rector. Our Safety TV Channel started its work and functioning on the base of Internet technologies. IPTV isa new technology which will effectively transmit a TV channel via public Internet. The information environment has a very large impact on people's minds, but not everything that is announced in the mass media is reliable, objective and useful. Therefore, the task of the pedagogue and tutor is to teach a young person to perceive reasonably and evaluate media information. The media culture is around us, so its application in the educational process will be quite natural.
Thus, the intercultural communication is a significant factor in the quality of education which contributes to students’ communicative competence and directs them to the foreign language intercultural communication in the context of the dialogue of cultures. So, to train the students for foreign language communication, help them to see the world and at the same time realize themselves an integral part of intercultural interaction, it is necessary to change approaches to the educational process: turn from the theoretical knowledge to practical international trainings, projects, programs, raise the level of teaching of foreign languages, foreign literature. The development and implementation of acquired knowledge and skills by means of the international cooperation will improve the quality of education of young people.
Would you like to know all the news about GISAP project and be up to date of all news from GISAP? Register for free news right now and you will be receiving them on your e-mail right away as soon as they are published on GISAP portal.