Organizing work with media texts: Teaching Russian as a foreign language (based on the genre of an item)


This article suggests a variant of a lesson plan from the special course on teaching the language of media to foreign students. The course is based on the following principle: first it is necessary to analyze texts of information genres, followed by analytical and fictional-publicistic ones. The reason is that the texts of information genres are relatively simple in the way of composition and content. Moreover, there is no need to analyze figurative means, which are characteristic of analytical and fictional-publicistic texts.

The article assigns an important role to the genre and thematic organization of the course when each lesson is devoted to a certain topic (for example, policy, economy, social problems, etc.), and the analyzed texts are a sample of a journalistic genre. Our task is to elaborate a set of exercises, aimed to enable the learners to master structural-semantic features of media texts. As a variant of a lesson plan the article provides a detailed analysis of class work with an information genre – an item. The popular Internet website of RIA News, informing us daily about the most significant events in the country, is chosen as a media source. For teachers of Russian as a foreign language, the article suggests a list of exercises of a universal character, applicable for the texts similar in the genre relation, but on a different subject-matter.

Pre-reading, during-reading and post-reading exercises aim to acquaint learners with new vocabulary, help them master speech patterns, analyze compositional features of an item, and produce their own text similar to the original one. As a result, foreign students develop the ability to understand the meaning and importance of the item headings, to identify its structural parts, to highlight factual information, and to make predictions about its content. The acquired skills make it possible to enlarge the learners’ vocabulary and contribute to the development of their communicative competence in the sphere of media language. Besides, the learners’ knowledge of information genres helps to cope with the analysis of the texts, containing elements of comments and analyses.

Key words: 

Russian as a foreign language, special course on the language of media, genre and thematic organization of the course, media text, information genres, RIA Novosti, item, structural and semantic features.

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