Scholarly article on topic 'Cultural-moulding Potential of the Russian Radio and it's Application in Teaching Russian Language'

Cultural-moulding Potential of the Russian Radio and it's Application in Teaching Russian Language Academic research paper on "Educational sciences"

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{"Teaching Russian language" / "communicative method" / "audio aids" / radio / "cultural moulding function"}

Abstract of research paper on Educational sciences, author of scientific article — Natalia G. Nesterova, Svetlana V. Fashchanova

Abstract The significance of Radio, as a medium of Mass communication, in the cultural development of the Russians and the suitability of using it in teaching Russian language as a native language and as well as a foreign language has motivated the attention towards the cultural-educational radio programs. Moreover, these programs are a rich source of good speech and quality texts. The research involves the independent works of students and is based on accessing the archives and records of radio programs. Proposed author's method of working with podcasts was tested in the process of teaching Russian as a foreign language.

Academic research paper on topic "Cultural-moulding Potential of the Russian Radio and it's Application in Teaching Russian Language"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 200 (2015) 337 - 343


CULTURE, 27-30 October 2015

Cultural-moulding Potential of The Russian Radio and It's Application in Teaching Russian Language

Natalia G. Nesterovaa, Svetlana V. Fashchanovaa*

aTomsk State University, 36, Lenin Ave. Tomsk, 634050, Russia


The significance of Radio, as a medium of Mass communication, in the cultural development of the Russians and the suitability of using it in teaching Russian language as a native language and as well as a foreign language has motivated the attention towards the cultural-educational radio programs. Moreover, these programs are a rich source of good speech and quality texts. The research involves the independent works of students and is based on accessing the archives and records of radio programs. Proposed author's method of working with podcasts was tested in the process of teaching Russian as a foreign language. © 2015The Authors.Publishedby ElsevierLtd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of National Research Tomsk State University.

Keywords: Teaching Russian language; communicative method; audio aids; radio; cultural moulding function

1. Introduction

The year 2015 has been declared in Russia as the year of Russian literature, taking the baton from the preceding year which was declared as the year of Culture, to promote the development and promotion of Russian culture in Russia and abroad. The uses of cultural-educational strategy have been taken for its implementation. The strategy is based on the fact that the socio-cultural process of democratization and deideologization in post-Soviet Russia led to a change of priorities in the socio-cultural sphere and in the speech habits of the people, influencing the language of the literature and culture and the language of the mass media. The mentioned situation had a negative impact on the public consciousness and culture of the Russians. This issue is the subject of numerous scientific papers of Russian

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +7-906-198-8623; fax: +7-3822-534077. E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Peer-review under responsibility of National Research Tomsk State University. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.08.075

linguists (Kormilitsyna, 2011; Krongauz, 2008; Krysin, 2000; Sirotinina, 2013; Stemin, 2000 and others). In this scenario, not enough attention is being given to the positive vectors of modern mass media, aimed at preserving traditions, in relation to which they have positioned themselves to be responsible for the formation of culture and speech situation in Russian society. Traditionally, the socially important spheres of culture are prioritized by Literature, Visual arts, Architecture and Music. As one of the most important functions of mass media being culture moulding (formation), it relates to the promotion and dissemination of high cultural values in society, to educate people on the samples of the world culture, resulting in the full development of the individual (Prokhorov, 2011). It leads to the formulation of tasks about the methods and forms of promotion and advancement of the culture moulding aspect of the radio and using them for educational purposes.

The aim of this article - to study the culture moulding potential of the radio, i.e to identify the extent to which the radio can be used in the cultural-educational strategy, and propose ways of using radio resources for the purpose of teaching Russian language and culture.

Drawing on the works of theorists and practitioners of journalism revealed the extent to which cultural-educational strategy is used in the Russian radio (Barabash, 2006; Gegelova, 2012; Rozhentcova, 2006). From the example of the radio station, Radio "Culture", the factors influencing the realization of the culture moulding rol e of the radio can be identified. The use of the cultural-educational programs to teach Russian language as native and as a foreign language has been corroborated. In this case, we rely on the international experience of education in the field of mediums of mass communications (see. Review: Chumakolenko, 2013), including those based on electronic media (Gowon Rahila P., 2009) and transcripts of the radio programs (Skip Reske, 2005). The proposed methodology of using radio programs in teaching Russian as a native and as a foreign language has been tested by the authors of this article in practical use.

2. Methodology

The sources of the socio-educational programs can be described by the means of the frontal study of the central Russian radio stations. Presenting a brief overview of the radio stations and their thematic contents.

In the first phase of the study (study phase of the relevance of the theme) the method of mass survey was used, which was aimed at studying the awareness of the potential audience for cultural and educational radio programs aired by Russian radio, as well as to identify their demand for an audience. There were more than 300 participants in the survey, out of which the majority consisted of Russian students of Tomsk State University (TSU) and 53 international students studying in TSU. The survey confirmed the preliminary hypothesis that potential listeners are poorly informed about the cultural and educational broadcasts in the radio. A majority of the participants (more than 70%) showed interest in receiving information about these radio broadcasts.

In the second phase a psycho-linguistic experiment was conducted, that laid the foundation for the definition of criteria for evaluating the text as having the cultural-moulding role potential. The factors that make up the cultural-moulding role of radio broadcasts are: theme transmission, sender, recipient, the nature of the feedback, the availability of radio programs, the impact on the recipient.

In the third stage a methodology was developed involving the cultural-educational materials on radio in use with students from the Faculty of Journalism, Tomsk State University.

In the fourth stage, method of using and developing podcast was developed, evolved during the Russian language course and was tested in the sphere of international students: Americans, Italians, Chinese.

3. Sources of cultural-educational materials on radio

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of cultural and social programs on the radio as a response to the request of the Russian society in obtaining quality information and also in response to the concerns of the society and state about the overall and lingual culture of the citizens of Russia. Cultural and educational activities of the many radio stations reflects the tendency of formation of aspiration towards self-identification in Russian citizens and it stirs up an interest towards their culture.

First of all, we make a special mention of the state radio station "Radio of Russia" (, which, along with information and socio-political programs, also offered musical, literary, dramatic, scientific, educational,

children's programs. In the cultural and educational sector, there were numerous programs which were aired, consisting of radio interviews and talk shows, as well as radio plays and literary readings. A distinctive feature of the cultural-educational programs aired on radio is the communicative skill of the anchor: they act as a representative of the cultural community or experts in a particular sphere of culture. Presence of subject matters (thematic and genre content) gives a basis to researchers to qualify the radio style as elitist (Sladkomedova, 2010). Despite the criticism of thematic and genre content, U. U. Sladkomedova states that the educational functions of radio station "Radio Russia" is the determining factor.

The basic principles of broadcasting in the post-soviet period is still retained by the oldest radio station in Russia "Mayak" ( Its popularity is associated with a variety of programs dedicated to the intellectual and cultural life. The listeners are offered a meeting with artistic and creative people who are invited as the guest of the studio. One of the most popular radio station "Echo of Moscow" ( seeks to follow that principles of cultural dialogue with participants and radio listeners. In the program network of radio station, along with analytical programs, a significant place is also taken by conversational transmission having cultural and educational character. The advancement of media and technology has created the possibility of Internet radio stations having cultural and educational orientation. Among them are radio project "Literary Radio", the focus of which is to popularize and provide informational support to modern Russian literature ( Because of "Literary Radio", appreciators of poetry, prose fiction have the opportunity to listen to the recorded programs featuring authors, literary evenings and to obtain information about the literary events taking place in Russia and in neighboring countries. The listener has the option to listen to both live events and recordings of the previous transmissions.

The internet based radio station "Russian World" ( has its audience in immigrants, people from Russia, people interested in Russian language and culture, all who care about the fate of Russia. Internet radio station "Radio Culture" (a member of All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company) also deals with the above discussed aspect. It is "the only specialized radio station in Russia which is based on the cultural and educational themes" (Sladkomedova, 2010).

The study of the content of Russian radio stations across various formats gives the basis to conclude that modern radio has a good cultural and educational potential that can be used in teaching Russian as a foreign language. Wide range of programs allows to the listeners to self-select the interest of his subjects and themes, which eventually enhances the cognitive activity of the audience.

4. Factors influencing the implementation of the cultural-moulding functions of the radio broadcasts

As a result of the psycho-linguistic experiment, whose purpose was to analyze the radio broadcasts having cultural and educational orientation, being aired on Russian radio, factors affecting the implementation of their cultural moulding role can be identified. These factors include: subject matter of the programs, the image of the sender, the image of the receiver, the guests of the program, the nature of the feedback, forms of representation, the availability of the program and the impact on the recipient.

Taking an example of radio station "Radio Culture" as to how it is implementing its cultural moulding potential.

Subject matter of the broadcast. The radio station plays programs in which it invites guests, discussions, talk show and programs on history, architecture, science, music, theater.

Addresser. The host and the guests in cultural-educational programs are interesting personalities. The people participating in these programs are famous people who are widely known in the country and abroad including folk and honored artists of Russia; among them: poet Andrei Dementiev and Yevgeny Yevtushenko, the poet and musician Boris Grebenshchikov, theater directors and actors Alexander Kalagin, Avangard Leontiev, Alla Demidova, choreographer Alla Sigalova, writer and presenter of "The meeting with the song" Tatarsky and many other extraordinary personalities whose lives are linked with culture.

Guests of the programs. They occupy an intermediate position between the anchor and a mass audience. The guest of the programs also consist of artists, writers, actors and musicians who have contributed to the development of Russian culture.

Addressee. Wide range of radio oriented intellectual audience. From near about 40 radio transmissions, the

listener is given a lots of options and he has the freedom to choose between a variety of cultural and educational information. At the radio station, a wide variety of topics relating to culture, history, literature, education, music of different genres are discussed. Frequent listeners of the radio station are always aware of the most prominent and significant events in the cultural life of the country and the world.

Feedback. Feedback is done through the interactive features of modern radio communication by telephone or through the website of the radio station.

Availability of radio programs. The transmission can be listened to online (live) and from the records. The internet has expanded the accessibility of the radio communications as internet radio can penetrate to a location where even the radio signal does not work.

The impact on the recipient. First of all, we will emphasize the positive impact of the radio programs of the channel "Radio Culture". Positive impact on the audience is shaped up on the above distinguishing factors which determines the cultural moulding role of the radio station as well as on the specifics of the lingual implementation of the sound language materials. Monologue and Dialogue statements of the participants of the program exhibit samples of speech culture that is fundamentally important for the implementation of cultural-moulding function. Theme songs of the radio programs are characterized by expressions with emotional effects, which can be used as educational texts. For example, in the announcement of the news program "Accents", this function is performed by many communicative words and phrases that emphasizes the goals of the program, on its thematic relevance (cultural life in the country and the world, the diversity of the concerts, exhibitions and literary projects); on the dynamic nature of the program, which allows to keep up with the cultural news. Verbal phrases emphasize the motivated interaction with the listener: helps in identifying something of importance, in sharing information. The accuracy and credibility of the sounds in the transmission of information is accentuated by the following linguistic units: testifier, the personal opinion of a competent person/expert. Cultural and educational radio programs demonstrates a high level of professional communication, which involves professional journalists, experts from different fields of culture who are invited to the studio as guests and participants. The specialized choice in communicative strategies and tactics helps in determining the effectiveness of the cultural-educational programs. The purpose of this kind of specialized discourse on radio is to have an impact on the target audience. The cultural and educational broadcasts helps in broadening the mental outlook of the listener, develops intellectual abilities of the recipient, forms his aesthetic taste and moral values. The most important feature of cultural and educational programs, characterized by their pragmatic orientation, is the ability to activate the cognitive activity of the recipient and to awaken in him the need to obtain quality information. Monologue and Dialogue statements of the participants of cultural and educational programs shows the patterns of speech culture, which is very important for the implementation of cultural moulding role.

5. Teaching Russian as a native language based on the material of cultural and educational radio programs

At the primary stage of the Russian language course, the students were given transcripts and records of the radio programs having cultural and educational orientation and were asked to simulate the ideal radio anchor/host. This problem was tackled on the basis of a survey in which the students were asked to suggest the characteristics of an ideal radio presenter/anchor.

The findings of the survey suggest that a majority of the students (91%) evaluates the importance of pronunciation speech qualities : good diction, lack of speech defects, lack of any regional accent. Speech clarity and literacy like literate and logical speech, language skills, the right accent, the semantic completeness of statements occupies the second place (as mentioned by 88% of the respondents). The requirements of intonation and voice quality occupy the third place in the survey (54%). At 44%, the requirements which include a marked sense of humor, communication skills, ability to communicate with people and resourcefulness occupies the fourth place. Other communicative skills that enhances the image of the 'ideal' radio host includes quality, ethical norms (polite, tactful, tolerant, educated, friendly, emotional) and which are emphasized by some personal qualities: activeness, energetic, sharp-witted and charismatic. According to 31% of the participants in the survey, the characteristics of a professional competent host is: educated, broad-minded and erudite.

The survey revealed that according to the student's opinion, the host/presenter of the radio should have good diction, pronunciation, crisp and good voice and a literate and coherent speech. Humor and ingenuity is considered

as a necessary quality in a radio host. Less attention is paid on the quality of education and the intellect of the host. Students believe that any person with good diction and correct pronunciation can try to work in the radio.

Analysis of the live speech on the air through the prism of the simulated speech portrait of the ideal host/presenter is regarded as an effective method of forming the linguistic competence of the student-journalist. However, the comparison of the data obtained with the earlier one (in section 2), it can be seen that in the students the image of the ideal host/presenter is not based on cultural and educational broadcasts but are guided primarily on entertainment radio.

Therefore, the students are encouraged to analyze the cultural and educational broadcasts. The task involves the analysis of speech from the point of view of phonetics (including intonation and its components: tempo, timbre, syntagmatic division). Students identify cases of communication failures caused by breaking of intonation, pausing and speech segmentation. General examination of the radio text also provides the validation of corresponding/ not corresponding oral communication and identification of the good quality/poor quality of speech and manner of the host's techniques. Another task is to analyze the text from the point of view of the cultural moulding function of the text. Students should observe the means of expression of aesthetic, expressive functions in the text and must answer to the question of the impact created by the radio broadcasts.

5.1. Method of working with radio materials in the learning of Russian language as a foreign language

The school, Media Education, which is actively rising in the world teaching practice, agrees with the practical use of the material of cultural-educational radio program (Ozge & Ba§ak, 2012). Cultural-educational radio programme play a critical role in the formation of lingual and socio-cultural competence in the learning of Russian language as a foreign language. Effectiveness and limit of its introduction in the learning process depend on the fact, that in the present socio-cultural context communication is dominated by the interaction of people with different means of communication- interpersonal interaction with radio-, video-, internet- communication. Information and communication technology of 21s century provide access to radio- and television, Russian language Internet. Communicating sphere of mass media and internet continuously renewing/replacing authentic sources of texts, become relevant and effective means of communication in the learning of Russian language, which is actively using in the learning of Russian language, even in other part of world (Korycankova, 2009).

Importance of radio materials in the learning of Russian language lies in that, international students learning Russian language and culture through Russian Mass Media can understand cultural components in its authentic version.

Practical use of live radio program establishes the significance of government testing. As, testing program of listening, aiming to check the level of skills and arts, important for the understanding of oral speech. In the accordance with governmental educational standard of Russian language as a foreign language include skill of understanding monologue and dialogue: theme and main idea of statements, main information of the meaning of monologue; main content of dialogue, intention of speaker; possession of language and speech material, are important for appropriate reception of oral text. Listening test materials include authentic radio program, as usually/ per rule, these materials have cultural-educational nature (Ozge & Ba§ak, 2012).

Work with radio resources demand honest effort from teachers, whom must better know relevant sites and interests of students- only in this case efficiency of the attraction of authentic radio text will be high. Students must get algorithm from the teacher to analyze text of Mass Media, which says what kind of information and where to look in the programs of a particular theme, in the programs of different genres.

In our experience of teaching Russian language in international audience our listening comprehension skills is developed and tested, when used in the conjunction with transcripts. Transcripts have many programmes of radio station "Echo of Moscow" and "Mayak". Methodological work with this material is organized on the principle of self-examination. Students work on several stages:

1) Listening live record of radio broadcasting and defining degree of understanding of sounding text.

2) Reading transcript and verifying the correctness of audio text according to printed version (in this case students

can use dictionary).

3) Explaining complexes for the perception at the moment of listening the text: grammatical, lexical, stylistically,

semantically and also related to phonetic and intonation characteristics of sounded text.

4) Forming question that cannot be answered independently.

Another type of work, that aims at intonation and phonetic aspect of speech, carries out on two stages in reverse order.

1) At first students carry intonational transcription of transcripts

2) After that they listen live recording and check their intonational-logical understanding of text with the original.

Analysis of difficulties of phonographic and orthoepical character, related to phonetic articulation of speech and logical stress, is accomplished under the supervision of teacher in the classroom work (when typical problems and mistake are discussed) and as well as in the process of individual consultations. Need to pay attention on the fact that transcript not always demonstrate complete congruence with the live recording, about that students must be warned.

Assignments of this kind contribute to expand vocabulary and improve reading speed. Podcast can be used in audio exercise to understand oral public speech and organize discussions. Independent work with radio broadcast provide independent assessment to student's efficiency in the using of authentic materials in the learning of language and help develop critical approach to the evolution of personal results. It should be noted that some student choose easy record and other look for more difficult. Accomplishing tasks and exercises students can carry self-examination with the help of "key" (if they give), by referring to transcript and dictionary. This type of approach to self-examination of the understanding of text help the students to define own level of perception of authentic speech (Oroles, 2014).

At the first stage of working with authentic materials should pay attention to given text (on the condition that given text should be explained by the teacher). While self-selecting the text students must center on the independent work, aiming at forming the lexical minimum on the topic. Application of this method in the learning of language offers that material must be recommended by teacher, choosing fragment of authentic texts, level to capacities of students, relevant to fragments of transcripts.

There are different options to find authentic radiomaterials.

Variant 1- Go with personalities, means choose recording of discussion/interview with interesting man: musician, multiplicator, filmmaker, artist, etc. This opportunity is well represented at radio station "Mayak".

On the main page of the site "Lighthouse" in the navigation bar select RADIO, find the heading OUR GUEST: name of guests are presented alphabetical. As for example, we want to listen compositor Grigory Gladkov, author "Plasticine Crow", using mouse to click on the letter "G" will find only recording from 02.01.2014

If you wanted to listen the interview of Denis Dragynskim (philologist, political scientist, writer, journalist and dramatist, son of the writer Viktor Dragynskobo, author of the book "Stories of Denis", to find his interview move your mouse on the letter "D". Under the heading "Take participation in the programmes" choose the program for listening of the six available in the archive. Click on the date and immediately goes to transcript of records (it can be printed). Click on the sign "live" and listen live recording. The yellow arrow on the audio track indicates that, live recording can be recorded. With sounding and text format can be practiced in different order: 1) At first read the fragment of transcriptions, thereafter listen it 2) or first listen the fragment of recording, thereafter read transcriptions, 3) or both listen and read together.

Variant 2 - go from transmission. We demonstrate in the case of radio station "Echo of Moscow". On the home page of site of radio station in navigation bar find "TRANSFER", select "ALL TRANSFER", choose your interest: For example, "CULTURAL SHOCK". Choose a release date or focus on the guest, invited in the studio. On the page of each issue has an internal navigator: LISTEN(live record), READ(transcript), WATCH(video transmission), download. Click on the yellow arrow in the audio track and download the sounding file. Transcripts and sound recording are, as usual voluminous. For different tasks allotted monologue or dialogue fragments of the text. With audio recordings, in which dominates spontaneous speech, should be careful in focusing the attention on audience on the basis of given material. Student, who is working with authentic radio text, should be aware of making mistakes in speech. In the higher studies this fact can be used as a learning moment, consisting tasks focusing on the wrong use of words. In the tasks of school kids one should avoid such cases.

6. Conclusion

Cultural-forming potential of Russian radio is a good basis for media education- as an individual, and as well organized in the frame of teaching activities. For the students, who have specialization (Philology, Journalism), learning with the live telecast of speech, seem effective way of linguistic competence. Working and training with the text of cultural-educational transmission aim at forming Russian identity with the focus on preserving national spiritual culture of Russian.

Archives of cultural-educational transmission can be valued as source of authentic materials. Using them in teaching Russian as a foreign language introduces international students to Russian culture and ensures the formation of socio-cultural competence and it also enhances the cognitive activity of audience.


The study was funded by RFH (RGNF) for projects to carry out scientific and academic research ("Cultural moulding function of radio from the perspective of linguistic", project № 14-34-01022).


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