Background: Authentic British feature films presenting people, places, events, verbal and non-verbal behavior in different sociocultural situations is an important source of sociocultural information for learners of English.
Purpose. The purpose of the article is to present the author's methodology of developing sociocultural competence of prospective philologists with the help of authentic feature films.
Results. Sociocultural competence is viewed as the ability of a person to gain sociocultural knowledge through the analysis of sociocultural information obtained from authentic feature films, to reflect upon a person's own attitude towards the information received and to be prepared for an intercultural dialogue.
To develop sociocultural competence of 2nd year students of Linguistics we prepared a course book British Culture in Films consisting of sixteen lessons. Every lesson was dedicated to one particular concept or aspect of culture, with activities based on the selected fragments of films that vividly demonstrate sociocultural behaviour. The tasks and exercises were aimed at developing various skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing), they were intended for group/individual and class/independent work and varied in format (oral/written, with/without visual support, role plays, etc.). As the data of the experimental study clearly indicate, the students, who underwent training, raised their cultural awareness, got equipped with an understanding of the basic concepts of culture, developed sociocultural observation as well as critical-thinking skills.
Discussion. Authentic feature films provide invaluable information about the life of contemporary British society. However, before using authentic films in the classroom they should be carefully selected against certain criteria. Attention should be paid to stimulating students' interest towards the target culture by involving them in various meaningful activities, particularly those aimed at reflection and identifying commonalities and difference of the mother and British cultures, nurturing attitudes, tolerance and enabling them to be culturally adequate speakers of English.
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