The success of an educational system inevitably depends upon the ability of a teacher to use up-to-date methods and means of teaching. Nowadays it is recommended to use modern audio - visual equipment at school. Using new teaching equipment shows great methodological effectiveness especially at English lessons. Audio - visual equipment helps the English teacher to make the lesson more demonstrative, interesting, indulging and emotional. Besides, they lessen a tense atmosphere at the lesson and give better results in learning the language and remembering the information. Psychologists have proved that a person remembers 10 % of information from what he reads, 20 % - from what he hears, 30 % - from what he sees and 40 % - from what he does himself. A person can remember more than 50 % of information when all senses work together and when he is involved in the process. In practice teachers have come to the same conclusion when they compared the results of different ways of introducing the information. It´s clear that visual aids are static; they lack sound and don´t produce great emotional impact on children. While using audio equipment at the lesson children have a chance not only to see the written text but also to hear the authentic speech and to compare their speech with the original one. Video equipment gives children a chance not only to read and hear the speech of native speakers but also to see how different structures are used in real life, in what way different words are emotionally colored. Besides children can get acquainted with the life and culture of the country which language they are learning. So we may say that audio - visual equipment has maximum impact on children´s feelings, increases the interest to language learning, improves their general knowledge and erudition.
It goes without saying that it´s practically impossible to learn the language without "language environment" as pupils are to hear the speech of foreigners and see how they communicate, only then they will be a success. With a help of a book, texts and his voice a teacher can´t make up the necessary atmosphere at the lesson for acquiring language skills for further communication with native speakers. What is more pupils get used to their teacher´s speech and manner of speaking and when they hear a native speaker they fail to understand the information present. That´s why using visual aids, tape-recorders, video-recorders, and different educational computer programs facilitates language skills development and approximates the process of language learning to authentic communication. The basic goal of teaching English is to develop communicative competence, which means that pupils are to know how to communicate in the English language, but not only how to pronounce this or that sound, how to do grammatical exercises or to choose a, b or c as the correct answer. It´s common knowledge that communication consists of two processes: listening to the partner and speaking. Communication will not be a success if pupils don´t understand the partner that´s why it´s necessary not only to develop pupils´ speaking abilities but also to their listening abilities which is better done with the help of audio-visual equipment.
Though a lot is said about the effectiveness of audio - visual equipment in the process of learning graduates of Pedagogical Institutes fail to use them in a proper way at school. First of all in their future activities at school graduates reproduce the methods and means of teaching that have been used by their teachers at the Institute. As a result their practical abilities and skills in using audio - visual equipment at the process of teaching English depend on how systematically and in what way the work with audio - visual equipment was organized at the Institute. So the work with audio - visual equipment at the Institute should be systematic and compulsory. Moreover it should not be mere formality; the work is to be organized in an interesting and effective way. That´s why lectures are to use creative and poly-functional tasks with the help of audio - visual equipment only then students will learn from their own experience that it is necessary to develop "a creative familiarity" with the syllabus and materials being used in the class. More than that students are to get the instruction in using audio- visual equipment which is better done at the lessons of methodology where they are to be taught how to use the equipment and what is the best way to introduce and practice new material at school at a required stage of learning the language. We suppose that nowadays it´s more important to teach students not only to work with the tape-recorder and video- recorder but also how to operate on the computer in the process of teaching English at school. Luckily there is a special course for students where they are taught how to use and operate up - to- date equipment thus they are taught how to enlarge the educational value of them.
It´s necessary to mention that the work with the tape- recorder at school is widely spread as all the textbooks of English for school have cassettes as part of their course that make the work of a teacher much easier. Usually these cassettes contain only dialogues, texts, songs and rhymes but they lack exercises for developing pupils´ skills in comprehension. So teachers at school are to prepare a set of such exercises themselves. That´s why students at the Institutes are to know how to make up such exercises and they are to have the opportunity to record these exercises and to practice them while studying at the Institute.
As we have already mentioned pupils remember the information better if the teacher tries to combine exercises to make all the senses work. To our mind it can be better done with the help of a computer. When students get the task to make up exercises on the basis of a school textbook of English with a help of a computer they try to show their best and they prepare rather creative exercises. Thus all students take any unit from a textbook of English, draw pictures, record their voices and make up different exercises and after that they are to try their exercises in class. It is an extracurricular activity that takes a lot of time and afford but students like it and enjoy preparing for it. What is more practically all of them are a success and they feel that they have done something great and they are proud that they can show all their abilities and skills in using up - to - date equipment and making the process of teaching English easy, and useful.
Now let´s enumerate some of the exercises that can be used by students:
- a) Listen to the sounds two times and click on the voiceless sounds only: |p|, |b|, |t|, |d|.
- b) Listen to the sounds two times and click on short vowels: |i|, |i:|, |o|, |o:|.
- a) Listen to the words two times and click on the words with the sound |t|: tick, thick, theater, hat, fork, bed, pet.
- b) Listen to the words two times and click on the words with the sound |i|: pit, pork, thick, Pete, hot.
- Listen to the sounds again and say after the speaker.
- Listen to the words again and say after the speaker.
- Listen to the sounds again and put them down.
- Listen to the words again and put down the transcription.
- Listen to the dialogue and choose the right picture (there are 3-4 pictures).
- Listen to the text and put the pictures in the correct order.
- Listen to the text and try to remember it then read the same text and say what information is missing.
- Listen to the sentence and fill in the missing words.
- Listen to the text and say whether the statements below are true (individual work with the teacher).
- Listen to the dialogue, try to remember all the names and after that put them down in the same order.
- Listen to the words and group them according to the topics "meal", and "color", then write them in two columns.
- Listen to a phrase and try to complete it.
- Listen to a short text and try to think of the end.
- Look at the picture and try to describe it. Now listen to the description and repeat it after the speaker.
- Look at the pictures and try to guess what the text will be about. Now listen to the text and say whether you ere right or not.
- Read the title and try to guess what the text will be about. Now listen to the text and say whether you were right or not.
In conclusion we´d like to say that such warm-up exercises with the help of audio - visual equipment at the beginning of the lesson are necessary as they will make pupils interested in the lesson and pupils will make less mistakes in pronunciation. It is not advisable to base the whole lesson on audio - visual equipment, as it is harmful to a child´s health. It´s recommended to use audio - visual equipment in order not only to introduce and practise new sounds and words but also some difficult structures and grammatical material. Future teachers should adhere to these principals. Besides they should realize that the material can be active and passive (it means whether pupils are going just to comprehend the material or to use it in their speech). At the same time they are to know that learners should be exposed to communication and have plenty of time for oral production activities. That´s why teachers are to use different types of exercises (including those with audio - visual equipment), to follow a certain succession and consistency. It is the priority of the lectures to show the effectiveness and productivity of work with audio - visual equipment and how to use it in the process of teaching at school.