humanistic approach, foreign language education, discussion, dialogical pedagogy, ethics of care, intercultural knowledge, role-playing


The paper focuses on the theoretical analysis of psychological and pedagogic foundations of humanistic foreign language education viewed as an interrelated subject-subject system for improving the emotional and intellectual spheres of students’ personal development, which is based on an attitude of interest in life in all its manifestations. Synthesising findings of ethics of care and dialogical pedagogy, humanistic foreign language education is intended to acquaint students with sociocultural knowledge accumulated by humanity; promote better self-understanding and awareness of their place and role in society; develop the ability to adequately assess the possibilities for their self-realisation; teach students to think independently and critically, and to communicate in a civilized and effective way with other people and the world at large. The study of the U.S. practical experience in this educational sphere is highlighted as well. The paper outlines pedagogical participatory techniques, such as role-playing and discussion. They effectively combine the humanistic approach to the educational process with the foreign language study, providing self-discovery and self-perfection. Students are trained as informed and competent interlocutors in the foreign language. They are also educated to reflect on the world through the lens of another culture. The research shows that humanistic foreign language education with its emphasis on the inner world of the learners, their individual thoughts, emotions and feelings is of great significance in overall personality development. Humanistic foundations of pedagogical participatory techniques involve students’ affective experiences reflected in the values and ideals that they hold most dear, the meaning and purpose of their lives, their connectedness to each other and to the surrounding world.

Author Biography

Svitlana Fedorenko, National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”

Department of Theory, Practice and Translation of the English Language, Faculty of Linguistics



Adams, Е. M. (1991). Metaphysics of Self and World: Toward a Humanistic Philosophy. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Adler, M. J., & Hutchins, R. (1990). A Syntopicon: An Index to the Great Ideas. New York: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.

Barnard College Reacting Consortium (2004). Reacting to the Past. Retrieved 28 August, 2018 from

Barnard College Reacting Consortium (2010a). Reacting to the Past: Acid Rain and the European Environment, 1979-89. Retrieved 28 August, 2018 from

Barnard College Reacting Consortium (2010b). Reacting to the Past: Pedagogical Introduction. Retrieved 28 August, 2018 from

Burbules, N. (1993). Dialogue in Teaching: Theory and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.

Combs, A. W. (1981). Humanistic Education: Too Tender For a Tough world? Phi Dielta Kappa, 62(6), 446-449.

Freire, P. (2005).Education for critical consciousness. New York: Continuum.

Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2004). Problem-based learning: What and how do students learn? Educational Psychology Review, 16(3), 235-266.

Leadbeater, C. (2008). We think: Mass innovation, not mass production. London, UK: Profile.

Marx, R. W., Blumenfeld, P. C., Krajcik, J. S., Fishman, B., Soloway, E., Geier, R., & Tal R. T. (2004). Inquiry-based science in the middle grades: Assessment of learning in urban systemic reform. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(10), 1063-1080.

Merriam, S., & Caffarella, R. (1999). Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Noddings, N. (2003). Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Nussbaum, M. (1997). Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education. Cambridge, Massachusetts, & London: Harvard University Press.

Olusegun, B. S. (2015). Constructivism Learning Theory: A Paradigm for Teaching and Learning. Journal of Research & Method in Education, 5(6), 66-70.

Perkins, D. N. (1991). What constructivism demands of the learner. Educational technology, 31(10), 19-21.

Proctor, N. W. (2013). Reacting to the Past: Game Designer's Handbook. Simpson College.

Roth, W. M. (2000). Learning environments research, lifeworld analysis, and solidarity in practice. Learning Environments Research, 2, 225-247.

Stevick, E. W. (1990). Humanism in Language Teaching: A Critical Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Toulmin, S. (1990). Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity. New York: Free Press

Treacy, M. J. (2015). Greenwich Village, 1913: Suffrage, Labor, and the New Woman. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.