The Department of Computational Linguistics and Linguodidactics (before March 2015 the Department of General Sciences) was one of the first departments founded at the Faculty of Humanities of the Belarusian State University, namely on October 1, 2004. The department was founded with the aim to provide the teaching of a wide spectrum of humanitarian (liberal arts) subjects to the students majoring in International Relations and Modern Foreign Languages and also to the students of non-linguistic specialties such as “Design”, “Social Work”, “Management in Health Care” and “Computer Sciences”. Before 2014 the department trained specialists in “International Relations” and “Modern Foreign Languages”, at present the graduates of the department are only teachers, specialists in Modern Foreign Languages, specializing in “Computational Linguistics” and “Computer Assisted Language Learning”.
Larisa Babitskaia headed the department from the day of its foundation up to the June of 2005, then for 10 years Lidia Blinkova was the head of the department, now the department is headed by Olesia Prokhorenko, PhD in Pedagogics.
The sphere of scientific research and projects of the department of computational linguistics and linguodidactics is completely in line with the priority trends of the scientific and research activity of the Republic of Belarus in the field of information technologies and is concerned mainly with creation of electronic educational resources. These include:
- Computer technologies and intellectual systems of distant learning;
- Mathematical and logical and statistical methods, information technologies and systems of identification and processing of images, signals, speech and multimedia information;
- Theoretical, scientific and methodological fundamentals of educational process in the age of the innovative development of the Belarusian National Education System.
From 2006 till 2010 the department worked on the scientific and research project “The development of teaching and methodical complexes for humanities subjects and specialized subjects on the basis of new educational technologies”. From 2010 till 2015 the theme of the scientific and research project was “The development of software for linguistics and introduction of computer programmes into teaching and learning process”. The staff of the department encourage students to actively participate in yearly scientific conferences for students and post-graduates.
The staff of the department take part in international scientific and practical conferences and seminars on the problems of intercultural communication, text linguistics, computer assisted language learning, methods of teaching foreign languages. The department fruitfully cooperates with the laboratory of synthesis and identification of speech of the Joint Institute of Informatics problems of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and the state company “The HTP Administration”.
The department is developing an international cooperation, as well. Oleg Kopach, the associate professor, is a member of the International Association of Belarusian Linguists (since 2009), a reviewer of the “American Journal of Linguistics” (since 2012), a member of the academic commission on Slavonic onomastics at the International committee of Slavonic linguists (since 2014).
The members of the department are highly qualified specialists in the field of teaching foreign languages: associate professors, senior lecturers among them. A lot of teachers of the department have been awarded with honorary diplomas, certificates for their achievements.
Over more than 10 years of its existence the department has trained more than 500 specialists that successfully work in the spheres of education, international relations and computer sciences.