Focus group discussion as a method of forming students’ communicative competencies

Volume 6, Number 2, 2021, P. 190–200


Article (file: pdf, size: 581 KB, downloads: 249)


The article examines the aspects of using the focus group discussion method to form the communicative competencies of students in the humanitarian areas of training. The peculiarity of its implementation in the format of traditional and virtual methods of holding is considered. The positive and negative aspects of performing educational focus groups in online and offline formats are highlighted. Attention is focused on the importance of using interactive teaching methods, searching for new forms of bringing educational information to students. The dialogue form of interaction in a broad and narrow sense, as well as theoretical approaches to the analysis of categories of competence, competence, communicative competence are analyzed. The ambiguity in the interpretation of these concepts is emphasized. The role of competencies as a factor contributing to the formation of general cultural and special knowledge of student youth, the formation of the competence of university graduates in the chosen specialty is determined. The results of the included observation of the course of organizing and conducting focus group discussions by students both in the traditional form and in the online format are presented. The possibilities of activating the verbal activity of students are determined. A comparative analysis of the possibilities of using and conducting focus group discussions in virtual and traditional forms is made. The limitations of the method for its application in the educational process are determined. The statements on the results of the focus groups, demonstrating the differences in the nature of communication within the student community when discussing social problems, are given.


focus group discussion, competence, competence, communicative competence, dialogue, Internetcommunication


Victor B. Bolshov, Cand. Sci. (Sociology), Associate Professor of Sociology Department, Kuban State University, Krasnodar, Russia

For citation:

Bolshov V.B. (2021) Focus group discussion as a method of forming students’ communicative competencies. Sotsial’naya kompetentnost’ = Social Competence. Vol. 6. No. 2. P. 190–200. (In Russ.)


  1. Bakhtin M.M. (1979) Aesthetics of verbal creativity. Moscow: Iskusstvo. 424 p. (In Russ.)
  2. Bash L.M. (2009) Modern dictionary of foreign words. Interpretation, use, word formation, etymology. Moscow: Feniks. 959 p. (In Russ.)
  3. Belanovskii S.A. (2001) Focus group method. Moscow: Nikollo-Media. 272 p. (In Russ.)
  4. Varganova G.V. (2010) Virtual focus groups as a method of scientific research. Bibliosfera = Bibliosphere. No. 2. P. 8–12. (In Russ.)
  5. Dvulichanskaya N.N. (2011) Interactive teaching methods as a means of forming key competencies. Nauka i obrazovanie: nauchnoe izdanie MGTU im. N.E. Baumana = Science and Education of Bauman MSTU. No. 4. (In Russ.)
  6. Dmitrieva E.V. (1998) Focus groups in marketing and sociology. Moscow: Tsentr. 144 p. (In Russ.)
  7. Zimnyaya I.A. (2009) Key competencies – a new paradigm of educational outcomes. Eksperiment i innovatsii v shkole = Modern Problems of Science and Education. Surgery. No. 2. P. 7–14. (In Russ.)
  8. Zimnyaya I.A. (2013) Competence and competence in the context of the competence-based approach in education. Uchenye zapiski natsional’nogo obshchestva prikladnoi lingvistiki = Scholarly Notes of the National Society of Applied Linguistics. No. 4. P. 16–31. (In Russ.)
  9. Zimnyaya I.A., Mazaeva I.A., Lapteva M.D. (2020) Communicative competence, speech activity, verbal communication. Moscow: Aspekt Press. 400 p. (In Russ.)
  10. Kolokol’tseva T.N. (2011) Dialogue and dialogicity in Internet communication. Izvestiya Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo pedagogicheskogo universiteta = Ivzestia of the Volgograd State Pedagogical University. No. 8. P. 128–133. (In Russ.)
  11. Kryuger R.A., Keisi M.E. (2003) Focus Groups Thounds Oaks: Sage Publications. Moscow: Vil’yams. 251 p. (In Russ.)
  12. Levinson A.G., Stuchevskaya O.I. (2003) Focus groups: evolution of the method (overview of the discussion at the conference ESOMAR). Monitoring obshchestvennogo mneniya: ekonomicheskie i sotsial’nye peremeny = Monitoring of Public Opinion: Economic and Social Changes. No. 1. P. 46–55. (In Russ.)
  13. Polukhina E.V. (2011) The Evolution of the Focus Group Method: Towards New Standards. Sotsiologicheskie metody v sovremennoi issledovatel’skoi praktike: cbornik statei, posvyashchennyi pamyati pervogo dekana fakul’teta sotsiologii NIU VShE A.O. Kryshtanovskogo = Sociological methods in modern research practice: a collection of articles dedicated to the memory of the first dean of the Faculty of Sociology of the National Research University Higher School of Economics A.O. Kryshtanovsky. Moscow: NIU VshE. P. 146–150. (In Russ.)
  14. Polukhina E.V. (2011) Ethnographic focus group as a research method for out-of-town settlements in the region. Sotsiokul’turnye faktory innovatsionnogo razvitiya regiona: Vserossiiskaya nauchnaya konferentsiya 27–28 oktyabrya 2011 goda: sbornik statei = Socio-cultural factors of innovative development of the region: All-Russian scientific conference on October 27–28, 2011: Digest of articles. Ekaterinburg: UrAGS. P. 184–188. (In Russ.)
  15. Sergeev I.S. (2004) Fundamentals of pedagogical activity. St. Petersburg: Piter. 316 p. (In Russ.)
  16. Sukhikh S.A. (2016) Communicative competence of a person in communication. Krasnodar: Kuban State University. 248 p. (In Russ.)