The stages of preparing undergraduates for conducting scientific research in the spheres of translation and foreign language teaching methodology are described in the article. On each stage students are involved in cooperative cognitive activities ranging from lexical and grammar reproductive exercises to scientific-research tasks. Some of these stages were tested in class and involved undergraduates studying linguistics. At entry-level stages the students who were fluent in English helped their groupmates with doing the assignments, whereas at the advanced level the activities could be described as equal participation in scientific research. The above mentioned technique of practising research activities was applied in teaching first-, second- and third-year linguistics majors. A research assignment done by the students so that the efficiency of the proposed technique could be checked, indicated that the average performance in research-related components was much higher in the experimental groups.