The Role of the Authentic Language Approach in Enhancing Second-Language Instruction
Stiefvater, Lee I.
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This paper is an exploration of the use of authentic language input in the second language classroom. Drawing on research in authentic language materials, an exploration of the problematic of defining authenticity is launched, and a new definition is formulated. Authenticity is language input that follows the norms and conventions of the target language, and which has a purpose and response that are consistent with this input. Authenticity should always function towards the end of promoting fluency in function on behalf of the language learner. The use of these authentic materials in second-language classrooms is explored in the context of an urban high school. Triangulating data from surveys administered to students, teaching observations and student work, a preliminary conclusion is drawn that authentic material does in fact have a place in the second-language classroom. Recommendations for teachers in using authentic language in the classroom conclude the paper.
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