Text and task authenticity in the EFL classroom: Does authentic input leads to authentic output?

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Text and task authenticity in the EFL classroom: Does authentic input leads to authentic output? by Mind Map: Text and task authenticity in the EFL classroom: Does authentic input leads to authentic output?

1. A general consensus that authentic tasks are beneficial. Question is when to start using them.

2. What is an authentic text?

2.1. Little, 1988: 'created to fulfil some task in the language community in which it was produced'

2.2. It helps bridge the gap between classroom knowledge and a students' capacity to participate in real world events (Wilkins, 1976:79)

2.3. elided, less formal, fragmented. Not just RP with distinct turntaking

3. Why are authentic texts good?

3.1. The real thing: affective factor motivating learners.

4. Authentic texts and text difficulty

4.1. Plenty of texts available at intermediate level upwards

4.2. How do we avoid authentic texts at lower levels causing confusion and demotivation?

4.2.1. simplification of text is difficult to get right, though Widdowson (1978) believe it's possible and desirable. However written texts have technical words taken out that might provide contextual clues and listening texts lose the 'redundancy' and repetition which is so important for native speakers' comprehension.

4.3. An alternative: Not treating partial comprehension as problematic.

4.3.1. encourage learners to make the most of partial comprehension

4.3.2. This helps with the idea of 'bridging the gap between classroom knowledge and real life skills

4.4. Understanding the key information in a railway station announcement is a classic example. Which train, what platform, when?

5. The importance of task: Control over linguistic knowledge is achieved by means of performing under real operating conditions in meaning-focussed activities (Ellis, 1990:195)

5.1. Therefore, not just authenticity of text, but also of task.

5.2. Input on its own is not enough to gain proficiency. Production is also important.

6. What is task authenticity?

6.1. 1. Authenticity through a genuine purpose

6.1.1. Willis (1996) defines 'tasks' as where language is used for a genuine purpose, unlike, for example, drills, where the focus is on correct production.

6.1.2. interacting in real time for a communicative purpose. Willis (ibid) argues that this leads to fluency and acquisition more than controlled practice activities.

6.2. 2. Authenticity through real-world targets

6.2.1. Long and Cooks (1992) took a needs analysis view and argue that pedagogic tasks should be based on students real life needs Examples are buying a train ticket, taking lecture notes, renting an apartment. Problem, not even people in an ESP course have the same needs. How do you establish these needs for the general English classroom?

6.3. 3. Authenticity through classroom interaction

6.3.1. Breen (1985) argues we should promote authenticity through exploiting authentic activities in the classroom, especially discussions on how to best learn. Therefor stress on the importance of learners discussing in pairs evaluating and reporting the usefulness of tasks in class. He believes this is enough to gain authenticity rather than trying to replicate real life tasks.

6.4. 4. Authenticity through engagement

6.4.1. All other authenticities may count for little unless a learner is genuinely engaged by a text. careful explanation (or better, negotiation) of a text's rationale can 'authenticate' a text.

6.5. A blend of all of the above may be beneficial

7. Authenticity and task difficulty

8. Does task difficulty need to be compromised when working with low levels?

8.1. Task difficulty = language, cognitive load and performance conditions (Skehan, 1998)

8.2. Simple tasks not necessarily less authentic

8.2.1. Willis (1996) suggests simple game-lke tasks such as playing bingo, finding the odd one out, remembering items from a picture.

8.2.2. Conducting simple class surveys about daily routines etc

8.2.3. buying a coffee, booking a room, asking directions.

8.2.4. Breens idea of exploiting the communicative potential of the classroom. Low levels might complete surveys and questionnaires about course content.

9. Summary

9.1. Authenticity of texts may need to be sacrificed for low level students, though skillful simplification can take place.

9.1.1. My question: do infographics play a useful role here?

9.2. In contrast, many simple tasks can be created that show high levels of authenticity in terms of task and student response.

9.3. artificial seperation between text and task. They are usually part of a whole.

9.3.1. Use a pre-text task. Then a text. Then a post-text task.

9.3.2. integrate input and output to help create authenticity.