Personal Authenticity through Authentic Materials, Authentic Tasks, and Negotiation

| February 2, 2008
Personal Authenticity through Authentic Materials, Authentic Tasks, and Negotiation

Keywords: personal authenticity, authentic tasks, negotiation, take up of opportunity

Tuula Lehtonen
University of Helsinki

Bio Data
The author has worked as a lecturer in English at the Language Centre of the University of Helsinki since the year 1989. Her topics of academic interest include vocabulary learning, language needs at the workplace and teaching content through English/English-medium teaching. She holds an MA from the University of Helsinki, Finland and an EdD from the University of Leeds, UK.

In this article, I examine the concept of personal authenticity (van Lier, 1996), using student diary entries collected during an English for academic and professional purposes course with a negotiated syllabus. Signs of personal authenticity a concept related to autonomy – are traced in the entries. These signs suggest that personal authenticity emerged because the students were able to negotiate many aspects of their learning. In addition, open-ended tasks that carried real life transfer value enhanced the likelihood of personal authenticity. What was also important from the point of view of personal authenticity was the use of materials that were relevant to the students real life needs. As these findings are context-specific and stem from a localized approach, further research in Asian and other non-European cultural contexts is needed on the rise of personal authenticity through the use of authentic materials, authentic tasks, and negotiation.

See pages: 17-30

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Category: Monthly Editions, Volume 26