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Design principles for authentic learning of English as a foreign language

Ozverir, I., Herrington, J. and Osam, U.V. (2016) Design principles for authentic learning of English as a foreign language. British Journal of Educational Technology, 47 (3). pp. 484-493.

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Knowledge obtained in higher education through de-contextualised tasks and activities often remains “inert” and learners cannot readily transfer understanding to novel contexts. Nowhere is this more evident than in learning a foreign language. Typical language interaction exercises in class do not mirror real-life language use and such activities may have negative effects on students’ development of robust knowledge. This article describes a design-based research study that investigated the use of an authentic e-learning environment in a course of English language at a university preparatory school. The findings suggest that the use of critical elements of authentic activities is the key to achieving authentic learning in these contexts. An important outcome of the research was the development of a framework for the design of authentic activities to be used in the teaching of foreign languages, in the form of 11 design principles. These principles contribute both theoretically and practically to understanding of how students learn languages in meaningful contexts.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2016 British Educational Research Association
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