Savova Publishes Article on ESL Materials Authenticity

Posted on 4/4/2017 2:35:55 PM

Professor L. Savova, English Department, published an article on “Levels of Authenticity: From Exercises to Games” in the SPELT quarterly journal vol. 32 issue No.1, 2017.

In it, Savova differentiates between perspectives on authenticity as a product (e.g., an absolute, context-independent, binary, static, global construct) and as a process (e.g., a relative, context-dependent, multidimensional, dynamic, local construct). She argues that the former mimetic views of ESL authenticity have limited applications and questionable learning potential, whereas the latter pragmatic view of authenticity could yield better learning outcomes.

More specifically, Savova’s article focuses on ESL task authenticity as it relates to effective learning. In her study, she examines the learning potential of three tasks, i.e., traditional exercises, communicative activities, and communicative events. She does so by analyzing the extent to which each of these tasks meets three main criteria for authentic communication, i.e., shared context, communicative intention, and communicative message. Furthermore, she compares the learning potential of these tasks according to the nature of learner language development and production, teacher and student roles, and overall intellectual development each task provides. She concludes that the learning potential of communicative events, such as language games, surpasses the other two forms of language practice significantly in both quantity and quality.

Department of English