UBC Graduate Research

Using a meaning driven approach with authentic texts in the FSL classroom Kung, Emily A.


This paper discusses research focused on the ways in which authentic texts can support language learning in a second language classroom. Traditional methods of language learning which depend on bottom-up instruction are heavily reliant on the teacher, grammmar-based worksheets, and memorization of vocabulary and grammar rules. Research identifies that by carefully structuring a lesson around an authentic text that is by chunking the reading into three phases of pre-reading, reading and post-reading with appropriate activities, teachers can use authentic texts to support students' second language learning. The research shows that instructional activities done in conjunction with an authentic text are an extremely important aspect of using authentic texts with beginning second language learners. Research identifies that with teacher guidance and carefully designed activities authentic texts can support second language learning at all levels including beginners. Finally, research suggests that if students are to benefit from engagement with authentic texts then such texts should be introduced (with appropriate teacher support) sooner rather than later. This paper examines what the research has to say about incorporating authentic texts into the FSL (French as a Second Language) program in a beginner to intermediate classroom at the grade 8 or 9 level. What was learned from this review of the literature is used to develop a unit plan based on three authentic texts and connections to practice.

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