2.3 – The Role of Authentic Content

2.3 – The Role of Authentic ContentThink



  1. What are some examples of authentic content you have used with your students or you that you have worked with as a language learner?
  2. What made the experience of working with this authentic content meaningful for your students or for you?


Due: before 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 19 

Post your responses to the two questions above by completing columns two and three only on a shared Collaborative Learning Group Google doc. You will need to complete the following steps to do this:

  1. If you don’t remember your CLG, you can find it in CLASSRoad Groups pdf document that is in our Resources block. 
  2. Once you have found the CLG to which you belong, please click on the link for your CLG in this document (Links to an external site.) and follow the posted instructions.  
  3. Return to this page when you are done!

Your Collaborative Learning Group (CLG) is a subset of individuals from our program who share the same language and compatible time zone. It is larger than your peer microteaching group. In this program you will be working in groups on a variety of activities. These groups are based on the language you teach and, to the extent possible, shared time zones. 

Pedagogical Principles in Practice

Current pedagogical practice (Links to an external site.) emphasizes language learning that is engaging and meaningful to our learners, that moves them toward real-world use of the language, and in which grammar is a tool for communication and not the focus of the lesson or unit. 

As we plan to create meaningful cultural contexts in our lessons we should consider the following:

  1. Is the context age-appropriate
  2. Can we design tasks that make use of authentic materials appropriate for the age level and language proficiency of the learners?
  3. Can we build on what they already know about this cultural context from their own lives? For example, can we make connections to their experiences dining at a restaurant and dining at restaurants in our target culture (practices)? 
  4. Can we help them move beyond observing cultural differences to understanding and practicing these culturally contextualized skills (both practices and perspectives)? For example, knowing how, when and why to say what to whom when purchasing food items?
  5. Is grammar the focus of the lesson or is grammar used as a tool for communication?
  6. Do we use a variety of strategies to make language comprehensible?
  7. Can learners do something in real-life with this cultural context either face-to-face or online; now or in the near future (product and/or practice)?

Let’s see if we can apply these seven principles above. The following activity has several parts. Before you begin, please read all of the Activity Details to ensure your understanding of how we’ll carry out this activity.

Activity Details

Due before 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, June 20   

  1. We are going to view a Think Aloud from Amy Lenord, a Texas high school teacher of Spanish. Her level 2 Spanish students operate in the target language between Novice Mid to Novice High. Her Honors students end the year between Novice High and Intermediate Low. The first lesson shown here is based on a unit theme of taking a trip and concerns travel preparations. Please watch Amy’s reflection below and consider how she creates meaningful context for her learners. We will use the seven principles above to guide our evaluation.

  2. After viewing Amy’s Think Aloud, return to your Collaborative Learning Group’s Google Doc, which you can find here: http://bit.ly/authenticCLGs (Links to an external site.).  

    (If you have forgotten your CLG, you can find your group here: CLASSRoad Groups)

  3. In your CLG Google Doc, enter your responses to the two items below. You will do this in columns 4 and 5 in the row with your name.
    1. Please list two ways Amy provided meaningful context for her students in her lesson planning, based on the seven principles listed above.
    2. Offer one additional suggestion for a meaningful context in her lesson planning, based on the seven principles listed above. This could comprise an aspect of culture or content.

  4. Finally, review the contributions of your CLG. Consider how you may use some of the ideas suggested by your peers for your upcoming synchronous learning episode and lesson.

As we saw with our evaluation of the Spanish teacher in Module 01, it is important to have a shared understanding of the behaviors and characteristics of model world language teachers so that we can support each other in becoming the model world language teacher. Using established principles and criteria to observe and reflect on other world language teachers’ planning practices will help us when we participate in our own microteaching and synchronous lesson for the language students at CSUSB.

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