VietTESOL International Convention, VietTESOL International Convention 2018

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Running with Scissors: Authenticity in the Classroom
Philip Warwick

Building: A12
Room: Room 304
Date: 2018-10-13 10:10 AM – 11:10 AM
Last modified: 2018-09-15



This practical session explores authenticity of tasks, materials and situations, asking whether students are learning language ways that would appear natural outside the classroom, using real-world materials created for non-pedagogical L1 purposes, and in non-classroom contexts. Teachers will learn how to better incorporate authentic tasks, materials and situations to enhance classroom learning; drawing on examples from GoGetter and Wider World.


Although teachers often indicate a preference for authentic materials in the classroom, there is debate on the use of authenticity in language classrooms and confusion on the extent to which they might be used in terms of tasks, materials, and situations.

Authenticity of task questions whether students are engaged in activities aimed at learning language in a way that would appear natural outside the classroom context. Authenticity of materials covers a continuum that begins with inauthentic materials to constructed materials, to completely authentic materials. Authenticity of situation refers to non-classroom contexts normally encountered by native speakers and non-native speakers alike.

This session explores teachers’ awareness of authenticity and suggests ways to incorporate authentic tasks, materials and situations to enhance classroom learning.  We will identify and assess authentic tasks, materials, and situations for students of all ages and reflecting on how authenticity might best be included in each teacher’s classroom.