Applying a task-based approach to authentic texts: An example of teaching a poem to lower level students of Greek as L2

MARIA SKIADA-SCIARANETTI and IFIGENIA GEORGIADOU

Authentic texts are a vital component of the task-based learning approach in classroom language acquisition. As they derive from the real-world they constitute a richer source of input and have the potential to raise learners’ awareness of a wider range of discourse features. These qualities of authentic texts are aligned with the contemporary, broadest notion of task, which is not limited to meaning-focused activities and meaningful communication but encompasses focus on form and consciousness-raising of linguistic structures and processes as well. Authentic texts, as real-life input, containing cultural and linguistic information, can respond most effectively to one of the main objectives of task-based instruction, which is to provide a situational and interactional context for activating the language acquisition process. The emphasis on task modelled on real-world language expressions and on authentic response and the engagement of the learners also advocates the use of authentic texts as a source input for task-based language learning. In this article we explore the theoretical frame for the integration of authentic texts into tasks, emphasising the task authenticity criteria and the task typologies for authentic texts. At the end we present a teaching scenario showing how authentic materials and task-based learning can be implemented in teaching literature to lower level students, who are the least exposed to authentic language input in the classroom.

KEYWORDS: task-based approach, authentic text, task authenticity, task typology, literature, L2

MARIA SKIADA-SCIARANETTI. Director of the Hellenic Culture School Switzerland and since 1999. Has been teaching Greek language and literature in educational institutions in Greece and in Switzerland. Since 2018 she is engaged in the Frederic University Cyprus in the Adult Education Master Programme. Holds a PhD on teaching Greek and a Master on Theory and Practice of Teaching and Assessment. Scientific interests are the application of SLA theories on second language teaching, the use of authentic texts in teaching Greek as L2, the impact of Transformative learning on the adult L2 students and learning and teaching in higher education.

IFIGENIA GEORGIADOU. Language teacher, teacher trainer, writer, and consultant. Works as the Director at the Hellenic Culture Centre and as an evaluator – adult education expert for the National Organization for Certification of Adult Educators, for the National Agency for the Erasmus plus and other bodies in Greece and Cyprus. Philologist with a ΜΑ in Education and Human Rights, and 30 years of experience in education. Author of 5 books on language learning and teaching, as well as articles and research papers on teaching languages. Certified EUROLTA Master Trainer. Coordinator of various research projects on education, at European and national level.

More articles in this issue: