This paper discusses the role of authenticity and authenticity claims in computer assisted language learning (CALL). It considers authenticity as the result of a social negotiation process rather than an innate feature of a text, object, person, or activity. From this basis, it argues that authenticity claims play an important role in both second language acquisition (SLA) and CALL, being utilized to support the legitimacy of an approach or discipline more generally, as well as in defending a specific didactic design, especially with regard to transfer and motivation. The paper distinguishes between three domains of authenticity claims essential to CALL contexts: authenticity through language (linguistic authenticity), authenticity through origin (cultural authenticity), and authenticity through daily life experiences (functional authenticity). It points out problematic aspects of engaging in authenticity claims and argues that a reflexive stance might be useful in questioning the role of authenticity claims in CALL theory and practice.
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