Authentic Social-Cultural Reading in Foreign Language Learning and Teaching
Keywords:authentic materials, social-cultural reading, international students, foreign language, higher education institution (HEI)
The paper concerns the use of authentic social-cultural reading materials in foreign language learning and teaching of international students. The study was started from the assumption that authentic materials allow international students to link mastering a foreign language and the real world since they meet learners’ needs and contribute to better social adaptation in a foreign country.
The purpose of the article is to characterize the place and role of work with authentic social-cultural reading materials in foreign language learning and teaching of international students.
The theoretical and mixed methods were used to achieve the purpose. The study was conducted with first-year international students of different faculties of SNAU. In the context of the mixed method both quantitative (numerical) data from questionnaire (in the middle of the semester) and qualitative (namely students’ comments, observation and analysis of students’ activity during foreign language classes, monitoring the students’ reaction to the use of authentic reading materials from different sources (printed mass media, TV, Internet) throughout the semester were gathered and processed to bring the results together in the overall interpretation. Conclusions: the outcomes demonstrate that international students consider authentic social-cultural reading worthwhile and see more potential advantages in work with them than constraints. International students support using different thematic materials from personal contexts (family life and habits) to public ones (country’s traditions and events). The benefits of using them also include a possibility for enhancing reading skills, acquisition of the language and reality of the foreign country, better students’ social adaptation, and motivation to learning.
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