Megan Alyssa Ehrenfeld Ed.D. Dissertation Proposal Defense: “Real Talk: Exploring World Language Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices Related to Authentic Texts”
Language is connected to a people, culture, history, and communicative purpose. One way world language teachers help students explore the intersections of culture and language is through the use of authentic texts, such as films, newspapers, podcasts, videos, music or short stories (see: Cammarata, 2010; Di Stefano et al., 2021; Glynn & Spenader, 2020; Sato et al., 2017, Spenader, et al., 2018). Research demonstrates that authentic texts can be used with a variety of ages and skill levels and create positive outcomes for students’ language skills and intercultural competence. While the research points to the success of using authentic texts in the world language classroom, there is little specific information about how teachers are using them in their classes, what specific resources they are using, why they use these resources and for which aspects of language instruction. Without teacher perspectives, the field of language education has little understanding of how to support world language educators in integrating authentic texts into the classroom. Drawing on Borg’s (2009) theory of language teacher cognition, this qualitative study will investigate the following research questions:
1) What are middle and high school world language teachers’ beliefs related to authentic texts?
a) How do middle and high school world language teachers define authentic texts and how do they view their place in the curriculum?
b) Which aspects of language learning do teachers believe authentic texts have the most potential to impact and why?
2) What are middle and high school world language teachers’ practices related to authentic texts?
a) What kinds of authentic texts do middle and high school world language teachers use and how do they report using them?
b) What factors mediate middle and high school world language teachers’ practices related to authentic texts?
3) What do teachers’ reported beliefs and practices about authentic texts suggest for future PD initiatives?
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