Author Topic: Learners Are Involved in Authentic Tasks  (Read 8013 times)

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Offline shanson1

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Learners Are Involved in Authentic Tasks
« on: January 30, 2006, 09:44:17 AM »
Computer-mediated communication can be communicating for a real purpose, especially in synchronous settings like chatting.  However, prompts may need to be provided at least occassionally to keep the communication going, particularly if this is done for classwork or as an assignment.

Teachers need to be careful, however, to make sure that they don't use computer enhanced instruction just for the purpose of using technology.  A danger exists that computer usage could replace more authentic face-to-face interactions.  Since technology is being used more and more in everyday life, this danger is probably diminishing, though.

Stephanie

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Re: Learners Are Involved in Authentic Tasks
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2006, 10:01:25 AM »
I agree with what you said about providing prompts, Stephanie. When students are working on computers, it's easy that they end up losing their focus (like checking online news, emails, etc. Or they may just run out of things to talk about). So I think providing prompts is a good way to prevent this potential problem from happening since it really "keeps the communication going".  ;D

Offline Penny

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Re: Learners Are Involved in Authentic Tasks
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2006, 10:12:54 AM »
Developing authentic tasks is most challenging, and I wonder whether it is possible to develop some programs so that learners can take roles in communication, just like those online games. But is it authentic?. Maybe computer, or internet can be used as a tool to get information needed to fulfill authentic and communicative tasks.

Offline ssrun2

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Re: Learners Are Involved in Authentic Tasks
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2006, 10:20:15 AM »
I agree with the idea that CMC may affect the authentic tasks of "face-to-face interaction" because the face-to-face communication is completely different in terms of social contexts.

Offline Mete

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Re: Learners Are Involved in Authentic Tasks
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2006, 08:05:40 AM »
Developing authentic tasks is most challenging, and I wonder whether it is possible to develop some programs so that learners can take roles in communication, just like those online games. But is it authentic?. Maybe computer, or internet can be used as a tool to get information needed to fulfill authentic and communicative tasks.

As Penny said, providing authentic tasks is the most difficult job for the teacher. Games or even forums can be developed but the question is are they really authentic? I guess the answer to this quetion can be solved through assigning students project-type works where they really need to use their English to get the knowledge they need. Here, the important concept is the need for the knowledge. In classroom activities we can also make them need to use their english -through information gap activities simply- but with CMC we have a better chance of providing them with the authentic tasks and environment as they need.

Offline baburhan

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Re: Learners Are Involved in Authentic Tasks
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2006, 08:44:48 AM »
Developing authentic tasks is most challenging, and I wonder whether it is possible to develop some programs so that learners can take roles in communication, just like those online games. But is it authentic?. Maybe computer, or internet can be used as a tool to get information needed to fulfill authentic and communicative tasks.

To find an exact answer for Penny's question seems to be impossible for the time being. Though, I claim that online games may be helpful for creating a purposeful communication environment. That is to say, a chat room may be founded where chess players from all over the world come together.

Then,  they will have a common goal which they all agree and acknowledge. They have many things to share and talk about. I suggest that a chatroom with a specific goal and topic is a perfect example for real life communication.

Imagine a chatroom where teachers of English from all over the world come together. Imagine how much they would have to share.
Isn't that the way TESOL, engineers' journals, economists' journals, science journals and military journals emerged? ??? ???
the mediocre teacher tells. the good teacher explains. the superior teacher strates. the GREAT teacher INSPIRES :)

Offline Pelin

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Re: Learners Are Involved in Authentic Tasks
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2006, 09:32:07 AM »
Hi everybody,
I have just joined the group as well.
I also agree with Penny and my other friends in that it is a really challenging and a not easy job for the teacher to provide the students with authentic tasks. Egbert-Chao-Smith say in their article we have read "Authentic tasks are those having the same types of cognitive challenges as complicated real-world tasks do." Therefore, to be able to make the language learning meaningful and useful in real life, authenticity of the tasks is really important. That is why; this is one crucial point the teachers should be careful about.
As Stephanie also stated, CMC and also CALL can create commication settings for real purposes as long as they have been provided with right, sufficient and leading instructions.
Moreover, as far as I am concerned, chatrooms, message boards and forums designed for special puposes, like we have, are very beneficial for real life purposeful communication, and it also provides authentic tasks and environment. Furthermore, as we all know, we can even have audio and face-to-face interactions via webcams online in CMC environments.
Briefly, CMC and CALL are great opportunities for language learning and teaching in rendering the authentic tasks available for all learners and teachers.

Pelin

Offline hatime

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Re: Learners Are Involved in Authentic Tasks
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2006, 01:22:44 PM »
I think the idea of "chatroom" put forward by baburhan is quite nice. Keeping the key word "authentic tasks" in mind, we should provide the learners with the activities that are like in real life in order to make them have authentic goals for language use. To examplify, the learners could be assigned real life situations or even roles, which will make it easier to use the language or produce in the target language. Since it is a real life situation, I think it will be more meaningful for them, as well...

Hatime  ::)

Offline Randall Sadler

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Re: Learners Are Involved in Authentic Tasks
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2006, 03:42:11 PM »
One of the things we talked about over here on the U.S. side is how you could use some message boards to engage in authentic communication.  For example, how you might use the Frommer's travel website Travel Talk boards http://www.frommers.com/cgi-bin/WebX  to get students to engage in authentic communication.

In this case, one idea was to have ESL/EFL students lurk in the message board area for their own country.  They could easily do a couple things.  First, answer posts by people with questions about their country.  This gives them the "expert" position even though their language might not be perfect.  Second, they could get more active and add a post offering their service as an expert of their culture.  In both cases, they would be involved in totally authentic and interesting communication.   ;D
Randall Sadler, Administrator, The CMCforum
Assistant Professor, Linguistics
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,  http://www.eslweb.org

Offline Ali Fuad

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Re: Learners Are Involved in Authentic Tasks
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2006, 05:48:59 PM »
hi folks..

the new advances in technology especially in the field of CMC serve to facilitate the authenticity of the tasks that learners are involved in. to be more specific, the AI (artificial intelligence) and its web based applications) could create such an environment for the learners in which they are assigned a variety of different tasks. the variety of these tasks are simply subject to our creativity. although, such an idea could easily be labeled as far-fetched however, remember there is no end. it was wright brothers' vision, creativity and enthusiasm (that lasted less than a wingspan of a boeing 747 jumbo jet) that took us to a step further. I personally have a toefl preparation guide dating back to 60-70s and the listening texts are in LPs. can you imagine? and now, the IBT (internet-based toefl) is on the way. i think, i make myself clear. briefly speaking, each and every new day, every advancement is a plus in the authenticity continuum of the tasks..

Offline banu

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Re: Learners Are Involved in Authentic Tasks
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2006, 09:19:21 AM »
Learners Are Involved in Authentic Tasks

Firstly, I agree with all of you..

that is one of the areas which CMC overcomes the traditional language classroom. Through CMC, we can find virtual but real environments that enable learners to use TL e.g. chatting or e-mailing.But of course, we also need a purpose to make a task authentic. Without a purpose, authenticity will not be enough to take learners' attention and participance in this virtual environment..