Review of Text Authenticity Relationship with Language Learner Motivation and Communicative Competence

  •  Hamdi Ahmad    
  •  Robert McColl Millar    


Although the call for a more learner-centered pedagogy has long existed in English language teaching, viewpoints are still very controversial on what type of materials should be used in language classrooms. This paper is aimed at defining and addressing the ambiguities surrounding the concept of text authenticity and its relationship with language learner motivation and communicative competence in the field of English Language Teaching (ELT). However, wherever possible, for the purpose of maintaining criticality, data associated with pedagogic materials are also discussed. The study is based upon the theoretical strategy of research represented in a critical review of a number of research studies aimed at defining the concept of text authenticity and investigating the effects of authentic materials on language learners’ individual differences, namely learner motivation and communicative competence. The findings obtained from the literature review revealed that aspects of text authenticity may be situated in the text itself, the participants, social or cultural situations and purposes of the communicative act, or some combination of these elements. Equally important, the study concluded that a lack in language learners’ motivation and deficiency in their overall communicative competence in the English language can be attributed to teachers’ exclusive reliance on contrived text materials in a typical form of textbooks. The study recommends that teacher training courses should be aimed to develop language teachers’ practical knowledge and skills necessary for evaluating and designing TESOL materials. In addition, to introduce authentic materials into language classrooms, syllabus writers and classroom teachers need to take into consideration this methodological framework consisting of three sequential procedures: 1) conducting a careful analysis of learners’ needs in context, 2) selecting authentic texts in light of learners’ needs already analyzed in context, 3) basing teaching on the Task-Based Learning (TBL) approach that stresses the importance of activating learner schemata, awareness-raising activities and task differentiation. This triangulation methodology is likely to contribute to reducing the difficulty of text authenticity and realizing comprehensible input.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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