ACTFL provides us with Core Practices that guide teachers toward teaching language proficiency rather than simply teaching about the target language. It comes down to providing students with opportunities to do something with the language and not just demonstrate what they know about the language.
When we take on the task of providing opportunities for students to engage with culture ACTFL recommends using authentic cultural resources.
What is an authentic cultural resource?
- Eileen W. Glisan and Richard Donato explain that “Authentic texts […] are created for various social and cultural purposes by and for users of the target language.” The word authentic implies that “the text has not been simplified or edited for the purpose of language instruction.”
How do I choose authentic cultural resources?
Leslie Grahn suggests that these resources should be:
- Authentic (truly for by and or native speakers)
- Appealing (compelling to students)
- Accessible (according to the students’ proficiency level)
- Aligned (integrated into goals and backward planning)
What are some possibilities for authentic cultural resources?
- Video clips
- Audio clips
One of the best pieces of advice that I have heard regarding using authentic cultural resources is from Leslie Grahn:
“Adapt the task, not the text.”