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Issues in Educational Research, 2020, Vol 30(2), 635-654.
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Design principles for integrating authentic activities in an online community of foreign language learners

Mariolina Pais Marden
University of Wollongong, Australia

Jan Herrington
Murdoch University, Australia

Actively encouraging foreign language learners to establish a meaningful connection with the target language culture - by engaging in authentic activities with other learners and native speakers in real-world communicative contexts - is a critical goal of foreign language education. This paper describes a design-based research study that investigated how students of Italian at an Australian university engaged with and responded to a web-based learning environment which integrated authentic learning tasks to facilitate social interaction and meaningful collaborative language practice with native speakers of the target language. The findings suggest that the use of the critical elements of authentic activities actively supported student learning across different domains. A major outcome of this research was the development of a set of design principles and guidelines for the design and development of authentic foreign language learning environments that could inform and guide other language educators within their specific educational context.
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Authors: Dr Mariolina Pais Marden is a Lecturer in Italian at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Mariolina's research focuses on the use of ICT and authentic tasks in second language acquisition. Her PhD investigated the development and implementation of an online community of foreign language learners through the use of authentic collaborative tasks using design-based research.
Email: mpm@uow.edu.au
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8354-6994

Dr Jan Herrington is Emeritus Professor of Education at Murdoch University, Western Australia. Jan's research has focused on authentic learning, e-learning, mobile learning, online learning environments, and opportunities for Indigenous learning through technology. She is a former Fulbright Scholar.
Email: j.herrington@murdoch.edu.au
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9960-4677

Please cite as: Pais Marden, M. & Herrington, J. (2020). Design principles for integrating authentic activities in an online community of foreign language learners. Issues in Educational Research, 30(2), 635-654. http://www.iier.org.au/iier30/pais-marden.pdf

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