ANNA PHILLIPS -

AUTHENTIC LEARNING: CREATING MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES TO FOSTER SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION IN THAI ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE CLASSROOMS : LITERACY AND 21ST CENTURY SKILLS IN ELT

Thai TESOL 2020 Anna M. Phillips Title Authentic learning: creating meaningful experiences to foster second language acquisition in Thai English as a second language classrooms Proposal Authentic experiences are integral to L2 student success inside and outside of the classroom as the engagement opportunities they provide in solving meaningful tasks prepare learners for real-life situations and interactions. The Thai national curriculum encourages authentic learning, however it can be seemingly difficult to implement these practices when faced with limited materials and the confines of a classroom, which may leave one to revert to traditional teacher-centered approaches, thereby leaving our second language learners at a disadvantage. In identifying the significance of the problem, this presentation seeks to establish a renewed fervor for implementing authentic learning strategies and materials into English as a second language classrooms by proving its efficacy in bolstering second language acquisition and by providing examples of ways to create authentic meaningful experiences including materials, and activities that can be achieved within the classroom. This presentation will be based on the presenter’s autoethnography and she will support her reflective experiences by using excerpts from the The Basic Education Core Curriculum B.E. 2551 (A.D. 2008) of the Thailand Ministry of Education. This will take the form of an introspective research narrative detailing the significance of her authentic learning experiences, the presenter’s “full circle” journey, and how this correlates with known scholarly research and with the mission statement of the “Foreign Languages” section of The Basic Education Core Curriculum. This presentation will look at the learning process through Vygotskian constructivism and the role the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) plays in influencing L2 achievement in reifying skills and concepts encountered through a student-centered approach, which is key to implementing authentic learning. The presenter will then expound upon learner-centered education (e.g., Nunan) as a means to highlight the significance of student interest and motivation in second language acquisition that authentic learning promotes. The presenter will provide a synthesis of relevant literature and theory detailing the effectiveness of authentic learning experiences through Krashen’s theory of comprehensible input and its emphasis on meaningful interaction and communication. In concluding, the presenter will address classroom and material limitations and provide examples of ideas, materials, and activities for authentic learning to occur involving both teachers and administration. In order to encourage audience participation and interest in furthering their knowledge I will ask the audience to share their own knowledge on authentic learning experiences for others to learn from and to potentially promote collaboration amongst educators.

As a current graduate student at the University of Southern Maine I am studying to earn a Master of Science in Education in TESOL. I previously taught English in Hua Hin, Thailand for one year.