Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics Plus

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Authenticity and originarity in foreign language learning in the diaspora

S Mühr


This paper reflects on a telecollaborative project with second-year students of German between the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and Colgate University (United States of America) in 2008. The project resulted from a critical discussion on the potential of online technology in foreign language
learning (FLL). A central concern in implementing such technology should be the all-inclusive, authentic use of all language faculties, which Peeters (2008) calls "originarity". The latter overcomes structuralist or poststructuralist reductions of language as a medium of communication. Thus, the essence of FLL can be redefined, not as the acquisition of mimicry of specific codes, but as intercultural dialogue.

Keywords: originarity, authenticity, foreign language learning, video conferencing
AJOL African Journals Online