What Makes “Alignment” Work Effectively in a Foreign Language Class?

yuanyuan ZHU


This study aims to argue for the crucial role of task authenticity in alignment in a foreign language class. Alignment means learners’ application of what they have learned from their foreign language class. An action research study was conducted with an English class in the context of a Chinese university in order to exemplify task authenticity for addressing effective alignment. The intervention was a focus on “realism” in language learning activities featuring personalized topics, production-oriented tasks and thinking skills development. This article reports on the way the study was conducted and the cycles gone through, especially focusing on one of the lessons with the authentic activity in practice. Students’ assignments and their evaluation of the instructor’s teaching performance were employed for analysis. Results indicate that students appear to be more interactive and apply more vocabulary and ideas from their learning material in comparison with those before the action research study.


Alignment; Task authenticity; Foreign languages classes

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/9227


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