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Developing Sociocultural Competence on the Basis of Authentic Texts (High School)

Student: Ekaterina Smirnova

Supervisor: Elena Lutkova

Faculty: School of Foreign Languages

Educational Programme: Foreign Languages and Intercultural Communication (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2021

The present research is concerned with the study of usage of authentic texts in EFL classes in Russian comprehensive high school (Years 10-11). With an aim to prove or refute the research question – whether the introduction of authentic reading and listening material positively influences the formation of the students’ sociocultural competence – a two-part study has been carried out. First of all, the analysis of two sets of well-known school books for high school EFL classes (for the Base and the Advanced Levels) with respect to the materials and tasks aimed at broadening the pupils’ sociocultural communication skills is conducted. The results contribute to a greater understanding of the advantages and the drawbacks of the current methodology. They also serve as the basis for the following part in which an illustrative sequence of tasks based on an authentic text containing relevant cultural information is devised. For this purpose, the French workshop technique is exploited. Overall, the results of the study allow to give an affirmative answer to the research question. The specifics of unadapted material combined with appropriate procedure of implementation help to fill the existing gaps in the existing methodology of the development of sociocultural competence as well as promote a variety of other skills.

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