Authenticity and originarity in foreign language learning in the diaspora

Stephan 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.


: originarity, authenticity, foreign language learning, video conferencing

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ISSN 2224-3380 (online); 1726-541X (print)

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