Authentic workplace situations as a motivational element in foreign language learning in vocational education on the example of the hairdresser syllabus
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The goal of teaching English as a foreign language has remained the achievement of communicative competence and the 21st-century challenges the teachers and learners in finding motivation for teaching and learning. The aim of the present Master thesis is to find out how the authentic learning environment and authentic activities support the motivation level of foreign language learning and develop communication skills of hairdresser students in Tartu Vocational Education Centre. The research question was answered through former hairdresser students’ perceptions before and after the exposure to authentic learning. The results of the study show how the perceptions changed after experiencing authentic learning and whether the process increased learners’ motivation when using a foreign language for communicative purposes. The present thesis comprises of an introduction, two core chapters and a conclusion. The introduction of the paper explains the situation of vocational education in Estonia, defines the need for authentic learning, and focuses on previous research in the field. The first chapter gives an overview of the concept of authenticity, introduces authentic learning and its characteristics, explains how authentic learning raises motivation and discusses the areas of concern. The second chapter introduces the research design, including the research instruments and a discussion of the procedure of the study. The results of the research are analysed and compared to previous studies. The conclusion summarises the two chapters presented in the paper, focuses on the major findings as well as limitations and practical value of the current thesis.
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