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LINGUIST List 24.701

Thu Feb 07 2013

Diss: Applied Ling/ English: Trabelsi: 'Towards a Framework for Authenticity of Business English Materials for Tunisian Students'

Editor for this issue: Lili Xia <lxialinguistlist.org>

Date: 06-Feb-2013
From: Soufiane Trabelsi <sofientt2000yahoo.fr>
Subject: Towards a Framework for Authenticity of Business English Materials for Tunisian Students
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Institution: Leeds Metropolitan University
Program: Curriculum and Instruction
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Soufiane Rachid Trabelsi

Dissertation Title: Towards a Framework for Authenticity of Business English Materials for Tunisian Students

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Dissertation Director:
Brian Tomlinson
Ivor Timmis

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis reports on a case study that investigates the authenticity of Business
English teaching materials used in a Tunisian higher education context. The
notion of authenticity has been still problematic among ELT researchers and
applied linguists. The study attempts to suggest a localised approach to
authenticity through the development of a new principled framework of authentic
materials that will be valid for Tunisian intermediate students of Business

In more practical terms, the case study attempts to theorise a framework of
authenticity based on surveying the literature on authenticity and subjecting it to a
critical appraisal. Thus, an inductive research methodology approach is applied.
Two types of input informed the construction of the newly obtained framework:
external input is based on insights from theories related to SLA, CLT, ESP,
authenticity, and corpora; internal input is represented by an empirical study
undertaken on the current teaching materials and their major stakeholders.

The site of study is Sfax University where the researcher has employed a
triangulation of methods consisting of a questionnaire to fourth year business
students, an interview to their teachers of English, and a content analysis to their
course materials. As a fourth tool, surveys were given to some randomly chosen
potential students’ employers, who were relevant stakeholders, in order to obtain
their input and to further validate the framework. The findings show that the
authenticity of teaching materials is conditionally determined by surveying the
profile of the students, their major stakeholders, and the context where materials
are to be used. The implication of the study is that authenticity of the course
materials is the result of the mediation of the needs and the demands of all the
stakeholders and their context, bearing in mind that the teachers are likely to
assume a primordial role in such mediation.

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