Students are roused to take the interest in linguistic and cultural diversity of the school community and the world around and they are encouraged to communicate in authentic environments. FCC p. 134
Well-functioning learning environments promote dialogue, participation and collaborative knowledge construction. They also enable active cooperation between the school and the communities and experts outside school... Learning environments have to provide opportunities for creative solutions, as well as the examination and exploration of issues from different perspectives. FCC p. 27Authentic learning environments can be and very often are virtual. For authentic learning it’s essential that the sources of information are authentic and interaction takes place in real life (even if online), not drills, materials and simulated situations created for learning purposes. During a learning meaningful authentic texts (i.e. pictures, videos, podcasts, multimedia, articles, essays, presentations, cartoons) in which new ideas and innovative visions emerge are both studied and produced by students.
As for learning foreign languages, an authentic environment and genuine interaction across language boundaries inspires and motivates the students to express themselves and take part in real life conversations. Information and communication technology offers excellent ways to create a language learning environment that is appropriate for teaching and that supports interaction between students. All you need is a partner class for any part of the world and you can start face-to-face real-time interaction using user-friendly free apps like chats, forums and video conferencing (e.g. Skype, Google Hangout, FaceTime).
Information and communication technology offers a natural way to implement language learning in authentic situations and meet students' communication needs. This way of learning supports student active engagement and ownership of learning. FCC p. 131Authentic learning emphasizes students’ engagement and experience of authenticity in relation to their own learning. The student’s own ideas and strengths are exploited throughout the learning process from planning to assessment. In authentic learning the students is the owner/subject of her/his learning, not the object. Thus, learning becomes meaningful and relevant and the school as learning environment supports individual growth and the development, interaction and learning of the whole community.