Using authentic multi-media material to teach Italian culture : student opinions and beliefs
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This qualitative research aims to present students' beliefs about the role that culture plays in language learning and to understand their responses towards the use of authentic multi-media materials. Based on the results of the study, this dissertation describes the impact that authentic multi-media materials had on students' cultural knowledge and their overall language learning experience. The implications discussed in this study are based on students' responses and are relevant to foreign language instructors who are interested in the areas of culture teaching, authentic multi-media materials, students' perspectives, and autonomous learning. In particular, the dissertation presents a link between authentic multi-media materials and motivation based on Ryan and Deci's Self-Determination Theory (2000). The results found in this study suggest that authentic multi-media materials are resources that could be utilized in the early stages of instruction in order to capitalize on students' inherent interest in the Italian culture, which in turn serves to motivate students to persist in their language study.