Authenticity and Metacognition in L2 Learning

Ass. Prof. Dr. Richard Pinner (Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan)

A talk for the ↗︎ Virtual Laboratory
on Cognitive Approaches to L2 Instruction:

Bridging Theory, Research and Practice

↗︎ Link to pre-recorded lecture
If you would like to ask any questions or continue the discussion, you can do so either using the YouTube comments or via Twitter ↗︎ @uniliterate.


In this video lecture, I will discuss the issue of authenticity in L2 learning and teaching. I will outline the way authenticity is (somewhat paradoxically) simultaneously over-simplified and overly complicated. In order to explain the definitional problems and conceptual paradoxes of authenticity, I will present the authenticity continuum, which is a visual attempt to understand authenticity as it relates to language learning from both a social and contextual perspective. Authenticity is an important aspect of self-in-society when learning another language, and I will discuss the way that metacognition and metacognitive strategies are an essential aspect in the creation of a culture of authenticity within the language classroom.


Dr. Pinner completed his PhD in Applied Linguistics and ELT in 2017, focusing on authenticity and motivation from an international perspective. He is an associate professor at the Department of English literature at the Sophia Universitу (Japan). Dr. Pinner is particularly interested in sociolinguistics, language and identity, second language identities, teacher education and the psychology of language learning. He has recently begun researching into the effect of digital media on language, and interested in social justice. Dr. Pinner’s continuum multispectral model of authenticity in L2 classroom (Pinner, 2016) has greatly affected the field of L2 education.

Recommended literature

Pinner, R. S. (2019). Social Authentication and Motivational Synergy: A narrative of language teaching. London: Routledge.

Pinner, R. S. (2019). Augmented Communication: The effect of digital devices on face-to-face interactions. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Pinner, R. S., & Ushioda, E. (2019). Personalisation and Professionalism: managing the relationship between teachers and learners as people. In R. Lowe & L. Lawrence (Eds.), Duoethnography in English language teaching: Research, reflection, and classroom application. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Pinner, R. S. (2018). Re-learning from experience: using autoethnography for teacher development. Educational Action Research, 26(1), 91–105. doi: 10.1080/09650792.2017.1310665

Pinner, R. S. (2018). Authenticity and ideology: Creating a culture of authenticity through reflecting on purposes for learning and teaching. Argentinian Journal of Applied Linguisticsi>, 6(1), 7–24.

Pinner, R. S. (2016). Reconceptualising Authenticity for English as a Global Language. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Lowe, R., & Pinner, R. (2016). Finding the Connections Between Native-speakerism and Authenticity. Applied Linguistics Review, 7(1), 27–52. doi:10.1515/applirev-2016-0002

Pinner, R. S. (2016). Using self-assessment to maintain motivation in a dynamic classroom environment: An exploratory practice inquiry of one Japanese university speaking course. Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 3(1), 27–40.

Pinner, R. S. (2016). The nature of authenticity in English as a foreign language: a comparison of eight inter-related definitions. ELTWO Journal, 9(1), 78–93.

Pinner, R. S. (2016). Trouble in paradise: Self-assessment and the Tao. Language Teaching Research, 20(2), 181–195. doi: 10.1177/1362168814562015

Pinner, R. S. (2014). The authenticity continuum: Towards a definition incorporating international voices. English Today, 30(4), 22–27. doi: 10.1017/S0266078414000364

Pinner, R. S. (2014). The Authenticity Continuum: Empowering international voices. English Language Teacher Education and Developmenti>, 16(1), 9–17.


The project aims to popularize and promote cognitive and neurocognitive sciences data
and reflections applied to L2 acquisition. We believe that this knowledge is necessary for L2
instructors to increase professional awareness by developing general principles that can guide
methodological decisions in everyday teaching practice in the post-method era.

The Virtual Laboratory (a MOOC-like resource) constitutes an open collection
of recorded videoconferences, where recognized experts in the field
share their ideas and findings on a topic and in a format of their choice.

The recorded videoconferences will be available at the webspace
of the Institute of Slavic Studies at the University of Heidelberg.
They will be accompanied by reflective activities for deeper
comprehension and by suggestions for further reading.

↗︎ Detailed project description

If you are interested in presenting a talk within the Virtual Laboratory,
please submit your proposal to: maria.bondarenko@slav.uni-heridelberg.de

Letzte Änderung: 09.09.2020