More Robert Harrell. Ain’t it great?
Far too many people hear “use authentic texts” and think “use ONLY authentic texts”.
While I cannot speak for ACTFL, I imagine that they are not saying authentic texts only. I do know that the presenter from College Board who led the AP workshop I attended in 2011 did not mean “authentic texts only”. In fact, her advice was to use graded readers as part of the preparation that leads up to reading an authentic (literary) text. My medieval book (far more than my pirate book) was written to do precisely that: read a bit and then use what we have read as a jumping off point for a short “authentic text”. For example, in one chapter the hero meets a famous German poet, and I provide an interpretation of one of his most famous poems; then we read the short poem. I also use school materials published by Klett Verlag as part of the unit. They’re a German publisher, and I use their black-line masters for German history classes: written by native speakers for native speakers. Ta-da! “Authentic texts”. We also do some heraldry – it’s a great review of colors and shapes – and I use German, Austrian, and Swiss coats of arms as examples. Once again, authentic texts (just not printed words).
So, in the discussion about authentic texts, keep returning to what has actually been said. (A Common Core Standard) There is a huge difference between saying, “Use authentic texts”, and saying, “Use only authentic texts”.