Authentic Materials

For general discussion between ESL teachers.

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Authentic Materials

Unread post by cmelton » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:43 pm

I am starting an ESL course for adults next week and trying to incorporate more authentic materials into the lessons. I'd love some feedback from other professionals. Have you had positive experiences with authentic materials? What resources do you suggest?

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Re: Authentic Materials

Unread post by Shelley » Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:46 pm

Resources like newspapers and magazines are authentic, as are radio programmes, TV or songs. The internet is a great place to find all of these without the need to go out and buy anything or make tons of photocopies (if your students have online access of course).

The main thing though is that the topic is of interest to your students so I prefer to let them choose the topics, this also helps implicate them more in the lesson and take responsibility for their own learning.

For homework students can source a short article they find interesting and write questions for the class about it. This could be done in pairs to encourage discussion between students and collaboration. Students present their article in class and at the end of the class have a fun quiz using teams where all the questions are asked relating to all the articles covered. The class have to know in advance they will be getting the quiz as this gives them a good reason to listen to the presentations on the articles.

If the quiz results are dire that's an excuse to go over the articles again!

Kind regards

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Re: Authentic Materials

Unread post by eric_p_m » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:06 pm

Dear cmelton,

If you are aware of where your future students are coming from, research on your part is paramount. In the event that all the students are from the same company or religious organization, utilize whatever material you can find in the target language that will promote language improvement. Again, this is the motivational factor that Shelley is talking about.

For example, I was teaching an outside adult Spanish course for a summer and my university did not tell me anything about the students. Ages varied tremendously: 19-69. At first, the students were reluctant to learn as much as possible, as they felt like they had to be there, but once I found out that they were all there because of their church was sending them all as missionaries to Latin America, I taught them the Lord's Prayer and I have never seen such a more intense lesson. After that little bit of knowledge, I had them hooked for life. Every student automatically transformed into an A-student.

Likewise, if your students are all coming from a single company, look at the company's home page in addition to their competitors. Compare and contrast, explaining to them where profit and promotion lie and they will love you forever.

For further advice, feel free to visit me working on-line.


Eric Paul Monroe

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