3 QuoteAuthentic material is…‘language where no concessions are made to foreign speakers…it is normal, natural language used by native or competent speakers of a language’ (Harmer, 2007:273) So, why are authentic materials important?
4 Why use project-based learning? Project-based learning can…‘ensure that a good balance of skills, language, activities and thematic strands is achieved throughout the time in which the students are working on the project…[it tends to] involve students in reading, discussion, writing (with language input) and, possibly, oral presentation’ (ibid. pp. 377)
5 How to select locally relevant authentic materials Concentrate on using surface culture topics (i.e. the arts, customs, food, holidays, places, situations, traditions, etc.) that are relevant to your local contextProvide your students with opportunities to engage in critical thinking and cross-cultural elements by adding deep culture topics (i.e. attitudes, perceptions, and values)Note: avoid any possible risk of offending your students though!
6 5 Examples of authentic materials RestaurantsSelect a restaurant that is relevant to your local context and that students are probably familiar with to some degreeSearch the Internet for the following authentic materials:Menu, cuisine, location, hours, policies, reviews written by customers, etc.
7 Practical suggestions for activities Form pairs to discuss one or two icebreaker questions(e.g. What is your favorite food? How often to you eat in restaurants? What is your favorite restaurant? Why?)
8 Some Ideas for the classroom Distribute the restaurant’s menu, profile, or reviewsPlay Vocabulary Bingo with the vocabulary (Appendix A)Distribute the restaurant’s profile or menuPlay Classroom Jeopardy based on facts found in the text (Appendix B)Distribute cards containing the names of menu items and other cards containing images or brief descriptions of these menu items. Form pairs to match the cards
9 GroupworkUsing the restaurant’s menu, forms groups to create and perform role plays based on the menuDistribute cards with different roles to each group memberHere are some examples of the roles your students can play (Handout A)
10 Other ideas… Distribute restaurant reviews on separate strips of paper Form pairs to read and rank the reviews from most favorable to least favorableForm pairs to reflect on students’ restaurant experiences (both positive and negative) and to choose one experienceNext, have students describe what happened at the restaurant and write a review of the restaurant
11 Authentic Materials… 2) Recipes Select a recipe for a dish that is popular in your local contextRecipes contain useful language related to ingredients, quantities of measures, instructions (usually in imperative form), actions (cook, cut, peel), amounts of time (e.g. 15 minutes, 1 hour), and descriptions (e.g. chopped, dried, fresh)
12 Some Practical Activities Form pairs to discuss icebreaker questions such as: Do you like to cook? Why (not)? What is you favorite dish? What did you eat for breakfast?Distribute the recipe. Play Vocabulary Bingo with its vocabulary (Appendix A)Distribute cards containing the names of the recipe’s ingredients and other cards containing images/adjectives describing these ingredients. Form pairs to match the cards
13 (Continued) Distribute cards containing vocabulary from the recipe Each card should have only one word: a noun (e.g. potato), a verb (e.g. stir), an adjective (e.g. fresh), or a quantity or measure (e.g. cup)Form pairs to sort the cards into these four categories and alphabetize the cards within each category
14 Another activityDistribute the recipe. Form pairs to answer questions based on facts found in the recipe(e.g. How long does it take to prepare? How many people does the recipe serve? How much [non-countable noun] do we need? How many [countable noun] do we need?Ask the pairs to create at least three additional questions based on this recipe
15 Authentic Materials… 3) Blog, magazine, newspaper, tourism articles Select articles related to topics such as current events, food, people, recreation, and tourism in your students’ local contextOftentimes, locally relevant articles are published by international media outletsMany countries have at least one locally published English-language newspaper
16 Example Topic: ‘Getting Married’ Show your students some colorful cartoons or clip of art of people related to the topic of getting married. Form pairs to describe everything that students see in the picturesForm pairs to discuss ice-breaker questions such as: What does “marriage” mean? Can you use it in a sentence? Can you give examples? When should people get married?
17 More activitiesDistribute the article as a fill-in-the-blank exercise with at least 10 blanks. Read the story aloud while students listen carefully enough to fill in the blanksAlternatively, distribute the article and ask your students to read it aloudHave students brainstorm words and ideas for “marriage” for two minutes. Next, talk about the words/ideas for five minutes
18 Authentic Materials… 4) Literature, performing arts, and visual arts You can develop a huge amount of authentic material just by using locally-created works of art, such as paintings, photographs, and literaturePoems, short stories, and song lyrics are great resources to considerMost of the suggestions for how to use restaurants, recipes, and articles are appropriate for these materials as well!
19 Authentic Materials… 5) Movies Movies that show events or places related to your local context provide a rich source of authentic material (e.g. video clips)Think about the text on which the movie is based (e.g. a novel, a stage play)Think about possible conversation and writing topics related to the movie’s characters and plot (video clips almost always prove engaging)TedTalks is a great way to use authentic material!
20 ReferencesA framework for planning a listening skills lesson. (2010, February 10). Retrieved January 4, 2015, from https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/a-framework-planning-a-listening-skills-lessonPlanning a lesson: “When to Tie the Knot”.Retrieved February 21st, 2015 fromhttps://www.headsupenglish.comNunan, D. (1997). Approaches to teaching listening in the language classroom. Proceedings of the 1997 Korea TESOL Conference, 1-10.Richards, J. (2008). Teaching listening and speaking: From theory to practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Thomas, C. (2014). Meeting EFL Learners Halfway by Using Locally Relevant Authentic Materials. English Teaching Forum 52 (3): 17-19