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Time for you to choose

We’ve talked a lot about teachers using authentic materials – these are reading texts, listening materials, video clips, and so on, which are used in the English-speaking world and which teachers can choose to use with learners:

  • You've heard teachers talking about the different types of authentic material they use.
  • You’ve seen examples of lessons (Amal and Kata's lessons) which have been prepared using authentic materials.
  • You've discussed your ideas about how and why teachers use authentic material to supplement the coursebook they are given to use.
  • Task

    Now let’s see if you can put some of these ideas into practice. We’d like you now to choose a piece of authentic material to use with a class.

    Imagine you have a one-hour lesson coming up and you want to use a piece of authentic material to develop your learners’ English and boost their confidence.

    1. First decide who your learners are: are they young learners or adults?
    2. Then think about what level they are (beginner, intermediate, advanced).
    3. Choose a topic which would interest them (current affairs, food, holidays, fashion, sport, etc).
    4. Decide what type of activity would be best for them (eg read, listen, watch).
    5. Find a piece of authentic material which would suit the level of learners and would be relevant to their interests (it could be a text, a recording or a video).

    Some advice:

  • Try not to choose a text which will be too difficult for the level of the learners you have chosen to work with.
  • Avoid choosing something which is very long. You may need to teach learners some vocabulary related to the topic before they read, listen or watch. Learners won’t want to spend the whole lesson reading or listening – they’ll need to do some comprehension tasks and they’ll want to talk and/or write about the topic.
  • When you have chosen your piece of authentic material, attach a link to the material in the comments section. Please also tell us about the learners the material is for and give us your reason for choosing the topic and the material. Remember to look at what other learners have chosen and like materials which you think are good.

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    This article is from the free online course:

    Exploring the World of English Language Teaching

    Cambridge Assessment English