Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £35.99 £24.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

What different types of resources are there?

Monica and Marie Therese (and other teachers) talking about different types of resources
So Marie Therese, when people talk about English language teaching resources, what are they referring to? OK, so we’ll divide it up into categories because there are different categories relating to resources. First of all, we talk about published materials. So published materials means things like coursebooks, e-books, supplementary material. So like materials that have listening exercises in them or reading exercises. Or maybe a book that has grammar exercises, that would be supplementary materials. Coursebook materials would be books that publishers have published at different levels. So you’d have an intermediate coursebook, you’d have a student’s book, a teacher’s book, CD-ROMs, maybe DVD. That sort of thing. So that’s coursebook materials, published materials. Then we have authentic materials.
These are materials that are used by ordinary people. Not published, not particularly designed like published material. OK, so you mean things like newspapers, magazines, leaflets, brochures, menu cards in restaurants, YouTube videos. Exactly. Songs. [INTERPOSING VOICES] Very popular. [INTERPOSING VOICES] - that kind of thing. Absolutely. So those are authentic materials. So published materials are made and published specifically for English language learners. Authentic materials are the materials that everybody in the English-speaking world uses every day. Then we talk about realia. Realia means real objects that the teacher brings into the classroom. So for example, if I was teaching a lesson where I was teaching vocabulary related to fruit - apples, pears, oranges, bananas. That’s what I’d bring into the classroom.
So I’d bring a whole bag full of those things, and those would be realia.

First, check your answers to the task from the previous step – you can see the types of resources in the table below. How did you do? Which ones are you confident you understand?


Monica and Marie Therese talk about published materials, authentic materials and realia in the video. They explain what they are and give examples. While you watch, note down the examples Monica and Marie Therese give for these types of resources. You can do it in a table such as this one which includes an example.

Type of resource Examples
Published materials Coursebooks
Authentic materials  
Digital resources There are no examples in the video but we’ve put some in the answers and we’ll talk about these later in the week.

Check your answers here or below.

Think of your own example of a resource to go in one of the categories. Why would the resource you have chosen be interesting to use? Use the comments to tell us about the resource, and why you chose it.

This article is from the free online

Exploring the World of English Language Teaching

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now