I’m working with some of my high beginner students to practice reading for enjoyment so I’ve been reading a lot about reading! Here’s one of the blogs about teaching reading with “authentic texts”: real reading material, not material that is written just for ESL learners.
Many teachers like to use authentic materials in class, and they can obviously be a wonderful source of language. Over the next few weeks, I’d like to offer some thoughts and tips on how you might go about selecting and exploiting these materials, to maximise their benefit to students.
Nunan (1988) defines authentic materials as those ‘which have been produced for purposes other than to teach language’, so that might mean emails, blogs, statistics, timetables, advertisements, instructions, labels, menus etc as well as articles from newspapers and magazines.
Relevance and interest
Have you ever done any research into the literacy practices of your students? In other words, what they actually read (and write) in their daily lives, in their first language as well as in English. Ask students to keep a note of everything they read, including cereal packets etc, for a couple of days. You may be surprised, and…
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