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Using and Adapting Authentic Materials to Motivate Students - Handout

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This course offers an insight into how best to select and adapt authentic materials to use with students as a way of exposing them to other cultures and ways of thinking. It has been shown that authentic materials are more motivating for students (Peacock, 1997) and thus the class will feature practical demonstrations of ways in which authentic materials can be used to help motivate students.
In the class, participants will look at, observe and demonstrate tasks which utilise authentic materials and participants will also have the chance to a adapt materials and design their own tasks in a hands-on workshop.

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Using and Adapting Authentic Materials to Motivate Students - Handout

  1. 1. Sophia Teacher Training STT_01_AuthenticMaterials_Handout_v6.docx 1 Using and Adapting Authentic Materials to Help Motivate Students Richard Pinner – rpinner@sophia.ac.jp www.uniliterate.com Course description: This course offers an insight into how best to select and adapt authentic materials to use with students as a way of exposing them to other cultures and ways of thinking. It has been shown that authentic materials are more motivating for students (Peacock, 1997) and thus the class will feature practical demonstrations of ways in which authentic materials can be used to help motivate students. In the class, participants will look at, observe and demonstrate tasks which utilise authentic materials and participants will also have the chance to a adapt materials and design their own tasks in a hands-on workshop. Defining Authenticity Alex Gilmore (2007) identifies eight ‘inter-related’ meanings from the literature: 1. “the language produced by native speakers for native speakers in a particular language community 2. the language produced by a real speaker/writer for a real audience, conveying a real message 3. the qualities bestowed on a text by the receiver, in that it is not seen as something already in a text itself, but is how the reader/listener perceives it) 4. the interaction between students and teachers and is a ‘personal process of engagement’ 5. the types of task chosen 6. the social situation of the classroom 7. the relevance something has to assessment 8. culture, and the ability to behave or think like a target language group in order to be validated by them” Adapted fromGilmore (2007, p. 98) Which of these definitions do you find the most convincing? The Authenticity Continuum In order to incorporate the majority of the speakers of English into the concept of authenticity whilst also allowing for such important factors as motivation, autonomy and identity, authenticity might best be considered not as a binary set of absolutes, or even as a grey area with two extremes on either side, but as a continuum with both social and contextual dimensions. The horizontal axis represents the social dimension of authenticity, at one end the learner or individual and their needs, linguistic ability and motivation to learn, at the other the target language use community. This might be an L1 country such as the USA or UK, or it might be the international community where English is used as a tool for communication in multilingual contexts, or it could even be a workplace where English will be needed in order to interact with colleagues. The vertical dimension of the continuum is meant to represent the context of language use. The continuum presents the two contexts which are likely to be most relevant to language learning; the classroom and the real world where the communication takes place. (Pinner, 2012, 2014, 2016) Native Real Self Classroom Task Social Assessment Culture
  2. 2. Sophia Teacher Training STT_01_AuthenticMaterials_Handout_v6.docx 2 Useful Definition of Authenticity for Teaching In this training workshop we will use Tomlinson and Masuhara (2010, p. 400) definition which states that authentic materials are ‘designed not to transmit declarative knowledge1 about the target language but rather to provide an experience of the language in use.’ Students also need to authenticate (Widdowson, 1978) the materials, which means undertaking “a personal process of engagement” (van Lier, 1996). Domains of Authenticity Authentic Tasks Put a number (1 – 3) next to each of these examples to decide which you think is the most authentic task. Example A: The teacher brings an English language newspaper to class and has students read the text and underline every instance of the present perfect aspect or passive tense, and then asks them to copy each sentence out into their notebooks. Example B: The teacher uses an ‘inauthentic’ text from a published course book which was contrived specifically to practise reported speech and then discusses other ways in which the speakers from the text could have said the same thing in a different way. Example C: The teacher asks students to use the internet to research about their favourite celebrity or hero and then create a short presentation in English to the rest of the class about that person. Authenticity and Motivation World Englishes and Authenticity It is no longer possible to say that something is authentic just because it comes from an American or British newspaper, and it is also no longer possible to say something is not authentic for the same reasons. As David Graddol says, “The future status of English will be determined less by the number and economic power of its native speakers than by the trends in the use of English as a second language” (2003, p. 157)  Do you agree with the idea of World Englishes?  Could you utilise World Englishes in your classes?  How do you think your students would respond to this? 1 宣言的知識 Kachru (1985) Authenticity MotivationThe relationship between student and teacher motivation can be “either positively or negatively synergistic” (Deci, Kasser, & Ryan, 1997, p. 68) Inner circle Outer circle Expanding circle Graddol (2007) authentic text / materials output / production tasks language in use
  3. 3. Sophia Teacher Training STT_01_AuthenticMaterials_Handout_v6.docx 3 Dealing with Difficulty  Authentic materials are more motivating – why? Perhaps because of culture and relevance to the class. Perhaps because they are more engaging and feel ‘real’.  Authentic materials are more difficult – why? Because the language in the texts has not been modified for our learners. These texts are not intended for learners. So, are they only suitable for advanced students? No, we can either adapt them or prepare our learners for them.  How can we overcome the difficulty problem? Teach our learners coping strategies, such as the ‘panacea method’. Context is the key to meaning. Remove the difficult words. Treat them like a jigsaw puzzle. Ignore any words you cannot understand. Only focus on what words you understand. Try other words to see if the sentence makes sense. When you find a piece that fits, move on. Other strategies  Provide a vocabulary glossary  Provide a straight translation  Give the students plenty of time but engage them in the process of unlocking meaning. Make them work to understand the text as this will help them learn new words better.. Selecting Materials Choosing appropriate materials – what factors should you consider?  Age of your learners  Language ability of learners vs. difficulty of text (use Flesch- Kinkaid to evaluate)  Engagement / relevance of materials to the learners (and teacher)  Sensitive issues which may be inappropriate Questions to help you select materials  Do I (the teacher) find this content stimulating?  Will my learners find this interesting?  Is it suitable for my learners (difficulty, age)?  How does it fit in with the other work we are doing in class?  Will this be useful to them? (assessment, future goal Adapting Materials Frieda Mishan (2005) advocates the consideration of 3 Cs – Culture, Currency and Challenge. Here is another simple model for adapting/using authentic materials. Can you add any criteria to this model? Comprehension Form Focused (vocabulary and grammar). This should be dealt with in as interactive a way as possible – eg. Students could simply match up the numbers 1 -6 with a – e or they could check the words in a dictionary and teach them to their partners. Consider scaffolding. Engagement Once the main ideas of the materials are clear and students have been given time to prepare and understand, have them interact in a personal (authentic) way with the text/material. Eg. Asking opinions, debating, responding etc. Materials need face validity Reflection The students should be given a chance to reflect on the skills/language that they have used and the purpose this has in their own learning. In other words, Autonomy training. Students should know something about what and why they were learning.
  4. 4. Sophia Teacher Training STT_01_AuthenticMaterials_Handout_v6.docx 4 Sean Penn broke out of jail: biography December 27, 2004 www.smh.com. Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn was once arrested for attempted murder before fleeing his jail cell and escaping to Hong Kong. The star dangled a photographer over a ninth-floor hotel balcony in Macau after catching him in his room in 1986 while he was filming Shanghai Surprise, according to The Sunday Morning Post in Hong Kong. He was arrested and put in a cell with his personal assistant who helped him hold the photographer over the balcony - but the pair escaped and jumped on a jetfoil boat and drove to Hong Kong. The incident is revealed in interviews Penn gave author Richard Kelly for his biography, Sean Penn: His Life and Times. Penn, then aged 25 - travelled to Macau with then wife Madonna, tailed by a massive media circus for the filming of the movie Shanghai Surprise, now widely seen as one of Hollywood's worst films. Penn recalled how after walking into his hotel an intruder "lunged at him" and, helped by his personal assistant who was also his kickboxing coach, "grabbed the guy, ran him through the room to the balcony and hung him over - on the ninth floor". It was then that Penn claims he realised the intruder was in fact a paparazzi photographer, one of scores tailing the couple because of the intense interest in pop queen Madonna and her new husband. Police were called, according to the newspaper, and Penn said: "Five minutes later I'm in jail, on a stone floor next to my friend, and everyone's talking Portuguese." However, Penn noticed the cell door was ajar and fled with his assistant before jumping on a jetfoil to escape Macau, then a Portuguese colony. Penn was later given a pardon by the Portuguese Government, which ruled Macau until 1999, he said. The incident took place a year after Madonna and Penn married in August 1985. They were to divorce four tumultuous years later. His arrest in Macau was never reported, although the couple were widely reported to have had run-ins with photographers in London, Hong Kong and Macau while they were on location for the film. Filming in Macau was abandoned with no explanation at the time although one report said the film's executive producer, ex-Beatle George Harrison, flew to Macau to try to defuse tensions between Penn and photographers. Madonna complained afterwards that the press had been "unbelievably vicious and rude" during filming. • Evaluate the ‘authenticity’ of each version of the handout. Consider face validity and scaffolding. • Now evaluate the content of itself. Would your students engage with this as authentic? Would they be able to authenticate this?
  5. 5. Sophia Teacher Training STT_01_AuthenticMaterials_Handout_v6.docx 5 Sean Penn: badass escape Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn was once arrested for attempted murder before fleeing his jail cell and escaping to Hong Kong. The star dangled a photographer over a ninth-floor hotel balcony in Macau after catching him in his room in 1986 while he was filming Shanghai Surprise, according to The Sunday Morning Post in Hong Kong. He was arrested and put in a cell with his personal assistant who helped him hold the photographer over the balcony - but the pair escaped and jumped on a jetfoil boat and drove to Hong Kong. The incident is revealed in interviews Penn gave author Richard Kelly for his biography, Sean Penn: His Life and Times. Penn, then aged 25 - travelled to Macau with then wife Madonna, tailed by a massive media circus for the filming of the movie Shanghai Surprise, now widely seen as one of Hollywood's worst films. Penn recalled how after walking into his hotel an intruder "lunged at him" and, helped by his personal assistant who was also his kickboxing coach, "grabbed the guy, ran him through the room to the balcony and hung him over - on the ninth floor”. It was then that Penn claims he realised the intruder was in fact a paparazzi photographer, one of scores tailing the couple because of the intense interest in pop queen Madonna and her new husband. Police were called, according to the newspaper, and Penn said: "Five minutes later I'm in jail, on a stone floor next to my friend, and everyone's talking Portuguese. “However, Penn noticed the cell door was ajar and fled with his assistant before jumping on a jetfoil to escape Macau, then a Portuguese colony. Penn was later given a pardon by the Portuguese Government, which ruled Macau until 1999, he said. The incident took place a year after Madonna and Penn married in August 1985. They were to divorce four tumultuous years later. His arrest in Macau was never reported, although the couple were widely reported to have had run-ins with photographers in London, Hong Kong and Macau while they were on location for the film. Filming in Macau was abandoned with no explanation at the time although one report said the film's executive producer, ex-Beatle George Harrison, flew to Macau to try to defuse tensions between Penn and photographers. Madonna complained afterwards that the press had been "unbelievably vicious and rude" during filming.
  6. 6. Sophia Teacher Training STT_01_AuthenticMaterials_Handout_v6.docx 6 Task: Adapting Authentic Texts This evaluation criteria might help you to structure how you adapt these authentic materials. Now please choose a spokesperson from your group and ask them to explain the lesson plan you designed. Form small groups You will be given an authentic text to use Discuss the merits of this text in groups Plan a lesson which you think would be suitable for this text Try to create some comprehension questions, discussion points and communicative tasks Explain your lesson plan to the class Evaluation • Age of your learners • Language ability vs. difficulty of text • Engagement / relevance • Sensitive issues / appropriateness Adaptation • Comprehension • Engagement • Reflection
  7. 7. Sophia Teacher Training STT_01_AuthenticMaterials_Handout_v6.docx 7 Some Useful Resources Name Link Description D-Volver Movie Maker www.dvolver.com/moviemaker/ Have students make movies around a special theme or grammar point Google Maps http://maps.google.com/help/maps/streetview/ Use maps to practise directions, using relative clauses to indicate people or you could have them plan a bank robbery using future tenses! So many options here. Online Exchange Programs See mailing lists, you can also use Facebook and other social networking tools Organise a virtual exchange to immerse your students in other cultures and learn about something new while using English WebQuests http://www.world-english.org/webquests.htm and http://webquest.org/index.php They come in all shapes and sizes or make your own! BBC Learning English www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/lan guage/wordsinthenews/ BBC news especially for EFL learners. Lessons and articles include MP3 files and vocabulary glossaries. Children’s BBC www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/ BBC news especially for kids NHK http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/index.html Audio files and Japan centred news in English Onestopenglish www.onestopenglish.com A huge source of downloadable lesson plans and discussion forums Onestopclil www.onestopenglish.com/clil - see also www.CLILJapan.org Worksheets and discussion for Content and Language Integrated Learning British Council www.teachingenglish.org.uk Lesson plans from the British Council. Great resources and great for learning British culture. TED.com www.ted.com Utterly brilliant site for video listening lessons, all with subtitles but quite high level. Today program http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/default.stm High level but very topical and with downloadable podcast audio IATEFL / TESOL mailing lists http://ltsig.org.uk/discussion-list.html or http://calico.org/calico-l/calico-l-info.html. are two examples Great for finding exchange partners Guardian lessons www.onestopenglish.com/skills/news- lessons/monthly-topical-news-lessons/ These are ready to go and have a choice of 3 levels. Short Stories for Kids http://freestoriesforkids.com/short-stories A nice site for simple short stories with morals Adapting from Literature www.teachingenglish.org.uk/try/britlit/landlady as an example. Email me for more information Nice literature lesson plan as an example Japan Times www.japantimes.co.jp/ Great for high level news about Japan
  8. 8. Sophia Teacher Training STT_01_AuthenticMaterials_Handout_v6.docx 8 Multimedia Resources and Authenticity Because of Information Communication Technology, there is an almost unlimited source of authentic materials available at our fingertips. Students can gain access to samples of the target language in seconds, but not all the content is suitable or even good quality. The key is to know how to find what you need for your class and to help students to assess the quality of the sources they find. Virtual Learning Environments Does your school have a VLE? Moodle is free and easy to set-up and can provide a great online resource for students and teachers to interact. Online Cultural Exchanges Although easy to set up these are perhaps the most authentic type of online material because they are generated by real interactions with real people. Contact a school in another country using an online forum and set up a place online where students can chat and share messages. Facebook is a good way to do this, or else create your own blog using WordPress or some other online site. You can find virtual exchange partners by posting a message on an online mailing list such as the IATEFL Learning Technologies Special Interest Group2 or CALICO mailing list3 . R.A.F.T. These are Remote Access Field Trips. If you have any twin schools in other cities or countries, or have colleagues in other institutions around the world, they can all mingle and collaborate online. A RAFT might involve a week long project of making videos and posting them on an online forum or blog, then responding to comments about where to go next for example. You could create a very advanced and engaging sequence of lessons where classes collaborate with students across the world. (Pinner, 2011)4 ©opyright issues!  Educational institutions have special permissions regarding copyright issues.  Information in English and Japanese is available at http://www.cric.or.jp/  If you are not sure, include the source and you should be fine!  Displaying films and playing music are ok because you are not re- selling or charging money like a cinema or concert. To add references to each page easily, paste the source reference in the footer of the document. 2 http://ltsig.org.uk/ 3 https://calico.org/ 4 This was taken from an article I wrote for English Teaching Professional magazine http://sophia.academia.edu/RichardPinner
  9. 9. Sophia Teacher Training STT_01_AuthenticMaterials_Handout_v6.docx 9 References Chambers, G. N. (1999). Motivating language learners: Multilingual Matters. Cheng, L., & Watanabe, Y. (2004). Washback in language testing: Research contexts and methods: Routledge. Deci, E. L., Kasser, T., & Ryan, R. M. (1997). Self-determined teaching: Opportunities and obstacles. In J. L. Bess (Ed.), Teaching well and liking it: Motivating faculty to teach effectively (pp. 57-71). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Gilmore, A. (2007). Authentic materials and authenticity in foreign language learning. Language Teaching, 40(02), 97-118. doi:10.1017/S0261444807004144 Graddol, D. (2003). The decline of the native speaker. In G. Anderman & M. Rogers (Eds.), Translation today: trends and perspectives (pp. 152-167). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Graddol, D. (2007). Changing English (Revised ed.). Abingdon: Routledge. Kachru, B. B. (1985). Standards, codification and sociolinguistic realism: the English language in the outer circle. In R. Quirk, H. G. Widdowson, & Y. Cantù (Eds.), English in the World: Teaching and Learning the Language and Literatures (pp. 11-30). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mishan, F. (2005). Designing authenticity into language learning materials. Bristol: Intellect Books. Peacock, M. (1997). The effect of authentic materials on the motivation of EFL learners. ELT Journal, 51(2), 144- 156. doi:10.1093/elt/51.2.144 Pinner, R. S. (2011). Making the most of moodle. English teaching professional(73), 64-66. Pinner, R. S. (2012). Examining Authenticity and Motivation from an International Perspective. JACET ESP Annual Report, 14, 26 -35. Pinner, R. S. (2014). The authenticity continuum: Towards a definition incorporating international voices. English Today, 30(4), 22-27. doi:10.1017/S0266078414000364 Pinner, R. S. (2016). Reconceptualising Authenticity for English as a Global Language. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Tomlinson, B., & Masuhara, H. (2010). Applications of the research results for second language acquisition theory and research. In B. Tomlinson & H. Masuhara (Eds.), Research for materials development in language learning : evidence for best practice (pp. 399-409). London: Continuum. van Lier, L. (1996). Interaction in the language curriculum: Awareness, autonomy and authenticity. London: Longman. Widdowson, H. G. (1978). Teaching language as communication. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Further Reading Jenkins, (2006) ‘Current Perspectives on Teaching World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca’ TESOL Quarterly 40(1) (pp. 157 – 181) Richards, J.C. (2001). Curriculum development in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Seargeant, P (2009) The Idea of English in Japan: Ideology and the Evolution of a Global Language. Bristol: Multilingual Matters Sharma, P. and Barrett, B. (2007) Blended Learning: using technology in and beyond the language classroom. London: MacMillan Education Watanabe, Yoshinori., Ikeda, Makoto., & Izumi., Shinichi Eds. (2012) CLIL: New Challenges in Foreign Language Education. Volume 2, Tokyo: Sophia University Press. Summary You can download the slides and additional resources at www.uniliterate.com • Please email me! rpinner@sophia.ac.jp • Please also checkout www.cliljapan.com Thanks for your attention and ‘keep it real!’

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