Using and Adapting Authentic Materials to Help Motivate Students


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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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  • Don’t forget to setup the video camera to record the sessions ?

    Wow them in early with a super quick-fire demo of the things my students have done.
  • After explaining who I am and what I’ve done, go through the overview for the first session and explain how this forms the basis of all 4 sessions.

    Things to mention about self – written several articles about the subject, one in MET which I will make available online. My eLearning Consultancy and my Teacher Training Credentials plus about to start a PhD in authentic materials.

    Explain one of our main focuses will be how to make the difficult language of authentic (ie. Unadpted for learners) materials accessible. Dealing with Difficulty and coping strategies.
  • Contextualise this to your own needs to ask questions and work in groups – do a quick needs analysis here – high school, uni and primary school ss.
  • Get them to write the answer, then talk to partner. How many say “a school subject” how many say a living breathing thing? In order for English to be authentic it has to have personal meaning
  • Do as a task – see if they can spot it. Explain Authentic is a loaded term – it has good connotations in the name, so to be told you are not authentic is an insult. Then say… BUT What about ENGLISH, which is the world’s 2nd Language
  • Indonesia’s military chief was criticised by the media after being photographed in Singapore wearing what appeared to be an expensive watch worth over $100,000. General Moeldoko was quick to deny the allegation, and was quoted as saying “Just watch me, so you know I am not lying,” before taking off the watch and throwing it on the floor. Why was the military chief so adamant that his watch was a fake? Because he was being criticised for wearing a watch where “millions live in grinding poverty and there is much sensitivity about high-ranking officials leading luxurious lifestyles” (McElroy, 2014). In order to be authentic to his countrymen, Moeldoko wanted to show that he was not flaunting his wealth. However, the question remains as to whether the watch really was a fake, and if not, how he could afford it.

    Dr. Moeldoko is former Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI). He graduated from the Indonesian Armed Forces Academy (Years of service‎: ‎1981–2015)
  • As part of register get ss to introduce themselves in groups and to define authenticity and a spokesperson identifies their group members for register and then sumarises, which I then ask them to fit into one of Gilmore’s definitions.
  • VITAL – Have them plot something as a graph on here and explain it as an example – ask them what the benefit is of doing this.
  • Star wars as I age and times change….
  • Bridge but then synergy….
  • 宣言的知識 = Sengen-teki chishiki (declarative knowledge)

    This is the last slide of this section.
  • Refer to the handout and ask ptps to rate each one according to which they find most authentic.

    Handout is on page 2
  • Autonomy is ability to self-select aspects of the learning situation, hence compulsory courses are inherently amotivtiong. So too are overly prescriptive courses or text books.

    So, do we throw out the text book? No, but leave room for adaptation. Learn and utilise personalisation/relevancy strategies. Esp focus!

    WS – why is autonomy good, what are the benefits of this?

    Interest in the theory and practice of autonomy in language teaching and learning has grown remarkably in recent years. This lecture begins with a definition of autonomy and then goes on to look at the benefits of being autonomous. It also talks about the issue of culture within autonomy and concludes by discussing possible ways students can become more autonomous themselves.
    Adapted from an article by Philip Benson (2007) – ‘Autonomy in language teaching and learning’ Language Teaching Journal
  • Also ask which they think are more motivating?
  • The hypothesis is basically that if the teacher is motivated so will the students be. One way to improve teacher motivation is to use authentic materials or materials which the teacher is interested in. This will hopefully (but now always) feed back into the students.
  • What is this person’s motivation for paddling?
    2 forces at work. Originally, this person had own reason to paddle, - intrinsic. Then, they saw the shark and an external force started acting on them – extrinsic.

  • Do you agree that motivated students are more succesful than unmotivated students?

    So, is it our job to motivate students?

    Dornyei & Csizer 1998 Dorn (mot strat pp 31-2)
    Chambers 1999
  • In reality, which factor is stronger with our students?



    See Dornyei 2001
  • Self-Det = reaction against research showing extrin opposes intrins. Both can work together and even combine or replace
  • Integrqtive and instrumental and ref better expl…

    Relatedness = social aspect. Relate to other people, but also could be authentic – reflect real use
  • Authenticity = relevance. Differenty types of relevance to different aspects – learning aims, personal interest, student , teacher.
  • Basically sum up that studies have proven that both authentic materials contribute to motivation and also that autonomy is important in motivation (this applies also to the teacher).

    Perhaps ask if they have much autonomy in their work? If not, talk about the power of adapting materials, and also novel approaches to training – main issue will be preparing for student exams.

    Authenticity + Autonomy (T & S)
    = Motivation (T & S)

    Do you agree with this equation?
  • Ask for a definition of Authenticity.

    Explain that it is useful to consider authenticity from the two viewpoints of texts and tasks
  • Ask this to the groups, have feedback from them.

    Then, put up the bulleted questions

    Introduce the idea that authenticity might not be necessarily related to native speakers. Show a video of World English indian speaker from youtube on next slide.
  • Indian and Geordie
    Rate each in terms of comprehensibility. Usually, the L1 comes lower. Geordie is fully comprehensible to that speech community, the key is to find mutual intelligibility.
  • Handsome linguists joke. All the best linguists have big beards. Maybe I should grow one. Hand up if you think I should grow one
  • Add something from Watanabe ref.
  • Are newspapers authentic. From Native speaker realm?

    Are these authentic texts? No

    No relevancy.
  • What is def of authenticity?
  • It is inevitable that when we use authentic texts there will be words and grammar that our students might find difficult.
    This will decrease the more they are exposed to natural language sources
    It will also help them to learn coping strategies
    One such method is what I call the panacea method.
  • Go through the steps of the animation – 5 click
  • Quick demo of Flesch-Kinkaid readability score – make sure it is on the handout too. Could also mention ZPD or Krashen Level+1

    Also, ensure that participants understand that engagement refers also to their own level of engagement.

    Refer to handout

    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?

  • We will be using this model in a moment complete the workshop tasks.
  • Some of the materials don’t even have any words at all, so the ‘authentic’ part comes from the interaction between the students and the language they produce. Therefore it is essential they speak english, so make someone the milk monitor.

    Groups of 4.4 (5 groups of 4, 4 groups of 4) = 8 groups in total.

    Give each one a different authentic material to work with and plan a lesson or adapt. Perhaps not a bad idea to use some from the assessment.

    Bbc words in news japan garbage island
    Mick and Keith – short story
    CBBC – Egypt pm on trial
    Real or fake images
    Video – inconvenient truth (woksheet plus explain)
    Adventure hols
    Saved by the rats
    Wind Power

    Something for all ages and levels
  • Need to be html links and better variety
  • Mention Face validity
  • Ptps will
  • Each one should branch to a demo – each demo is supported by a list of links and ideas on the handout with screens and perhaps worksheets which I’ve made.

    After each one, have participants discuss to what extent they could employ these in their own classes and encourage questions from the floor.
  • TED is the best thing since sliced bread!

  • Download goes to
    Make your own goes to D-Volver – don’t bother clicking as it is in Multimedia section.
  • Explain there is only pass or fail mark, ensure they know that the plan should be like the ones they make for their own classes. Not too much detail.
  • Using and Adapting Authentic Materials to Help Motivate Students

    2. 2. Overview 9:00~ 10:30 •Overview & Definition of Authenticity 10:45~ 12:15 •Methodological Approaches 13:30~ 15:00 •Text Resources Workshop 15:15~ 16:45 •Multimedia Resources Workshop 17:00~ 18:00 •Assessment
    3. 3. Aims Examine 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. To look at, observe and demonstrate tasks which utilise authentic materials. Participants will adapt materials and design their own tasks.
    4. 4. OVERVIEW & DEFINITION OF AUTHENTICITY Research background and issues
    5. 5. ENGLISH IS … Before we can start – finish this sentence
    6. 6. Fake
    7. 7. What is authentic?
    8. 8. Gilmore (2007) 8 ‘inter-related’ definitions 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 inherent in a text itself, but is imparted on it by the reader/listener) 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. assessment 8. culture, and the ability to behave or think like a target language group in order to be recognized and validated by them” From Gilmore (2007: 98)
    9. 9. What is authenticity? Native Real Self Classroom Task Social Assessment Culture
    10. 10. The Authenticity Continuum Pinner, R. S. (2014). The authenticity continuum: Towards a definition incorporating international voices. English Today, 30(4), 22-27. Pinner, R. S. (2016). Reconceptualising Authenticity for English as a Global Language. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
    11. 11. Authenticity Gap
    12. 12. Authenticity as a Bridge
    13. 13. Useful Definition Authentic materials are ‘designed not to transmit declarative knowledge about the target language but rather to provide an experience of the language in use.’ (Tomlinson & Masuhara, 2010: 400) “
    14. 14. Domains of Authenticity authentic text / materials output / production tasks language in use
    15. 15. Authentic Tasks – 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 ask them to copy them all 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 discuss other ways in which the speakers from the text could have said the same thing using different language. – 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. • Unlike Texts, Authentic Tasks can come from any source.
    16. 16. Do you agree with this equation? Authenticity Motivation
    17. 17. What is Autonomy? [Autonomy is] the ability to take charge of one’s own learning. Holec (1979: 3) “
    18. 18. Show of hands Which do you find more motivating – materials from a course book or materials you have selected or created yourself?
    19. 19. The relationship between student and teacher motivation can be either positively or negatively synergistic. Deci et al (1997: 68) “
    20. 20. Teacher Motivation Student Motivation
    21. 21. Teacher Motivation Student Motivation
    22. 22. What is Motivation? • Basically it’s why people do things. • For language learning it is often cited as the reason students are successful (or not). • One of the main factors contributing to motivation has been repeatedly shown to be….. • ….the teacher. (Dörnyei & Csizér, 1998 ; Chambers, 1999)
    23. 23. Extrinsic Intrinsic
    24. 24. Intrinsic Extrinsic
    25. 25. Self-Determination Theory Deci & Ryan (1985) Integrative Instrumental
    26. 26. People are more self-determined if.. Autonomy Competence Relatedness
    27. 27. Relatedness Relevance Authenticity
    28. 28. There is a strong theoretical link Authenticity Motivation
    29. 29. What is Authenticity?
    30. 30. Authenticity • Texts • Tasks
    31. 31. PART 2 - METHODOLOGY A Theoretical Framework for adapting authentic materials
    32. 32. Authenticity
    33. 33. What are Authentic Texts? • Does authenticity come only from native or L1 speakers of English? • Can something be authentic if it was produced by learners rather than native speakers? • If English is the world’s second language, what are authentic examples of English?
    34. 34. British and American
    35. 35. Indian
    36. 36. Singaporean
    37. 37. Korean
    38. 38. Geordie
    39. 39. Which English is More Authentic?
    40. 40. Native speakers may feel the language 'belongs' to them, but it will be those who speak English as a second or foreign language who will determine its world future. David Graddol, The Future of English 1997 “
    41. 41. Kachru (1985) Inner circle Outer circle Expanding circle
    42. 42. Graddol’s (1997) Three Circles of English Overlapping
    43. 43. Is World English Authentic? • What variety of English do you hope to teach your learners?
    44. 44. Washback • How do exams affect your decision of what to teach in class? • Is there any way for you to combine authenticity and still prepare your students for their assessments? Cheng & Watanabe (2004)
    45. 45. Authentic texts?
    46. 46. Are authentic materials too confusing?
    47. 47. What can you do to help students deal with authentic texts?
    48. 48. Dealing with difficulty • Get them used to authentic materials • Coping Strategies – Panacea Method
    49. 49. Nanotechnology is not a for the problems faced by modern medicine, but it can help overcome some of the difficulties. panacea Problems Difficulties ≠ Solutions Answers Cure solution
    50. 50. Considerations for choosing materials
    51. 51. Context of Learners Choosing appropriate materials – what factors should you consider? – Age – Language difficulty (Flesch-Kinkaid) – Engagement / relevance – Sensitive issues
    52. 52. Adapting Materials 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.
    53. 53. Scaffolding?
    54. 54. Sean Penn Task • 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?
    55. 55. Mishan’s (2005) 3 Cs Culture Currency Challenge
    56. 56. Culture
    57. 57. Currency
    58. 58. Challenge
    59. 59. PART 3 - RESOURCES Traditional ‘Textual’ Authentic Materials
    60. 60. What are the best resources you know?
    61. 61. Evaluation • Age of your learners • Language ability vs. difficulty of text • Engagement / relevance • Sensitive issues / appropriateness Adaptation • Comprehension • Engagement • Reflection
    62. 62. Task: Adapting Authentic Texts 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
    63. 63. Over to you
    64. 64. Over to you Share your plan, explain th process of your adapted lesson Tell us how this is authentic an why you think it will b motivating.
    65. 65. Samples • Guardian Lessons • Weather Lesson • Film Lesson • Blockbusters
    66. 66. PART 4 – MULTIMEDIA MATERIALS Using technology to expand communicative horizons
    67. 67. What are Multimedia Materials • Have you ever used them in class? • Are these more motivating for students? Why? • Advantages and Disadvantages • What limitations are there? (facilities, time, money)
    68. 68. Some Examples • D-Volver • Google Maps • Podcasts • WebQuests • Video Lessons • Online Exchange Programs • Remote Access Field Trip (RAFT)
    69. 69. My student’s Video Project
    70. 70. Moodle
    71. 71. Discussion • What are some of the possible constraints of using these resources? • Are you a technophile or a technophobe? • Can you see any advantages/disadvantages to using technology in class?
    72. 72.
    73. 73. Other ideas • Blended Learning • Moodle and Virtual Learning Environments • Webinars and Open Access Video Lectures (Harvard etc) • Create your own media/lesson share club at school. • Teacher training
    74. 74. Webquests • Download • Make your own
    75. 75. Summary • You can download the slides and additional resources at • Please email me! • Please also checkout
    76. 76. PART 5 - ASSESSMENT Adapting your own materials
    77. 77. Instructions • Time: 60 minutes • Sections: 1 • Part One: 60 Minutes The first part is a short essay about how you see your relationship to authenticity. All materials must be submitted at the end, you will not be able to make a copy of this assessment.
    78. 78. Authentic Englishes 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 Comp Auth Comp Auth Comp Auth Comp Auth Comp Auth Comp Auth British American Indian Singpore Korean Geordie
    79. 79. Further • A resource for CLIL in Japan • You can download the slides and additional resources at • Please email me!
    80. 80. Thanks for your attention! See you later, alligator.