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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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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.