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Using and Adapting Authentic Materials to help motivate students


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These are the handouts from the Teacher Training Workshop on using and adapting authentic materials to help motivate students

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Using and Adapting Authentic Materials to help motivate students

  1. 1. stt01authenticmaterialshandoutv8- 190821055817 1 Using & Adapting Authentic Materials to Help Motivate Students Dr Richard Pinner – Course description: This courseoffers an insightinto how best to select and adaptauthentic 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: The Debate Authenticity comes from the Greek word authenteo which meant ‘to have full power’. The word is made of two parts;auto- means ‘self’ and hentes refers to the doer or being, and thus has etymological roots with autonomy (self and nomos as in law,self-governing). Alex Gilmore (2007) identifieseight‘inter-related’meanings fromthe 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 betweenstudents and teachersand 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) Whichof these definitionsdoyou findthe most convincing? Can you see any problems? In my own writings,I have further simplified this to Two Basic Strands of the authenticity debate (Pinner,2016a). What is the best way to link these two strands? Authenticity is “the degree of congruence between one’s actions and one’s coreself-conceptions – consisting of fundamental values, beliefs, and identities” (Vannini & Burgess, 2009,p. 104) Native Real Self Classroom Task Social Assessment Culture existential • interactions practical • materials
  2. 2. Sophia Teacher Training stt01authenticmaterialshandoutv8- 190821055817 2 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 bean L1 country such as theUSAorUK, orit 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. Thecontinuum presents thetwo contexts which arelikely to be most relevant to language learning; the classroom and the real world where the communication takes place (Pinner, 2016b). 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 languagebut rather to providean experience of the languagein use.’ Students need to authenticate (Widdowson, 1978) the materials, which means undertaking “a personalprocess ofengagement” (van Lier, 1996). Adapting Materials Here is anothersimple model foradapting/usingauthenticmaterials. Canyouaddany criteriato this model? 1 宣言的知識 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 areclear 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. use domain learningcontext authentic text / materials output / production tasks language in use
  3. 3. Sophia Teacher Training stt01authenticmaterialshandoutv8- 190821055817 3 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. World Englishes and Authenticity It isno longerpossible tosaythatsomethingisauthenticjustbecause it comesfroman AmericanorBritishnewspaper,anditisalsono longerpossibletosaysomethingisnotauthenticforthe same reasons. AsDavidGraddol says, “The future status of Englishwill be determinedlessbythe numberand economicpowerof its native speakersthan by the trends in the use of Englishas a secondlanguage” (2003, p. 157)  Do you agree with the idea of World Englishes?  Could you utilise World Englishes in your classes? How doyou thinkyourstudentswouldrespondto this? The 3Cs of Authenticity Frieda Mishan (2005) advocates the consideration of 3 Cs – Culture (target and home), Currency (as in time) and Challenge (level+1 or zone of proximal development). Kachru (1985) Inner circle Outer circle Expanding circle Culture Currency Challenge All Englishesare equal,but some varietiesare more equal thanothers (Pinner,2016b, p. 69)
  4. 4. Sophia Teacher Training stt01authenticmaterialshandoutv8- 190821055817 4 Authenticity and Motivation Social Authentication “Authenticationisbasicallyapersonal process of engagement,[…] itisreasonable tosuggestthata teacher’sauthenticitymaystimulate authenticityinthe studentsaswell.”(vanLier,1996, p. 128) Teacherswhoinvestpersonallyintheirteachingexpectasimilarpersonal investmentfromtheirstudents.Whenthisisreciprocal,itcreatesSocial Authentication(congruent validationinthe learningprocess) whichleadstopositivemotivational synergy.Inthisway authenticitycaneitherbe aBRIDGE or a GAP betweenthe teacherandstudents’motivation. (Pinner,2019) Energy Return on Investment (ERI)  Energyis fundamentallydefinedasthe abilitytodowork,and ERoI isvery basicallythe paybackreceived  In termsof teaching,I applyERoIto referto the amountof energyateacher investsinthe class,andhowmuch energy(work) isreturnedbythe students. The Language Impetus Triad Due to the close conceptual linksbetweenautonomy,motivationandauthenticity,itmightactually be simplertothinkof themas part of an interdependentsystem, akathe Language ImpetusTriad.  Doesany of thisseemtrue to you fromyourown experiences?  Do youagree withideaof EnergyReturnonInvestment?  Have you everexperiencedsomethinglike this? dynamic link between teacher and student motivation authenticity autonomyauthority Authenticity Motivation The relationship between studentand teachermotivation can be “either positively or negatively synergistic” (Deci,Kasser,&Ryan, 1997, p. 68)
  5. 5. Sophia Teacher Training stt01authenticmaterialshandoutv8- 190821055817 5 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
  6. 6. Sophia Teacher Training stt01authenticmaterialshandoutv8- 190821055817 6 Task: Adapting Authentic Texts Thisevaluationcriteriamighthelpyoutostructure how you adaptthese authenticmaterials. Nowplease choose aspokespersonfromyourgroupand askthemto explain the lessonplanyou designed. Form small groups You will be given an authentictext to use Discuss the merits of this text in groups Plan a lesson which you thinkwould be suitable forthis text Try to create some comprehension questions, discussion points and communicativetasks 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 stt01authenticmaterialshandoutv8- 190821055817 7 Multimedia Resources andAuthenticity Because of InformationCommunicationTechnology,there isanalmostunlimitedsource of authenticmaterialsavailableatourfingertips.Studentscangainaccessto samplesof the target language inseconds,butnotall the contentis suitable orevengoodquality.The keyistoknow how to findwhatyouneedforyour classand to helpstudentstoassessthe qualityof the sourcestheyfind. Virtual Learning Environments Doesyour school have a VLE? Moodle isfree andeasyto set-upandcan provide agreat online resource forstudentsandteacherstointeract. Online Cultural Exchanges Althougheasytosetup these are perhapsthe mostauthentictype of online material because theyare generatedbyreal interactionswithreal people. Contact a school inanothercountryusingan online forumandsetup a place online where studentscanchatand share messages.Facebookisagoodway to do this,or else create yourownblogusingWordPressorsome other online site.Youcanfindvirtual exchange partnersbypostingamessage on an online mailinglistsuchasthe IATEFL LearningTechnologiesSpecial InterestGroup2 or CALICOmailinglist3 . R.A.F.T. These are Remote AccessFieldTrips.If youhave anytwinschoolsinothercitiesorcountries,orhave colleaguesinotherinstitutionsaroundthe world,theycanall mingle andcollaborateonline.A RAFT mightinvolve aweek-longprojectof makingvideosandpostingthemonanonline forumorblog, thenrespondingtocommentsaboutwhere togonextforexample.Youcouldcreate a very advancedandengagingsequence of lessonswhereclassescollaborate withstudentsacrossthe world.(Pinner,2011)4 ©opyright issues!  Educational institutionshave special permissionsregardingcopyrightissues.  InformationinEnglishandJapanese isavailableat  If you are notsure,include the source andyoushould be fine!  Displayingfilmsandplayingmusicare okbecause youare not re- sellingorchargingmoneylike acinemaorconcert. To add referencestoeachpage easily,paste the source reference inthe footerof the document. 2 3 4 This was taken from an articleI wrote for English Teaching Professional magazine
  8. 8. Sophia Teacher Training stt01authenticmaterialshandoutv8- 190821055817 8 References Deci,E. L., Kasser,T.,& Ryan,R. M. (1997). Self-determinedteaching: Opportunitiesandobstacles.InJ.L. Bess(Ed.), Teaching well and liking it: Motivating facultyto teach effectively (pp.57-71). Baltimore:JohnsHopkins UniversityPress. Gilmore,A.(2007). Authenticmaterialsand authenticityinforeignlanguage learning. LanguageTeaching,40(02), 97-118. doi:10.1017/S0261444807004144 Graddol,D. (2003). The decline of the native speaker.InG. Anderman&M. Rogers (Eds.), Translation today:trendsand perspectives (pp. 152-167). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Kachru,B. B. (1985). Standards,codification and sociolinguisticrealism:the English language inthe outercircle.InR. Quirk,H. G. Widdowson,&Y. Cantù (Eds.), English in the World: Teaching and Learning the Languageand Literatures (pp.11-30). Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress. Mishan,F. (2005). Designing authenticity into languagelearning materials.Bristol: IntellectBooks. Peacock,M. (1997). The effectof authentic materialsonthe motivationof EFL learners. ELT Journal,51(2),144-156. doi:10.1093/elt/51.2.144 Pinner,R.S. (2011). Making the mostof moodle. English teaching professional(73),64-66. Pinner,R.S. (2016a). The nature of authenticityinEnglishasaforeign language:a comparisonof eightinter- relateddefinitions. ELTWOJournal, 9(1), 78-93. Pinner,R.S. (2016b). Reconceptualising Authenticity forEnglish asa Global Language.Bristol:Multilingual Matters. Pinner,R.S. (2019). Social Authentication and Teacher-StudentMotivational Synergy:A narrativeof language teaching.London:Routledge. Tomlinson,B.,&Masuhara, H. (2010). Applicationsof the researchresults for secondlanguage acquisition theoryand research.InB. Tomlinson & H. Masuhara (Eds.), Research for materialsdevelopmentin language learning : evidenceforbest practice (pp.399-409). London:Continuum. van Lier,L. (1996). Interaction in the language curriculum:Awareness,autonomy and authenticity.London:Longman. Vannini,P.,&Burgess,S.(2009). Authenticity as motivationandaesthetic experience.InP.Vannini &J.P. Williams(Eds.), Authenticity in culture,self, and society (pp.103- 120). Surrey:Ashgate Publishing. Widdowson,H.G. (1978). Teaching language as communication.Oxford:Oxford UniversityPress. Further Reading Jenkins, (2006) ‘Current Perspectives onTeaching World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca’ TESOL Quarterly 40(1) (pp. 157 –181) Richards, J.C. (2001). Curriculumdevelopmentin language teaching.Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press Seargeant,P (2009) The IdeaofEnglishin Japan:Ideology and the Evolution ofa GlobalLanguage. Bristol: Multilingual Matters Sharma, P.and Barrett, B. (2007) Blended Learning: using technology inand beyondthe language classroom.London: MacMillan Education Watanabe, Yoshinori., Ikeda,Makoto., & Izumi., ShinichiEds. (2012) CLIL: New Challenges inForeignLanguage Education. Volume 2,Tokyo: Sophia University Press. Summary You can downloadthe slidesandadditional resourcesat • Please email me! • Please alsocheckout Thanks for your attentionand ‘keepitreal!’