Jounal 6 Teaching English with authentic materials

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Jounal 6 Teaching English with authentic materials

Post  Inkab on Mon Jun 09 2008, 21:57

Journal 6 Teaching English with authentic materials :




Most of the learning materials in current language classrooms of public schools are simplified or decontextualized versions that give hard time students comprehending authentic reading materials or listening inputs. There are controversies over whether or not using authentic materials such as English novels, poems and news reports from broadcasts would benefit students' overall language proficiency. Yet, if I have given a chance, I would like to try this methodology, teaching English with authentic materials, even though it looks so apparent that there underlie plenty of obstacles to overcome for a successful implementation of this approach.

Using English novels as teaching material is quite prevalent method for improving reading proficiency in private English teaching sectors. Students seem to have trouble finishing up the whole book initially, but gradually be accustomed to reading novels with faster speed. Therefore, as long as difficulty level is approximate their comprehension degree and the content is interesting to them, reading activity is not merely a burden to carry out but the pleasure to enjoy. Books like "Challot's web, Charlie's chocolate factory, and other small volume series books for kids will allow for students to obtain cultural knowledge, meaningful lessons as well as the pleasure of reading. Many constraints appear to be inevitable when considering current educational situation in Korea though; however, for me, the natural way of improving reading proficiency is being exposed to sufficient outputs in the form of authentic, quality reading materials including English novels.

The example of the authentic listening materials would be not only news reports from broadcast. If searching for the source other than formal announcement, we can find various informative, educational sites that are ready to fulfill our students' interest accommodating their demands for better listening materials. Like interviews with celebrities, talk shows, news reports and ads., a variety of listening sources will prepare students for whatever situations they might be engaged in a future. In addition to the opportunities to study various contents, authentic listening materials will raise their awareness of diverse accents of English. I believe this will reinforce students' consciousness on the importance of language fluency and break down the biased perspective on who are the English speakers. By faced with various forms and accent of listening inputs, students will eliminate their frustration on the genuine spoken English.

In secondary school setting in Korea, however, teachers usually spend more than a week to go through just one chapter of a text book, analysing structural features and interpretating the content into Korean. Moreover, majority of Listening materials weighs too much importance on the American accent English with rather sluggish speed for the purpose of improving comprehension skill. These teaching materials and methods will never guarantee competent English language users. We have learned this from our own costly experience throughout the decade of English education in public schools. With authentic reading and listening materials, I would like to boost the effectiveness of real language education. Teaching novels and listening to news articles will not just stop on doing for themselves but can integrate writing and speaking skills as well. Integrated teaching is quite possible since those materials suggest more interesting topics than modified text books, and more sources to discuss in a classroom.

My idea on using authentic materials might sound unrealistic for those currently working in a field. Numerous impediments such as lack of financial supports for purchasing new materials, student-resistance to teaching approaches that are not directly beneficial for increasing their scores, poor learning facilities, too many students with too much different levels and so on. However, I am positive of having changes in our English education system and implementing my belief and ideas in the nearst furture.
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Post  Jung namsook on Mon Jun 09 2008, 22:23

I support with your suggestion based on my experience. As opposed to my prejudice that taking a novel class wouldn't be a passive way to learn English, it is not at all. There have been more and more good English speakers than before, however, they also need to read varing degree of books to be a better speaker like Jongwoo, not just parroting. If integrated reading class can be adopted in English class, it wil be working in terms of raising students' more interests besides speaking and listenig skills.
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Re: Jounal 6 Teaching English with authentic materials

Post  Sera Jung on Thu Jun 12 2008, 13:56

I agree with you !Teaching English with authentic materials might be an effective method as it motivates students' interests .When I was a high school student , many of my friends liked to read 'Harry potter' in English. Though there were some difficult words, they just got immersed in the story with interests. When teachers use materials which relate with students interests, studetns might accept learning more naturally.
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Re: Jounal 6 Teaching English with authentic materials

Post  Young on Thu Jun 12 2008, 14:30

I have always thought that I want to use authentic materials to teach English to students. However, it need more effort and time to prepare. I usually use English pop songs and movies during vacation time, when students don't have any pressure of exams. By trying those new approaches, I came to find positive and negative results. That is students can enjoy English better than before; however, this is they don't take that kind of class seriously because that is not related to school exams. Therefore, I usually recommend not to study English for your exam but just to enjoy with consciousness.
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