Authentic Materials in the Classroom: Their use to advance communicative competence
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Authentic Materials in the Classroom: Their use to advance communicative competence







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Authentic Materials in the Classroom: Their use to advance communicative competence. Bryan Meadows Ph.D. Student, University of Arizona 22 nd Annual Second Language Teachers’ Symposium September 17, 2005. What is an authentic text?.
Authentic Materials in the Classroom: Their use to advance communicative competence

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Slide 1

Authentic Materials in the Classroom: Their use to advance communicative competence

Bryan Meadows

Ph.D. Student, University of Arizona

22nd Annual Second Language Teachers’ Symposium

September 17, 2005

Slide 2

What is an authentic text?

  • Largely texts designed for an L1 audience (Little et al., 1988)

  • Communicative function is prevalent (Swaffer & Stephens, 1981)

  • Unedited, unabridged texts (Oxford, 1992)

  • Trend of authenticity stretches back to Communicative Language Teaching movement of 1970’s (Day, 2003)

  • I will employ a wide definition of text

Bryan Meadows

University of Arizona

Slide 3

Why use authentic texts in the K-12 classroom?

  • Authentic texts-by definition-are culturally relevant and informative.

  • Authentic texts are embedded in target culture—producers and intended consumers share relatively close worldview

  • Foreign language texts, by contrast, are unfaithful and deficient in potential information (Fonseca-Greber & Waugh, 2003; Vellenga, 2004).

Bryan Meadows

University of Arizona

Slide 4

Why use authentic texts in the K-12 classroom? <part two>

  • Satisfy natural curiosity of your students. They did not take your class to complete worksheets and take exams. Appreciate ‘cool’ stuff.

  • Real-world use is the eventual goal of any language program. Authentic texts offer the first baby steps for the students along this journey.

  • Foster problem-solving inquiry (fill in the blanks).

Bryan Meadows

University of Arizona

Slide 5

Few words of warning…

  • Must know your students and their potential level of understanding. Unmodified texts or texts without sufficient scaffolding can be extremely frustrating to students who are not ready for the text (Yano, Long & Ross, 1994)

  • Choose your battles—can’t expect students to pick up every single bit of information from the text. Be selective and keep instruction focused.

Bryan Meadows

University of Arizona

Slide 6

What is communicative competence?

It’s one thing to know how to say something—slightly more important to know when to say what.

  • Consider proverbial man

  • Japanese example of responding to compliments

  • Dell Hymes introduced the notion in 1966.

    • “Linguistic knowledge is not the whole picture.”

    • (Dell Hymes, 1966 in Saville-Troike, 1996)

  • Bryan Meadows

    University of Arizona

    Slide 7

    Communicative Competence, Examples?

    • Saville-Troike provides specific examples:

      • knowledge or expectation of who may or may not speak in certain settings,

      • how one may talk to persons of different statuses and roles,

      • what nonverbal behaviors are appropriate in various contexts,

      • how to ask for and give information,

      • how to request,

      • how to offer or decline assistance or cooperation,

      • how to give commands,

      • etc. (Saville-Troike, 1996: p. 363)

    Bryan Meadows

    University of Arizona

    Slide 8

    Communicative Competence:Four Areas of Focus

    • Grammatical Competence

    • Sociolinguistic Competence

    • Discourse Competence

    • Strategic Competence

      from Alptekin (2002)

    Bryan Meadows

    University of Arizona

    Slide 9

    Communicative Competence and FL Teacher

    • Role of FL teacher is to help students to mesh themselves with the mainstream, target community and their linguistic behavior.

    • Authentic texts start to bridge that gap for the students—expose them to a new way of seeing the world

    Bryan Meadows

    University of Arizona

    Slide 10

    Practical Ideas for incorporating authentic texts

    • Chibimaruko-chan

    • Goo! Website

    • Neruton / Drama Movie

    • Giving Directions

    • Train timetables (train culture)

    • Shopping knowledge

    • Ordering food

    • New Year’s Cards

    • CrayonShin-Chan

    Bryan Meadows

    University of Arizona

    Slide 11

    Practical Ideas for incorporating authentic texts <part two>

    • School-Related Language

      • Sugata student diary

      • Vacation Directives

    • Entering the job marketm

    Bryan Meadows

    University of Arizona

    Slide 12

    Additional Resources for Authenticity

    • History of Japan Course

    • Mangajin compilations

    • Etiquette books from Japan

    • Japanese Cultural Encounters / Japan’s Cultural Codewords

    Bryan Meadows

    University of Arizona

    Slide 13

    In summary…

    • Authentic texts = designed for L1 community

    • Goal of FL program is to elevate communicative competence

    • Authentic texts help bridge this gap

    • Have fun! Make language real for students!

    Bryan Meadows

    University of Arizona

    Slide 14

    References

    • Alptekin, C. (2002). Towards Intercultural Communicative Competence. ELT Journal, 56, 1, pp. 57-64.

    • Day, R. (2003). Authenticity in the Design and Development of Materials. In W.A. Renandya (Ed.), Methodology and Materials Design in Language Teaching: Current Perceptions and Practices and their Implications, pp. 1-11.

    • Fonseca-Greber, B. & Waugh, L. (2003). On the Radical Difference between the Subject Personal Pronouns in Written and Spoken European French. In P. Leistyna & C.F. Meyer (Eds.). Corpus Analysis: Language Structure and Language Use (pp. 225-240). Amsterdam: Rodopi.

    • Guariento, W. & Morley, J. (2001). Text and Task Authenticity in the EFL Classroom. ELT Journal, 55, pp. 347-353.

    • Gunn, C. (2003). Exploring Second Language Communicative Competence. Language Teaching Research, 7, 2, pp. 240-258.

    • Larsen-Freeman, D. (2003). Teaching Language: From Grammar to Grammaring. Heinle: Boston.

    • Little, D., S. Devitt, D. Singleton. (1988). Authentic Texts in Foreign Language Teaching: Theory and Practice. Dublin: Authentik.

    • Saville-Troike, M. (1996). The Ethnography of Communication. In S. McKay & N. Hornberger (Eds.). Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching (pp. 351-382). New York: Cambridge University Press.Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.

    • Oxford, R. (1992). Research on Second Language Learning Strategies. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 13, pp. 175-187.

    • Swaffer, J. & Stephens, D. (1981). What Comprehension-Based Classes Look and Feel Like in Theory and Practice. In H. Winitz (Ed.). The Comprehension Approach to Foreign Language Instruction (pp. 254-274). Rowley: Newbury House.

    • Vellenga, H. (2004). Learning Pragmatics from ESL & EFL Textbooks: How likely? TESL-EJ, 8, 2.

    • Yano, Y., Long, M. & Ross, S. (1994) The Effects of Simplified and Elaborated Texts on Foreign Language Reading Comprehension. Language Learning, 44:2, pp. 189-219.

    Bryan Meadows

    University of Arizona

    Slide 15

    Practical Exercise in Class

    • Consider own language you teach

    • Consider specific tasks related to communicative competence (greetings, refusals, asking favors, etc.)

    • Consider real items (print, video, objects)

    • Default example is a series of email exchanges in English.

    Bryan Meadows

    University of Arizona

    Slide 16

    Incorporating authentic texts for the purpose of communicative competence development

    • Components to consider in lesson-planning:

      • Function of the expression/phrase

      • Actual samples of use

      • When is it appropriate?

      • When is it not appropriate?

      • Consider reactions given to the expression

    Bryan Meadows

    University of Arizona


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