Using Authentic Materials in the ESL Classroom

webinar

We welcomed Jennie Cadd’s webinar organised by Oxford University Press with great interest. Except for sharing her teaching ideas, she drew teachers’ attention to issues that are crucial while integrating authentic materials into ESL curriculum. Undoubtedly learners benefit from such activities, which was illustrated with a remarkable example of listening skills. Authentic tasks acquaint learners with common phenomena such as elision or assimilation that are hardly ever tackled in course books. Systematic exposure to the features of natural speech allows learners to avoid frustration while interacting in real-life situations. But as Jennie Cadd pointed out, the key factor of successful use of authentic materials is regular training. We believe that this principle refers to both learners and teachers. Also the latter leave their comfort zone to explore with their students the fascinating but still uncharted territory of real language. Professional training, exchange with peers and initiatives at grassroots level are necessary to make teaching and learning a truly authentic experience.

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