ГЛАВА I. ТЕОРЕТИЧЕСКОЕ ИЗУЧЕНИЕ ОСОБЕННОСТЕЙ РУССКОГО ЯЗЫКА КАК ИНОСТРАННОГО10
1. 1. Распространенность русского языка в мире10
1. 2. Мероприятия по сохранению русского языка в мире17
1. 3. Особенности обучения русскому языку как иностранному21
ГЛАВА II. ИССЛЕДОВАНИЕ ТРАДИЦИОННЫХ И НОВАТОРСКИХ МЕТОДОВ ПРЕПОДАВАНИЯ РУССКОГО ЯЗЫКА КАК ИНОСТРАННОГО24
2.1.Новации и традиции преподавания русского языка как иностранного24
2. 2. Методика преподавания русского языка как иностранного28
2. 3. Современные технологии преподавания русского языка как иностранного33
ГЛАВА III. ИССЛЕДОВАНИЕ СТАТУСА РУССКОГО ЯЗЫКА В РАЗНЫХ СТРАНАХ МИРА40
3. 1. Русский язык в странах СНГ40
3. 2. Русский язык в странах Европы67
Выдержка из текста работы
В первой главе рассматриваются методологические обоснования использования аутентичных материалов, их преимущества и недостатки, а так же особенности применения на практике.
Во второй главе приводятся практические рекомендации по использованию данных материалов, в частности, учебников, фотографий, видео роликов, художественных фильмов, материальных предметов, учебных проектов, аудио книг и подкастов, художественной литературы и газет. Там же рассматривается использование аутентичных материалов в преподавании культуры.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. THEORETICAL PART
1.1 The definition of authentic materials
1.2 Advantages of using authentic materials
1.3 Disadvantages of using authentic materials
1.4 Using authentic materials with the students of lower levels
1.5 Degrees of authenticity
2. PRACTICAL PART
2.2.2 Visual clips
2.4 Teaching projects
2.5 Audio materials
2.5.1 Audio books
2.6.1 Different models of teaching literature in class
2.6.2 A sample of literature lesson plan
2.7.1 Newspaper lesson structure
2.8 The teaching of culture
The whole idea of authentic materials came along with the one of the principals for communicative language teaching (CLT). Communicative approach emphasizes interaction as the ultimate goal of learning a language. So, the idea was that teachers should use authentic materials as much as possible instead of materials that have been developed specifically for language learners, because then they will be giving the students texts that they would actually need to use in the real world. In this case authenticity opposes artificiality. Authentic materials could be almost anything, for example, it could be a new newspaper article, or something found in a journal or a magazine, or forms that the patient has to fill out in a doctor’s office, or a menu from a restaurant. In other words, it could be any kind of naturally occurring artifact in a language. There are also a lot of oral and visual sources of authentic materials, such as movies, TV news, and podcasts.
In recent years a gradual growth of interest of many English teachers toward the use of authentic materials has been observed. The main argument is that it is more beneficial for learners to use materials that have been taken from the real life of native speakers than artificial texts and dialogues that have been conceived in the minds of textbooks developers. This kind of English occurs in daily communication among people for the majority of whom it is mother-tongue language.
However, there are textbooks that include anthropologically correct samples of English language. It means that they reflect to some extent the real language. Thus, we arrive to a question whether it is worth for us, as teachers, to spend time and strength to prepare ‘raw’ authentic materials for our students when we can use well-thought and structured texts and tasks found in textbooks. To answer this question we will consider advantages and disadvantages of authentic materials in theoretical part of this work.
Although most of the teachers agree that authentic materials should be implicated in teaching process, the question of when and how it should be applied in EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classrooms still remains. In addition, there is some criticism of the concept of authenticity itself. It is not a simple black and white dichotomous picture — authentic or non-authentic; there are other colors in between. We will briefly observe classifications of degrees of authenticity suggested by different researchers since it can be useful for teachers.
Moreover, some scholars proposed three facets of authenticity: authenticity of language, authenticity of task, authenticity of situation. We believe it is important to be aware of their differences. Usually most of the teachers understand by authentic materials only the first facet — authenticity of language. However, authenticity of task and situations are not less significant. We will discuss why it is important and how to achieve it.
Then, since we talk about teaching English in EFL setting (in our case in Russia) we have to consider some possible limitations of using authentic materials. The majority of English teachers in our country are non-native speakers, so there are some obstacle waylay on our way of using authentic sources. What these restrictions are and what can be done to overcome them — is one of the issues we will discuss.
So, the thesis statement of this work is that EFL students can benefit from using authentic materials if they are properly exposed to them.
In conclusion, I would like to share why I chose this topic for my diploma paper. When I was in high school, English was not my favorite subject. It was very boring for me to do all these units 1, 2, 3, 4, and ‘forever’. An infinite number of exercises that our nice colorful textbooks had were making me sick. I knew they were good for my brain but it turned out to be very bad for my mood. Then, I entered Russian-American Institute and found out that teachers there used the same units and exercises. Probably I would have given up unless we had something ‘real’. For example, we read «The Great Divorce» by C.S. Lewis and listened to Matt Miller who taught the Old and New Testament in English. It was difficult but at the same time it was a challenge. Having gone through this experience, I understood one thing — we, as teachers, do not have to be afraid of difficulty but of boredom. Authentic materials can have a tremendous influence on students’ motivation. The practical steps, strategies, and techniques that are designed to take advantages of authentic materials will be observed in the practical part of this work.
1. THEORETICAL PART
In the first chapter of this theoretical part we will discuss definitions and philosophy of authentic materials. Then, its advantages and disadvantages will be observed. We will also investigate the appropriateness of the use of this kind of materials with students of lower levels. Finally, different degrees of authenticity will be introduced.
1.1 The definition of authentic materials
The definitions of authentic texts vary from one researcher to another but the essence is mainly the same. Harmer (1991) defines authentic materials as materials which are designed for native speakers; they are real texts; designed not for language students, but for the speakers of the language (p. 146). Jordan (1997) refers to authentic texts as «texts that are not written for language teaching purposes» (p. 113). Peacock (1997) describes authentic materials as materials that have been produced to fulfill some social purpose in the language community. The main idea that is common to all these definitions is summed up by the words of Widdowson (1990) who sated that it is exposure to real language and its use in its own community. We assume that students can benefit from being exposed to a language that is naturally occurring in social communication. In other words, the use of authentic materials, including both the written and oral sources, helps to bridge the gap between classroom knowledge and «a student’s capacity to participate in real world events» (Wilkins, 1976, p. 79).
It is important to understand a difference between language (texts) and the uses to which they are put. Nevertheless, many writers use the term «authenticity» to refer to the texts only. Taylor (1994) proposed a three-facet dimension of classroom authenticity. He subdivided it in three categories: authenticity of language, authenticity of task, and authenticity of situation. Breen (1985) in his turn distinguished authenticity of language in two parts: authenticity of text used as input data for learners and authenticity of the learners own interpretation of such texts. Authenticity of task refers to contribution of the tasks to learning, and authenticity of situation is restricted to authenticity of the actual social situation of the language classroom (see Figure 1).
Table 1. Facets of authenticity according to Taylor (1994) and Breen (1985)
1. Authenticity of language
Authenticity of text used as input data for learners
Authenticity of the learners own interpretation of such texts
2. Authenticity of task
Authenticity of the tasks conductive to language learning
3. Authenticity of situation
Authenticity of the actual social situation of the language classroom
It is important to understand how authenticity works because, then, we, as teachers, can teach more effectively and avoid many pitfalls. Concerning authenticity of language, probably learners will not automatically like materials just because they are «authentic» or «real». The materials should be properly interpreted by students. By «properly» we mean as it was pedagogically intended. It is not always easy to interest student in doing an activity, especially, when you do not know them well. Any authentic materials should have communicative potential, be relevant to learners’ experiences, and meet their personal needs. So, language teachers should be concerned about students’ attitudes towards the materials they brought in a classroom. Authentic materials should be well-prepared and well-presented, otherwise there is no sense in using them; in such a case it is better and easier to use only textbooks and audio materials for them.
In the same manner, we can have a wonderful newspaper article and at the same time absolutely irrelevant tasks for it, for instance, find the longest words in this article and gauss what they mean. This is an example of inauthentic task. An authentic task in its turn is something taken from a real everyday life, for example, have small talk with your pair. Unfortunately, often teachers in Russian schools come up with tasks along the way, when some time before the class for developing tasks is certainly required. It is not enough to bring an interesting newspaper article found, for instance, in The New Year Times or a funny video downloaded from YouTube, the teacher needs to think ahead of time about how he or she will introduce it and what teaching instructions he or she will give. It is vitally important to be able to match the level of difficulty of the task with the level of students’ competency. A task for specific authentic materials presented in a classroom should be neither too easy, nor too difficult.
Then, we need to look at authenticity of situation that stands for the actual social context (or discourse) of the language classroom. By default it is inauthentic since the place and time are artificially designed for students’ and teacher’s convenience. It is not natural and spontaneous as in a real life. In fact this facet of authenticity could be omitted because it does not have much practical application value. Nevertheless, it helps to see the whole picture. In addition, learners, in their capacity as knowers and users of language, are quite capable of extrapolating from the classroom situation, and that consequently we need not be worried about the artificiality of the classroom situation.
There is also some criticism of the common understanding of authenticity. In particular Taylor arrives to the conclusion that the main problem of authenticity and genuineness concludes in the idea of «naturalness». What is «natural»? Does «naturalness» mean the same thing to everyone? However, he suggests to leave this endless debates and concentrate instead on «the use and interpretation of texts, which alone can make them authentic» (1994, p.4). He says that we should:
…acknowledge that there is no such thing as an abstract quality «authenticity» which can be defined once and for all. Instead we should acknowledge that authenticity is a function not only of the language but also of the participants, the use to which language is put, the setting, the nature of the interaction, and the interpretation the participants bring to both the setting and the activity (p.4).
In other words, texts themselves can actually be intrinsically «genuine» but that authenticity itself is a social construct. Tatsuki (2006) states that «authenticity is created through the interaction of users, situations and the texts» (p.1). So, we do not bring «authenticity» in the classroom, we create «authenticity» together with our students. The classroom is like a small stage where we can play real life situations. We use «scripts» (authentic materials) to make it sound real.
Having observed a sufficient number of other critical articles on the use of authentic materials, we have come to a conclusion that, although they help to see a bigger picture, they do not offer any reasonable useful alternative for authentic materials. However, in a view of advantages of the use of authentic materials (that will be introduced below) we still believe that the concept is useful for language teaching and can be successfully applied.
1.2 Advantages of using authentic materials
There are many reasons why so many researchers and teachers get involved in exploiting and using different authentic materials in classrooms. Here is the list of major advantages:
1. Authentic materials have a positive effect on student’s motivation to learn. We consider it as the most important benefit that authentic materials offer. Guariento and Morley (2001) wrote «…the use of authentic texts is now considered to be one way of maintaining or increasing students’ motivation for learning. They give the learner the feeling that he or she is learning the `real’ language; that they are in touch with a living entity, the target language as it is used by the community which speaks it» (p.347).
2. Students can get the sense of achievement using authentic materials.
3. Real discourse is presented, as in video interviews with famous people where intermediate students can listen for gist. They provide exposure to real language.
4. Textbooks often do not have examples of incidental or improper English.
5. «Authentic materials keep students informed about what is happening in the world, so they have an intrinsic educational value. As teachers, we are educators working within the school system, so education and general development are part of our responsibilities» (Sanderson, 1999).
6. The use of authentic materials leads to a more creative approach to teaching.
7. Authentic texts can encourage reading for pleasure because they are likely to contain topics of interest to learners, especially if students are given the chance to have a say about the topics or kinds of authentic materials to be used in class.
8. «Reading texts are ideal to teach/practice mini-skills such as scanning, e.g. students are given a news article and asked to look for specific information (amounts, percentages, etc.), basic students listen to news reports and they are asked to identify the names of countries, famous people, etc. (ability to detect key words)» (Martinez, 2002).
9. The same piece of material can be used under different circumstances if the task is different.
10. Books, articles, newspapers, and so on contain a wide variety of text types, language styles not easily found in conventional teaching materials.
11. Language change is reflected in the materials so that students and teachers can keep abreast of such changes.
1.3 Disadvantages of using authentic materials
Unfortunately, there are some obstacles waylay teachers and their students on the way of using authentic materials. It is always important to be aware of these difficulties and to think ahead of time about possible solutions. Several researchers pointed out these disadvantages:
1. There are many adverts, signs, headlines, and so on that can require good knowledge of the cultural background.
2. Authentic materials may be too culturally biased. They can be unnecessarily difficult to be understood outside the language community.
3. The vocabulary might not be relevant to the students’ immediate needs.
4. Too many different accents can be heard which can cause some confusion.
5. Too many structures are mixed so lower levels have a hard time decoding the texts.
6. Special preparation is necessary which can be time consuming.
7. The material can become outdated easily, e. g. news.
1.4 Using authentic materials with the students of lower levels
Taking into consideration all advantages and disadvantages of authentic materials, we arrive to the question when authentic materials should be used in a classroom. In other words, can we neglect students’ level when we bring materials that have not been anyhow changed for the purpose of teaching? Guariento & Morley (2001) wrote, «At post-intermediate level an ever-widening range of authentic material has become available for use in the classroom» (p. 348). Students at this level have usually mastered all of grammatical structures and a wide range of vocabulary, so they are prepared for challenge of authentic materials. Concerning lower levels, they stated,
At lower levels, however, even with quite simple tasks, unless they have been very carefully selected for lexical and syntactic simplicity and/or content familiarity/predictability, the use of authentic texts may not only prevent the learners from responding in meaningful ways but can also lead them to feel frustrated, confused, and, more importantly, demotivated (p. 348). In addition, it requires considerably more time to adapt and prepare authentic material for beginners/low intermediate students than for intermediate and higher levels of proficiency.
However, Chavez (1998) carried out a survey and found out that students enjoy dealing with authentic materials since they allow them to interact with the real language and its use. Also they do not consider authentic situations or materials innately difficult. But learners also stated that they need pedagogical support especially in listening and reading activities that contain a full range of cues. At the heart of all good teaching is student learning, and students can only benefit if you, as a teacher, actively seek ways to assist them to become better learners.
It is possible to avoid disadvantages of authentic materials. Students enjoy using them as long as we, as teachers, provide them with proper pedagogical support. For example, Martinez (2002) suggests that teachers may use authentic audio materials for the students to listen for the gist and also he adds that by using authentic materials teachers will have the opportunity to encourage students to read for pleasure especially certain topics of their interest. Matsuta claims that using audio-visual materials aiding students’ comprehension is beneficial since it will prevent students especially beginners from being frustrated about authentic materials. Popular and traditional songs will help us to create a non-threatening environment. Guariento and Moley (2001) suggest that teachers should use authentic materials in agreement with students’ level and abilities. Often total understanding of materials is not required, so it is important to provide suitable tasks and set right goals for students.
1.5 Degrees of authenticity
The relative notion of authenticity emerged in the 1980s and many scholars started to elaborate various degrees of authenticity. For instance, there was 16-level semantic differential scale, ranging from (highly authentic) native speakers’ spontaneous conversations produced for their own purposes to (relatively less authentic) composed conversations printed in textbooks. As it was mentioned earlier, there are two important types of classroom authenticity — input (language) authenticity and task authenticity. Since they work simultaneously, the overall level of authenticity is sum of them.
However, for actual teaching such a differentiation does not have much value. Brown and Menasche (2005; quoted in Tatsuki, 2006) argue that non-authentic materials in different ways are more than just useful; they are essential in language learning. Materials that are considered as non-authentic are as valuable as authentic materials. Indeed, there are some situations in which authentic materials are almost useless — especially when they learners’ receptive proficiency is low, especially, if they do not have intrinsic motivation in studying them. The researchers go on to propose five levels for input from genuine input authenticity, altered input authenticity, adapted input authenticity, through simulated input authenticity to inauthenticity. At the same time they emphasize that no one type is better than the others. Also Rogers and Medley (1988) proposed three levels of appropriateness including appropriateness of text, appropriateness of task and appropriateness of sequence. Thus, the levels of authenticity should be seen in the light of appropriateness.
2. PRACTICAL PART
аутентичный учебник литература газета
There are different types of authentic materials which can be used in various ways in EFL settings. In the practical part of the work, we will observe how the concept of authenticity is realized in different kinds of teaching materials. In particular, we will examine textbooks, different prompts, movies, teaching projects, audio materials, fiction, and newspapers in order to give practical recommendations of the use of these materials. We will also discuss how the concept of authenticity can be applied in teaching of culture.
Many textbook publishers try to include authentic materials as many as possible in their textbooks. For example, in the textbook Focus on Grammar 4: An Integrated Skills Approach and its workbook one can find good samples of the application of the authentic approach.
Probably one of the main advantages of this textbook is that it has all covered grammar structures contextualized in real texts. Each unit starts with the part Grammar in Context where a shirt interesting article is given. Particular grammar structure is highlighted in every place where it occurs. Honestly, I found myself reading them just because I was interested in the information. For instance, in the unit 22 Future Real Conditionals grammar structures are implicated in an article about superstitions. It gives a curious statistics about superstitious behavior of many people. Then, 8 pages of different exercises on the same topic are given.
The experience has shown that if students do not like the text, they most likely will not like exercises that follow it. If they do not like exercises, the teacher probably will have hard time trying to persuade them to do them. So, grammar should be properly presented. Focus on Grammar offers a four-step approach:
Step 1: Grammar in Context shows the new structures in natural contexts, such as newspaper articles and conversations.
Step 2: Grammar Presentation presents the structures in clear and accessible grammar charts, notes, and examples.
Step 3: Focused Practice of both form and meaning of the new structures is provided in numerous and varied controlled exercises.
Step 4: Communication Practice allows students to use the new structures freely and creatively in motivating, open-ended activities. Although some of articles were certainly adapted to teaching which makes them inauthentic according to the notions of some scholars, they talk about real people and real life events. They contain culturally appropriate language. The authors do not reinvent the wheel. They adapt real information (texts) to the purpose of teaching. In this case, according to Brown and Menasche (2005), Grammar in context is an example of adapted or simulated input authenticity. By adapting real texts we make learning more meaningful. The information presented in the textbook and its workbooks has intrinsic educational value. It can become a part of general education of the learner. In addition, they offer appropriate tasks, for instance, on restaurant etiquette, reading boarding passes, interviewing, etc. There are also many information gap activities that are also very useful. The purpose of the teacher is to blur the barriers between artificiality of a classroom and authenticity of outside world. Information gap activities are good assistance in this task.
Teaching prompts are called to engage learners by reaching outside the required textbook readings and standard course content (Lamb, Johnson, and Smith). Using prompts is good way of starting a lesson. They can help to break the ice, to activate background knowledge, to start a discussion. Prompts should have to do with students’ own sphere of interests, be relevant to them. It should be something real, so authentic materials are the best choice. We will observe three types prompts: pictures, visual clips, and realia.
The question whether pictures themselves are authentic material or not is not relevant for us. It is much more important to consider what kind of appropriate tasks on pictures we, as teachers, can give to help our students to communicate in real life situations. On the Internet there are many ideas of how pictures can be used in a classroom, for example, Tern Pictures (Deubelbeiss D. & Volokhov D.):
Instructions: get a pile of nice magazine pictures. Next, tear or cut them into twos. There are should be enough halves for the number of students in your classroom. Then, give each student half a picture. They have to walk around the class describing their picture and finding their torn «match». Once they find their match, they can sit down.
Actually there are lots of ways of using pictures. Students in groups can write stories, can talk about the pictures, brainstorm vocabulary. The list of activities one can do with them is limited only by teacher’s creativity. In general, pictures can be incorporated in any lesson: grammar, listening, reading etc. Usually they play a supplementary role.
2.2.2 Visual clips
Basically, visual clips play the same role as pictures, although they provide more opportunities for teaching. Video clips can serve various purposes. They can help students understand main ideas of communicative events, figure out the meaning of unknown words, and organize information extracted from linguistic input. Video can also function as an advance organizer for language learning activities. Students can watch videos and discuss similarities and differences between, say, a traditional folk music in their own country and in the target language community. The use of this kind of advance organizer will help to enhance their cultural awareness before they engage in role playing activities such as asking about musical preferences (Kitajima & Lyman-Hager, 1998, p.40).
It might be a good idea to play a clip without sound. While viewing silent video clips, the instructor can introduce key vocabulary items that students will hear when the sound is eventually turned on. Finally, silent video clips can provide source material for task-based activities such as narrating a story, solving problems in the foreign language, and making decisions about behaviors in the target culture. For example, after watching a video introducing an incident at a Japanese nuclear power plant, students in small groups could discuss what the problem is, what can be done to reduce global nuclear pollution, etc.
Also visual clips are ideal for teaching culture, especially, in our EFL setting where most of the teachers are non-native speakers and exposure to the target culture is very limited. By analyzing linguistic data students can enhance their awareness of the appropriate use of linguistic forms within the context of specific situations that they see in visual clips. Visual cues that they acquire from them can guide students to observe communicative situations and help them develop holistic scripts for the negotiation of meaning and probable communicative events (Kitajima & Lyman-Hager, 1998, p.40). In addition to silent videos, language-focused video materials like ethnographic interviews with individuals in the target culture can be a good source for developing effective communication strategies (CSs). Ethnographic interviews are useful for establishing an understanding of presuppositions and assumptions of the speech community.
In addition visual clips are good at activating emotional memory. Students can remember lexical or grammatical items by recalling emotions that he or she experienced in the same moment of perceiving the language data. Emotional memory (affect) can speed up, or slowdown, or even inhibit the process. So, teachers should pay close attention not only to students’ progress in acquiring a language but also to emotional background behind which this data is being stored. Otherwise students can end up knowing ‘everything’ but not willing to do anything. A careful selection of visual prompts is needed. There are tons of good inspiring visual clips in the Internet.
`Realia’ in EFL terms refers to any real material objects we use in the classroom to bring the class to life (Budden, 2011). The use of realia in classroom lessons makes up for textbook deficiencies and encourages students by making them aware of their abilities to interact successfully with practical living when they finish the language course. The main advantage of using real objects into the classroom is that it helps to make the learning experience more memorable for the learner. For instance, when you teach vocabulary of fruit and vegetables it can be much more effective for students if they can touch, smell and see the objects at the same time as hearing the new word. This would appeal to a wider range of learner styles than a simple picture of fruit or vegetable.
The most difficult part of using realia would be to find appropriate and suitable materials. There are limitations as to what can be brought into the classroom. However, there is still a great choice of various materials that are available for every teacher and may be used to conduct interesting, worthwhile English activities. Plants, flowers, sticks, stones, and recycled items may be used as teaching materials for the English language class. Lund (1992) also proposes the use of restaurant advertisements and menus, shopping-mall directories, tour brochures, trains schedules, and maps (p.21).
On the Internet there are many ideas for using material objects. Here are some suggestions by Budden (2011):
Tourist information Gather some city/town maps from the tourist information bureau wherever you are. Use them to create role plays that could happen with English speaking visitors to their town or city. Give students a scenario for them to build a role play out of. If you had trouble finding your way around their town/ city when you arrived use your own experiences to create situations.
Collect brochures of places of interest (in English if possible but not vital) and ask students to use them to plan a trip for a group of students who are coming to their town for a week. They can plan the itinerary, work out the budget, etc.
Island survival Bring in a selection of items such as a coat hanger, a corkscrew, a packet of dental floss, a clothes peg, a plastic bag, a wooden spoon, some swimming goggles, elastic bands etc. Put the students into groups and tell them they have been shipwrecked on a desert island with their group. Luckily, there are some random items on the island they can use to help them survive. Reveal the items one by one and elicit vocabulary. Then tell students they have ten minutes to think about how they are going to use the items to help them survive. At the end, listen to each group’s ideas and vote on which group you think would survive the longest.
Identity envelopes Get three or four envelopes and fill them with bits and bobs you find around the house such as foreign currency, shop receipts, postcards, photos, buttons, etc. Put students into groups and ask them to have a good look at the objects and to decide who they belong to. They should be able to build up the identity of a character from the objects. You could say they are all suspects from a crime and they have to decide who did it, or simply create the characters to use in a role play.
As we can see, it is not so difficult and any English teacher can use advantages of realia in his or her classroom.
In general, using movies is similar to using of visual clips. Watching movies, as well short visual clips, is a way to expose students to naturally occurring language. Good movies reveal habits, customs, worldview, and values of the native speakers of the target language, in our case, English. Since language is a part of culture, students should be exposed to the culture in order to acquire the language.
However, the length of movies and the magnitude of covered events vary from visual clips. In general, the movie takes about 2 hours, so in regular Russian schools where the class lasts 40 minutes it might be difficult to watch the whole movie even if you have two subsequent classes. Teachers should plan ahead of time where to pause.
It is good to be aware that there might be some pitfalls we can encounter while using movies. We will discuss three issue the teacher might face. According to Davis (1999), sometimes it is not easy to choose films that are culturally appropriate and that present language at a level that is accessible to the students we are teaching. Probably the best choice will be old classical movies that are time-proved as masterpieces. We have to admit most of the students are consumers of Hollywood PR, they do not know that movies can be more than mere entertainment, that there are important things about life we can learn from movies. In this case the teacher is called to help students to develop a good taste, to look deeper into the very heart and essence of things. I remember the words of our teacher pedagogy, «It does not matter what subject you teacher but what personality you shape». It is worth to spend time to develop a good movie lesson plan and find a way to motivate your students to watch it.
A teacher should consider language level and social maturity of his or her students. It is preferred to watch the film yourself, even if you have seen it before, with your particular students in mind. Will they be able to follow most of the dialogues? Will they be embarrassed or offended by the visuals, theme, language, etc? Also we have to ask ourselves what our educational purpose is. Are we focusing on language first and culture second, or the opposite? Or are we simply giving the students a break from test anxiety? Our purpose determines how we plan our lesson and how we show the film.
Secondly, we have to overcome students’ belief that they have to understand every word they hear. An introduction to the story, characters, setting, genre, cultural context, themes, etc. is very helpful for encouraging students not to give up when they have a hard time understanding the language. They can hear much better when they know what to expect to hear. Here are other suggestions for students not to get lost in the flow of new information: they should watch the body language, listen to the music, and pay attention to the visuals.
Finally, we have to teach the films rather than simply show them. We do not watch movies just for the sake of movies. We show them for specific purpose. How we teach them depends on the students’ level and the purpose of our course.
A movie lesson should be well-structured. Otherwise, students will not profit from the video session. Mari (2010) proposed three stages that each video lesson should have: Tune-in, While-watching, and After-watching.
· Firstly, by ‘Tune-in’ we mean that students are gradually guided and involved in the plot, the characters, and the setting of the film. They can be led at this stage by prediction-based activities, brainstorming speculation patterns with the aid of visual materials, such as pictures, vocabulary banks with words and expressions from the story, or just through questions related to the main topic.
· Secondly, at the ‘While-watching’ stage, there is more thorough work on the plot and the characters. Students are exposed to a variety of activities such as problem-solving, filling blanks, multiple matching, ordering events, true and false or comprehension questions. The main aim at this stage is to exploit the film at its best profiting from the wide variety of idiomatic expressions, collocations and slang that the students will encounter in real life.
· Thirdly, the ‘After-watching’ stage is considered to be the follow-up one where the film plot is used together with the lexical terms by making students either role-play the best parts or by organizing group debates based on the moral aspects of the plot.
· Furthermore, a written homework assignment may be set asking students to describe their favorite character at lower levels or writing a film review as well as an article to be placed in the school magazine at higher ones.
Here are some practical rules by Linell (1999) for teaching with movies that can be useful for Russian teachers as well:
1. Never show a 2-hour film in a 2-hour class. Always multiply the viewing time by at least 2 when planning your lesson. A two hour film requires 4 hours of class time — or more, depending on what you do with it. Plan ahead for pauses. If you don’t your students will succumb to the hypnotic effect and become passive viewers. You don’t expect to read a story in one sitting, so there is no reason to expect to view a film in one sitting.
2. Tell students that film is the great art form of the 20th century. They can and should learn to read a film just as they learn to read a book. Visual literacy is as essential as language literacy. We live in an age of images. They need to become intelligent viewers of images, etc. That is, tell them that they are training their minds and eyes as well as their ears.
3. Give them some knowledge of the art of film-making. Introduce vocabulary (as needed for particular films) such as genre, chase scene, shoot out, documentary, nonfiction feature film, flashback, fade, camera angle, etc. Ask questions such as, what clues did you get in the first 5 minutes that this film is a comedy?
4. Encourage students to make connections: I organize film viewing around themes. For second year students I am showing films on the theme of identity, because at their age it is a relevant issue. For 3rd year students I am doing a course in genres. I select two or three films in one genre and help them compare. I am also teaching a course in «American culture through film» for another university. I choose films that show changes in American society from the 50’s to the present.
5. Stay active and keep the students active. Plan the lesson with the same attention to purpose and student participation as you would any other class.
According to Brown and Menasche’s degrees of authenticity movies are considered as genuine input authenticity. We do not change them in any way, rather, we look for suitable tasks. Often it is easier to adapt the materials themselves than tasks. But easier does not always mean better in the long run. The ultimate purpose of English teaching is to prepare learner for communicating in an English-speaking environment. We arrive to a conclusion that in the view of all advantages of using movies as the source of authentic materials video lessons should be a part of curricular in Russian schools.
2.4 Teaching projects
In general, Project Based Learning (PBL) is an instructional approach built upon authentic learning activities (the information retrieved from the PBL-Online website). It means that teachers provide authentic tasks for students and encourage them to work with ‘raw’ data — unaltered for the purpose of teaching materials. This kind of activities engages student interest and motivation. They are designed to answer a question or solve a problem and generally reflect the types of work people do in the everyday life outside the classroom. In other words, the outside world becomes a classroom where students practice their language.
Project Based Learning is generally done by groups of students working together toward a common goal. Cooperative work stimulates development of communicative skills. This notion fits well in communicative language teaching approach that is considered now as main stream in a teaching practice. Although project is carried mainly by groups, it allows students to reflect upon their own personal ideas and opinions and make decisions that affect project outcomes and the learning process in general.
Project Based Learning has always been productive. Unfortunately in Russian state schools this approach remains in the shadows, at least in my own experience I do not remember any classroom projects we were offered. The majority of English teachers in Russia hold to ‘chalk and talk’ teaching practices when students’ creativity and autonomy are neglected. The problem might lay in the underestimation of the learner’s potential. Teacher’s attitude and opinion about his or her students form their self-image. If students are treated as lazy incapable learners, it becomes much easier for them to give up and lose faith in their own strength. PBL is a good way to empower students to advance in their learning.
Here are some examples of projects that use advantages of authentic materials (Zehni):
Surveys Survey projects are always a favorite because it means the students can leave the class to go out and find their data. There are infinite topics for surveys and questionnaires so put the class into groups and let them decide what they would like to survey. Give them some examples such as restaurants, entertainment, local people, and foreigners’ perception of the country.
Ensure that your students have discussed and written out their questions (usually at least 10) relevant to their survey. Once they have been corrected send them out for an hour to research their topic or to ask people.
When they are happy with the material they have collected, they can then decide how to present their information, as graphs, paragraphs, pamphlet or poster. At the end of the activity, all groups will have to present their findings to the class and discussions can be started according to the topics.
It is useful to keep the best examples of previous students’ work to show other groups of students. It gives them an idea of what level of work is expected from them and gives them something to try and improve on. These projects have worked well as a finale for a departing class or as a breather when there was just no time to prepare a lesson.
Class Magazine To lead up to this activity, ask students to brainstorm types of magazines and what sections they would find within them. Explain that you will be creating a class magazine over the next couple of days and ask students to pick two topics from the board in pairs (fashion, agony aunt, technology, food and drink, news, editorial etc.) Get the students to appoint an editor who will oversee the article writing and delegate work to the pairs. Have several different types of magazines at hand for the students to look at. Initially, ask them to brainstorm with their partners and get ideas about what they’d like to write about. When they feel ready, they can attempt a first draft which the teacher will correct. For the final copy they can cut out pictures from the magazines available and personalize their pages. The editor will then be in charge of collating the articles and as a group they can choose a title for their magazine. Students are often quite proud of their magazines so we pass them round the different classes. This activity, although very fun and relaxed, is very beneficial as it requires students to discuss with their partners in English and write an article. This type of project can also work with a class newspaper, although the format and reporting styles would be different. A newspaper often works better with adult and business students as they can write about a topic relevant to their interests or careers.
There is a great variety of different projects. They majority of them are designed for classrooms. However, there are projects that take place in the natural environment. They offer more freedom for creativity. These projects (the information retrieved from the English Country Schools website):
1. provide authentic English practice: students are able to see the relevance to the real world of what they are learning;
2. provide variety for students and teachers — they get out of the classroom and ‘into’ the environment;
3. integrate the ‘four skills’ of reading, writing, speaking and listening in a natural way;
4. promote learner autonomy and co-operation;
5. provide practice across the curriculum — eg. art, history, geography, biology, etc.;
6. provide a sensory rich learning experience. Learning is enhanced when students see as well as listen (audiovisual) — they remember even more when they can also use their senses of touch, smell and taste;
7. provide practice in academic skills such as note making, labeling, classifying, referencing, etc.;
8. take place in a natural and enjoyable setting. This helps to lower emotional barriers which sometimes get in the way of effective learning;
9. develop in the students an appreciation of and sensitivity towards the natural world.
If the course curriculum allows doing natural environment projects or if you are willing to spend extracurricular time with your students, you might go outside the classroom to open air. Projects in the natural environment do not have to be complicated and can be used to practice almost any item of language. Here are some examples for activities during green season:
Describing location. Make a plan of the school grounds and write about it. eg. «The school is approached by a long avenue lined with trees.»
Present continuous / ‘going to’ future. Record daily rainfall / temperature / wind speed & direction, etc. Write a daily school weather forecast. eg. «It’s raining / the wind’s blowing from the West / It’s going to be bright and sunny this afternoon / it’ll be bright later.»
Directions. Create a nature trail. Plan and go on a country walk. eg. «Go through the woods and turn left down the grass track.»
Development. ‘used to’. Contrast past maps and photos with the present scene. eg. «There used to be green fields here but now there is a road.»
There are only a few examples of teaching projects; there are lots of ideas in teaching books and on the Internet.
2.5 Audio materials
Probably it is not necessary to discuss the benefits of supplementary audio materials for textbooks and audio lessons. They are definitely useful for language teaching. The pronunciation on these audio CD is authenticity by definition, since they are recorded by native speakers. Their lexical and grammatical content are already chosen in accordance with students’ level and lesson theme. However, in our days authentic audio materials offer much more opportunities for teaching than simple facilitating role for course textbooks. With the rapid growth of the Internet community over the past decades and digital technologies the old teaching paradigm should be reviewed. We have to keep up with the times. Here we will briefly observe some supplementary audio materials such as audio books and podcasts.
2.5.1 Audio books
An audiobook or audio book is a recording of a text being read. It is not necessarily an exact audio version of a book or magazine. Usually they are popular fiction literature, for example, «The Chronicles of Narnia» by C. S. Lewis or «Harry Potter» by J. K. Rowling. Nowadays it is possible to listen to audio books through cassettes, compact disks, computers, mp3 players, i-Phones as well as cell-phones. With the spread of the Internet, people can download audio files from the Internet to these personal gadgets and listen to them whenever and wherever they want. Probably in this case the main role of the English teacher is to promote audio books to students as a wonderful opportunity to better their language skills. They also can become a part of course curricular.
Audio books are especially useful for auditory students. Auditory learners prefer to collect and confirm information via listening (the information retrieved from the Better Language Teaching website). They can quickly process and act upon the information. These students more effectively absorb and retain the information with dynamic use of the language. It means that auditory learners enjoy listening to books than reading books. It might be one of the reason why some of the students are reluctant in reading classes. It may be easier for them first to listen to a book following the text than to read it themselves.
In the last two decades the audio book entered foreign language teaching with the purpose of being a model for a native-like speaker. In EFL learning, audio books enhance pronunciation and contribute to the student’s education and advancement and thus increase her/his language comprehension. Pronunciation work in particular has benefited and therefore most pronunciation programs now incorporate some sort of voice recording and playback to let students compare their recordings with a model. «When paired with matching text, audio books reinforce word, phonic, and syntactic knowledge; reading-while-listening is the most efficient way to assist readers’ transition to fluency» (Dowhower,1987).
Listening is the most used skill among the language skills; 85% of what we learn, we learn by listening. Audio book listeners gain better reading comprehension skills as non-listeners. About 45% of each day is spent listening to others and audio books are often credited with developing and improving listening skills (Gunduz, 2006).
Moreover, when presented with the printed word, learners see the written forms of words; but audio books make it so that the rhythm patterns of speech become more distinct and thus allowing the material to become more easily understood by non-native speakers. That is, the students have the opportunity to hear the pronunciation of words they are unfamiliar with and] frequently pick up the meaning of the word by the reader’s tone. The connection between text and speech becomes clear with the use of audio books, helping the student improve her/his reading and vocabulary skills.
The term podcasting is a blend of the words `iPod’ and `broadcasting’ given to the publishing of audio (usually MP3 files) via the Internet, designed to be downloaded and listened to on a portable MP3 player of any type, iPod, or on a personal computer. It is a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program. In addition, there is also a web feed which allows users to subscribe to the audio program and automatically organizes to be downloaded files to their MP3 players or iPods.
Podcasts have become a very popular way to share content on the Internet. The contents vary from news, government documents, interviews, reviews to language lessons. Many podcasts provide supplementary materials such as scripts, study guides and exercise downloads for language learners. Two most known and reliable web sites CNN and BBC provide up-to-date and very beneficial podcasts for the use of ESL/EFL learners. They give most readers an idea of how indispensable, and enjoyable, podcasts can be when utilized for the sake of education.
Bischke (2007, as cited in Gunduz, 2006) lists several benefits why he prefers podcasts to audio books in his web site. According to him they seem easier to listen to in bite-sized chunks. He states when you only have 10 or 15 minutes, it is often easier to throw on a podcast and listen to it in its entirety than it is to pick up an audio book mid-stream. You can download them automatically and they are timeless, as well. There is certain information that is much better consumed right away (e.g., news and current events, sports, etc.)
The idea that a podcast can be produced by just about anyone with access to the Internet has generated a lot of interest in educational circles. In ELT, the appeal is not only in providing additional listening input for students, but that students themselves can become involved in recording and producing the podcast. Thus, students’ podcast can become an authentic project that encourages students to learn by doing real thing.
To talk about using fiction literature in the classroom, we have to define the word ‘literature’. According to Macmillan dictionary (2011) literature are stories, poems, and plays, especially those that are considered to have value as art and not just entertainment. One broader explanation of literature says that literary texts are products that reflect different aspects of society. They are cultural documents which offer a deeper understanding of a country or countries. Other linguists say that there is no inherent quality to a literary text that makes a literary text; rather it is the interpretation that the reader gives to the text (Eagleton 1983). This brings us back to the above definition in the sense that literature is only literature if it is considered as art. Of course, if a work is treated as a masterpiece, it is an authentic text. There are many good reasons for using literature in the classroom. Clandfield lists fire reasons:
1. Firstly, of all literature is authentic material. It is good to expose learners to this source of unmodified language in the classroom because they skills they acquire in dealing with difficult or unknown language can be used outside the class.
2. Literature encourages interaction. Literary texts are often rich is multiple layers of meaning, and can be effectively mined for discussions and sharing feelings or opinions.
3. Literature expands language awareness. Asking learners to examine sophisticated or non-standard examples of language (which can occur in literary texts) makes them more aware of the norms of language use (Widdowson, 1975 quoted by Lazar 1993).
4. Literature educates the whole person. By examining values in literary texts, teachers encourage learners to develop attitudes towards them. These values and attitudes relate to the world outside the classroom.
5. Literature is motivating. Literature holds high status in many cultures and countries. For this reason, students can feel a real sense of achievement at understanding a piece of highly respected literature. Also, literature is often more interesting than the texts found in course books.
2.6.1 Different models of teaching literature in class
There have been different models suggested on the teaching of literature to ESL/EFL students (Carter & Long, Lazar). How the teacher will use a literary text depends on the model they choose.
The cultural model views a literary text as a product. This means that it is treated as a source of information about the target culture. It is the most traditional approach, often used in university courses on literature. The cultural model will examine the social, political and historical background to a text, literary movements and genres. There is no specific language work done on a text. This approach tends to be quite teacher-centered.
The language model aims to be more learner-centered. As learners proceed through a text, they pay attention to the way language is used. They come to grips with the meaning and increase their general awareness of English. Within this model of studying literature, the teacher can choose to focus on general grammar and vocabulary (in the same way that these are presented in coursebooks for example) or use stylistic analysis. Stylistic analysis involves the close study of the linguistic features of the text to enable students to make meaningful interpretations of the text — it aims to help learners read and study literature more competently.
The personal growth model is also a process-based approach and tries to be more learner-centered. This model encourages learners to draw on their own opinions, feelings and personal experiences. It aims for interaction between the text and the reader in English, helping make the language more memorable. Learners are encouraged to «make the text their own». This model recognizes the immense power that literature can have to move people and attempts to use that in the classroom.
2.6.2 A sample of literature lesson plan
Here is a lesson plan format that works well for extracts from stories, poems or extracts from plays proposed by Clandfield:
Stage one: warmer
There are two different possible routes one can take for this stage:
· Devise a warmer that gets students thinking about the topic of the extract or poem. This could take several forms: a short discussion that students do in pairs, a whole class discussion, a guessing game between you and the class or a brainstorming of vocabulary around that topic.
· Devise a warmer that looks at the source of the literature that will be studied. Find out what the students already know about the author or the times he/she was writing in. Give the students some background information to read (be careful not to make this too long or it will detract from the rest of the lesson; avoid text overload!). Explain in what way this piece of literature is well-known (maybe it is often quoted in modern films or by politicians). This sort of warmer fits more into the cultural model of teaching literature (see Literature in the Classroom 1)
Stage two: before reading
This stage could be optional, or it may be a part of the warmer. Preparing to read activities include:
· Pre-teaching very difficult words (note: pre-teaching vocabulary should be approached with caution. Often teachers «kill» a text by spending too much time on the pre-teaching stage. Limit the amount of words you cover in this stage. If you have to teach more than seven or eight there is a good chance the text will be too difficult.)
· Predicting. Give students some words from the extract and ask them to predict what happens next. If it is a play, give them a couple of lines of dialogue and ask them to make predictions about the play.
· Giving students a «taste». Read the first bit of the extract (with their books closed, or papers turned over) at normal speed, even quickly. Ask students to compare what they have understood in pairs. Then ask them to report back to you. Repeat the first bit again. Then ask them to open the book (or turn over the page) and read it for themselves.
Stage three: understanding the text, general comprehension
Often with extracts or poems, I like to read the whole thing to my students so that they can get more of a «feel» for the text. With very evocative pieces of literature or poetry this can be quite powerful. Then I let students read it to themselves. It is important to let students approach a piece of literature the first time without giving them any specific task other than to simply read it. One of the aims of teaching literature is to evoke interest and pleasure from the language. If students have to do a task at every stage of a literature lesson, the pleasure can be lost.
Once students have read it once, you can set comprehension questions or ask them to explain the significance of certain key words of the text. Another way of checking comprehension is to ask students to explain to each other (in pairs) what they have understood. This could be followed up by more subjective questions (e.g.. Why do you think X said this? How do you think the woman feels? What made him do this?)
Stage four: understanding the language
At this stage get to grips with the more difficult words in the text. See how many of the unfamiliar words students can get from context. Give them clues.
You could also look at certain elements of style that the author has used. Remember that there is some use in looking at non-standard forms of language to understand the standard.
If appropriate to the text, look at the connotation of words which the author has chosen. For example, if the text says «She had long skinny arms,» what does that say about the author’s impression of the woman? Would it be different if the author had written «She had long slender arms»?
Stage five: follow up activities
Once you have read and worked with your piece of literature it might naturally lead on to one or more follow up activities. Here are some ideas:
· Have students read each other the poem aloud at the same time, checking for each other’s pronunciation and rhythm. Do a whole class choral reading at the end.
· Ask students to rewrite the poem, changing the meaning but not the structure.
· Ask students to write or discuss the possible story behind the poem. Who was it for? What led to the writing of this poem?
· Have a discussion on issues the poem raised and how they relate to the students’ lives.
Using extracts from stories or short stories
· Ask students to write what they think will happen next, or what they think happened just before.
· Ask students to write a background character description of one of the characters which explains why they are the way they are.
· Ask students to imagine they are working for a big Hollywood studio who wants to make a movie from the book. They must decide the location and casting of the movie.
· Ask students to personalize the text by talking about if anything similar has happened to them.
· Ask students to improvise a role play between two characters in the book.
Using extracts from plays
Most of the ideas from stories (above) could be applied here, but obviously, this medium gives plenty of opportunity for students to do some drama in the classroom. Here are some possibilities:
· Ask students to act out a part of the scene in groups.
· Ask students to make a radio play recording of the scene. They must record this onto cassette. Listen to the different recordings in the last five minutes of future classes. Who’s was the best?
· Ask students to read out the dialogue but to give the characters special accents (very «foreign» or very «American» or «British»). This works on different aspects of pronunciation (individual sounds and sentence rhythm).
· Ask students to write stage directions, including how to deliver lines (e.g. angrily, breathlessly etc.) next to each character’s line of dialogue. Then they read it out loud.
· Ask students to re-write the scene. They could either modernize it (this has been often done with Shakespeare), or imagine that it is set in a completely different location (in space for example). Then they read out the new version.
News articles are a good authentic resource for intermediate and advance students. They are real, relevant, current, and interesting. Like all lessons, news lessons should be structured and have a clear goal. Articles can be used to work on speaking, listening, reading, writing, and vocabulary. Generally, it’s a good idea to focus more on one of these skills, but of course, all skills will still be practiced.
The first place to start when teaching an effective news lesson is with the article itself. Teachers should consider the following when selecting an article:
1. Appropriateness: Is the topic appropriate? Is it suitable for the class level and age group? Could it be upsetting to some students?
2. Interest: Will the students be interested in this topic?
3. Length: Is it too long? Articles that are particularly long should be avoided. Reading news articles is demanding and if they are too long, students will be discouraged. It will also take time to process reducing talk time. Long articles should be edited (200-300 words is a good length. As a rule-of-thumb, a one page double-spaced essay equals about 250 words).
4. Language: Does the article contain a useful lexical set (e.g., crime, medicine, etc) or useful grammar components? Is there too much unknown vocabulary?
5. Generative Potential: Is the article generative? That is, can you think of an effective activity to follow the article? Articles that lend themselves to discussions, debates, or role play are desirable. You want the students to be able to further practice the language after the reading and listening.
2.7.1 Newspaper lesson structure
As mentioned above, news lessons should be structured. According to Farmer (2008) a well-structured news lesson comprises the following six stages: warm up, pre-reading/listening activities, reading/listening to the article, application/follow-up, feedback and correction, and homework.
Stage one: warm up
The warm-up should raise awareness of the topic and activate pre-existing knowledge and language. As in regular lessons, Teachers should avoid correcting students here. This allows students to relax, get into English-mode, and to build confidence. Some suggested activities are:
· Warm-up questions: These should be related to the topic. The teacher can write the questions on the blackboard or dictate them.
· Quizzes: Quizzes are a good way to test their knowledge of the topic and people in the article.
· Describing/discussing pictures related to the article: In pairs or groups, students speculate about the picture. At this point, they shouldn’t know what the article is about.
· Brainstorming: Have the students brainstorm vocabulary related to the article’s topic.
· Do you agree/disagree?: Prepare a list of four to five statements related to the article. Students pair up and ask each other if they agree or disagree citing reasons.
· Ranking: Students rank a list that the teacher has prepared. For example, if the article were about dieting, the instructor could prepare a list of common dieting fads. The students have to rank them from most effective to least.
Stage two: Pre-reading/listening
The lesson proper should always begin with pre-reading/listening activities. Unlike the warm-up activities, these activities are directly related to the text and serve to get students interested in the topic, build confidence, and prepare them for the task ahead. It’s common for instructors in news lessons to carefully preteach the vocabulary. If the focus of the lesson is vocabulary building, this is fine. However, the teacher should ensure that the vocabulary will be recycled in the application. If not, it is not a good use of time. Why are the students spending 10 minutes learning vocabulary they won’t use again? However, the focus of the lesson doesn’t have to be vocabulary-building. If the article has been well-selected, written, or edited, it is possible for students to focus on other skills such as reading or listening. If they come across an unknown word, it is a good opportunity for them to develop strategies such as asking others, guessing from context, and building their ambiguity filter.
Here are some suggested activities:
· Synonym matching: Students match words taken from the article and match with synonyms.
· Fill-in-the-blank: Students are given a set of sentences from the article and have to fill-in-the-blanks using a provided vocabulary list. An alternative is to have the students try to fill in the blanks using their imagination first and then repeating this activity while looking at a provided vocabulary list.
· Story speculation: The students predict the story from the headline and/or the article’s picture.
· Vocabulary speculation: Students are given the headline and predict words they expect to read. (As students read the article in the next stage they can check the words they find. They student with the most correct predictions wins.)
· Vocabulary selection/sort: Students are given a list of words, some words are from the article, some words are not. The students read the headline and then decide which ones they think are from the article.
· Sentence selection: As in the previous example, but with sentences instead of words.
· True or False: The instructor provides the students with a list of sentences about the article. Some are true, others are false. The students read them, and then decide whether they are true or false. The students can check their answers in the next stage.
Stage three: Reading/listening
Listening tasks. These activities sever to build listening skills. If you want to focus on listening skills, it should be read at least two or three times. Two points to consider when setting listening activities: it’s a good idea to move from extensive listening activities to more intensive: and if the students can get all the answers correct the first time, the tasks were to easy. If you are hoping to improve listening ability, the students’ listening has to be challenged. Here are some possible listening tasks:
· Listening for gist: The students could summarize each paragraph.
· Fill-in-the-blanks: The teacher reads the story aloud. The students listen and fill in the blanks.
· Checking pre-listening ideas: The students listen and check their information from the pre-listening stage (true/false statements, vocabulary speculation, etc.).
· Listening for pre-set comprehension questions: These can be written on the board or dictated. After the first listen, have the students compare answers. Then read again until they have the answers. Ideally, the questions should be related to the pre-activities.
Reading tasks. These activities serve to build reading skills and the article should be read two or more times. As in the listening activities, it is best to move from extensive to more intensive tasks. This means the students will gain a deeper understanding with each successive read.
· General comprehension questions
· Check pre-reading ideas
· Skimming/Scanning: Skimming is when you quickly read through an article. Scanning is when you are looking for specific information.
· Detailed comprehension questions: «Which paragraph says (…)?», «What do (these numbers) refer to?», «What do (these people) think?», «Find a word that means (…)», «Find today’s vocabulary, «How was the «vocabulary» used?»
· Students generated comprehension questions
· Complete the sentence: Take the beginning of some key sentences from the article and have the students try to complete the sentence from memory.
· Write a headline for the story/reach paragraph
· Summarizing: The students write a sentence summarizing each paragraph.
Stage four: Application/Follow-up Tasks
Whatever the focus of the lesson, an effective news lesson should extend beyond the article. The students need to have a chance to use the new vocabulary and/or knowledge in a meaningful, less controlled way. The students should be reminded to use the new vocabulary and/or target language as much as possible. As in any lesson, teachers should refrain from jumping in and correcting during this stage. This is the students’ time to apply the new language in a free environment. Any mistakes should be noted for the feedback and correction stage.
· Role Play: For example, the students could take on character roles from the article and role play the situation. This could be extended to what they think happened next.
· Discussion: The teacher can provide questions related to the topic such as «Have you ever experienced such a situation?», «What would you have done in her shoes?», or «What do you think of what he did?» Of course, students should be encouraged to go beyond the article.
· Debate: The students have a debate. One idea: If the students did the «Do you agree/disagree?» activity in the warm up, the teacher could tie it to the debate. The students revisit the same statements and debate using the information from the article.
Stage five: Feedback and Correction
The last five minutes of any lesson should be reserved for feedback and correction. Together, the warm up and the feedback and correction stages are the bookends of an effective lesson. Just as the warm up serves to get them ready for the lesson ahead, this stage acts as a cool down where the students can reflect upon what they have learned. It also guarantees that they leave the classroom with a clear idea of what they have achieved. There are three things that can be covered here:
· Correction: This is a good opportunity for teacher to bring up any mistakes from the application to the class’ attention. The benefit of this is that the whole class can benefit from the correction. Mistakes can include level relevant grammatical mistakes, mispronunciations, or vocabulary usage problems.
· Review: It’s a good idea to briefly review what was covered. The instructor can review new vocabulary or the article itself. It’s best to elicit this information and to call for examples. This will not only reinforce the information, but will satisfy the teacher that the students understand what was covered.
· Feedback and Motivation: It’s important to give some praise and some advice for further improvement or study.
Stage six: Homework
Homework is important for students to progress in their studies. Most students have little access to English outside of the classroom. Setting homework encourages them to self-study and to re-visit the lesson. This will build retention of new information. Some suggested homework assignments for news lesson are outlined below.
· Research projects: Students have to research the topic using Wikipedia and/or other Internet sources and write a report.
· Comparison activities: Students have to read the same topic from different news sites to compare how different sources deal with the news.
· Letter writing: The students have to write a letter to someone from the article telling them how they feel.
· Summarizing: Students summarize the article.
· Listening: If the lesson is from a site where a podcast is available, the students should download the mp3 file and listen to it at least two or three times a day. They also can listen and repeat after the recording to work on the prosodic features (e.g., rhythm, pronunciation, and stress).
2.8 The teaching of culture
Westerhuis (as cited in Cheung, 2001, p.56) defines ‘culture’ as the customs, values, laws, technology, artifacts and art of a particular time or people. Culture in English language teaching materials has been subject to discussion for many years. Linguists and anthropologists have long recognized that the forms and uses of a given language reflect the cultural values of the society in which the language is spoken. Linguistic competence alone is not enough for learners of a language to be competent in that language (Krasner, 1999). Language learners need to be aware, for example, of the culturally appropriate ways to address people, express gratitude, make requests, and agree or disagree with someone. They should know that behaviors and intonation patterns that are appropriate in their own speech community may be perceived differently by members of the target language speech community. They have to understand that, in order for communication to be successful, language use must be associated with other culturally appropriate behavior.
Today, with the help of technological developments, we have access to many sources easily and quickly. Almost all the printed materials are on the Internet in electronic forms as well as digital audio and video and we can easily search anything anytime. Actually we do not lack cultural content to use in our classrooms. We have already talked in details about the use of visual clips, movies, and audio materials as the source of cultural context, so here we will present only main principals for using it.
In many regards, culture is taught implicitly, embedded in the linguistic forms that students are learning. To make students aware of the cultural features reflected in the language, teachers can make those cultural features an explicit topic of discussion in relation to the linguistic forms being studied. An EFL teacher could help students understand socially appropriate communication, such as making requests that show respect; for example, «Hey you, come here» may be a linguistically correct request, but it is not a culturally appropriate way for a student to address a teacher. Students will master a language only when they learn both its linguistic and cultural norms. If an utterance is considered as culturally appropriate, it means that this utterance is authentically appropriate as well.
Contemporary linguistic and learning theory suggests that culture can be taught explicitly as well. It should be a part of curriculum, especially in EFL settings where exposure to the target culture is limited. However, many students say that they do not want to learn about the culture. This might be because of common stereotypes, or even racist tendencies, so the teacher should be ready to face discontent of his or her students with target culture. Probably most of the students who are reluctant to explore a foreign culture have some negative experience associated with it. The teacher is expected to show and explain differences between source and target cultures.
One of the main advantages of the use of authentic cultural content in classroom is that it will fosters learner motivation (McKay, 2000, p. 7). She, like many other experts, believes that there should be a variety of culture in the materials and not only an overload of western culture in ELT classrooms. Eventually English is a international language. Besides, learning about a culture does not mean accepting that culture. In addition, we should keep in mind that overuse of cultural materials in the language classrooms can constitute problems not only for students but also for the teachers and decrease the motivation.
After exposure to culturally authentic text or movie students’ own culture should be discussed together with target culture. In other words, home and target culture should be integrated. Robinson (as cited in Stuart and Nocon, 1996, p. 435) refers to this integration as ‘Color Purple’. According to Stuart and Nocon, this synthesis is created when one becomes aware of one’s own cultural lens (e.g. blue) through the recognition that a person from another culture has a different lens (e.g. red). Neither person can escape his or her own cultural lens, but each can choose to overlap lenses (e.g. purple) in order to understand better the other’s perspectives and arrive at shared meaning.
The key point in successful implementation of culture in EFL settings is that the teacher should create a relaxing environment where students can discuss their own culture together with the target culture in meaningful and communicative tasks and activities.
Cultural information should be presented in a nonjudgmental fashion, in a way that does not place value or judgment on distinctions between the students’ native culture and the culture explored in the classroom. Kramsch (1993) describes the «third culture» of the language classroom—a neutral space that learners can create and use to explore and reflect on their own and the target culture and language.
Having viewed the concept of authenticity from various perspectives, we arrive to the conclusion that the notion is not merely to be incorporated in teaching. Materials should be both genuine and authentic as well as relevant and potentially communicative. Learners must feel positive toward tasks and activities, otherwise, they will not benefit from using them. Also authentic materials should be interpreted by students as it was pedagogically intended. In other words, students need be properly exposed to authentic materials.
In the practical part of this work we showed how different types of authentic materials can be used in teaching process. In particular, we analyzed textbooks, three types of prompts, movies, teaching projects, audio materials, fiction, and newspapers in order to give practical recommendations of the concept of authenticity. Then, we also discussed the teaching of culture in the light of the concept. It is not a complete list of possible types of authentic materials, for instance, we did not observe the use of songs. The purpose of this work is, rather, to show the direction where EFL teachers may go to experience advantages of the authentic approach.
Authentic materials proved to be more effective in many ways than artificial teaching materials since they have more motivating potential. They also have other advantages, for instance, the use of authentic materials leads to a more creative approach to teacher. Students are more likely to read fiction books for pleasure than textbooks. Books, articles, newspapers, and so on contain a wide variety of text types, language styles not easily found in conventional teaching materials. In addition, real discourse is presented, as in video interviews with famous people where intermediate students can listen for gist. They provide exposure to real language.
Of course, there might be some pitfalls we can encounter while using these materials, in particular authentic materials may be too culturally biased. They can be unnecessarily difficult to be understood outside the language community. Also the vocabulary might not be relevant to the students’ immediate needs. Often too many structures are mixed so lower levels have a hard time decoding the texts. In addition, special preparation is necessary which can be time consuming.
Thus, the main question is whether an EFL teacher will be able to decrease disadvantages of the use of authentic materials at the expense of its advantages. I believe that teacher professionalism plays a pivotal role in domination of positive or negative effects of the use of authentic materials. I would like to conclude by quoting Tatsuki (2006) «…it would make imminent sense to spend at least as much on teacher training and professional development as is currently spent on textbook development» (p.11).
Better Language Teaching. Two Learning Styles: Auditory and Visual. Retrieved 19 April, 2011 from http://www.betterlanguageteaching.com/esl-articles/75-auditory-visual-learning-styles
Breen, M.P. (1985). Authenticity in the language classroom. Applied Linguistics, 6, 60-70.
Budden, J. (2011). Realia. British Council. Retrieved 23 April, 2011 from http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/language-assistant/teaching-tips/realia
Carter, R & Long, M. (1991). Teaching Literature. London: Longman.
Chavez, M.T. (1998). Learner’s perspectives on authenticity. IRAL, 36(4), 277-306.
Cheung, C. (2001). The use of popular culture as a stimulus to motivate secondary students’ English learning in Hong Kong. ELT Journal, 55(1), 55-61.
Clandfield, L. Teaching materials: using literature in the EFL/ ESL classroom. Onestopenglish. Retrieved 18 April, 2011 from http://www.onestopenglish.com/support/methodology/teaching-materials/teaching-materials-using-literature-in-the-efl/-esl-classroom/146508.article
Davis, L. (1999). Teaching with Movies. TEFLChina. Retrieved 27 May, 2011 from http://teflchina.org/Teaching_with_Movies
Deubelbeiss, D. & Volokhov D. Tern Pictures. EFL Teaching Recipes. Retrieved 17 April, 2011 from http://teachingrecipes.com/2009/09/14/torn-pictures/
Dowhower, S. L. (1987). Effects of repeated reading on second-grade transitional Readers’ fluency and comprehension. Reading Research Quarterly, 22, 389-406.
Eagleton, Terry (1983). Literary Theory: An Introduction. Oxford: Basil Blackwell
English Country Schools. Teaching English through projects in the natural environment. Retrieved 19 April, 2011 from http://www.countryschool.com/engnatur.htm
Farmer, J.A. (2008). How to Effectively Use News Articles in the EFL Classroom. TESL Journal, Vol. XIV, No. 12.
Fuchs, M. and M. Bonner (2006). Focus on Grammar 4: An Integrated Skills Approach, ThirdEdition.. New York: Pearson Education, Inc.
Guariento, W. & Morley, J. (2001). Text and task authenticity in the EFL classroom. ELT Journal 55 (4), 347-353.
Gunduz, N. (2006). Contributions Of E-Audiobooks And Podcast to EFL Listening Classes. Seljuk University. Journal of Faculty of Letters. Number: 16, Page: 249-259.
Harmer, J. (1991). The Practice of English Language Teaching. England: Longman.
Jordan, R.R. (1997). English for Academic Purposes: A Guide and Resource for Teachers. Camxbridge. Cambridge University Press.
Kitajima, R. & Mary Ann Lyman-Hager, M.A. (1988). Theory driven use of digital video in foreign language instruction. CALICO Journal, Vol. 16, pp.37-48.
Kramsch, C. (1993). Context and culture in language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Krasner, I. (1999). The role of culture in language teaching.
Dialog on Language Instruction, 13(1-2), 79-88.
Lamb, A., Johnson, L., & Smith W.L. Prompts. Teaching and Learning at a Distance. Retrieved April 18, 2011 from http://eduscapes.com/distance/course_discussion/prompts.htm
Lund, S. (1992). Giving your courses a dose of reality. Forum: English Teaching Forum, 30, pp 10-15.
Macmillan Dictionary. (2011). Retrieved April 29, 2011 fromhttp://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/literature
Mari, A. M. (2010). Movies in the English classroom. British Council. Retrieved 23 April, 2011 from http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/try/tips/movies-english-classroom
Matsuta, K. (n.d.) Applications for using authentic materials in the second language classroom.
Martinez, A. (2002). Authentic materials: An overview. Karen’s Linguistic Issues. Retrieved May 25, 2011 from http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/authenticmaterials.html
McKay, S. L. (2000). Teaching English as an international language: Implications for cultural materials in the classroom. TESOL Journal, 9(4), 7-11.
PBL-Online. What is Project-Based Learning? Project-Based Learning. Retrieved May 29, 2011 from http://pbl-online.org/About/whatisPBL.htm
Peacock, M. (1997). The Effect of Authentic Materials on the Motivation of EFL Learners in English Language Teaching Journal 51, pp.
Rogers, C., & Medley, F., Jr. (1988). Language with a purpose: using authentic materials in the foreign language classroom. Foreign Language Annals, 21, 467-478.
Sanderson, P. (1999). Using Newspapers in the Classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Stuart. G., & Nocon, H. (1996). Second culture acquisition: Ethnography in the foreign language Classroom. The Modern Language Journal 80(4), 431-449.
Taylor, D. (1994). Inauthentic authenticity or authentic inauthenticity? TESL-EJ, 1(2), 1-12. Retrieved May 25, 2011 from http://www.zait.uni-bremen.de/wwwgast/tesl_ej/ej02/a.1.html
Tatsuki, D. (2006). What is authenticity? The Language Teacher, 16(5), 17-21. Retrieved May 25, 2011 from http://jalt.org/pansig/2006/HTML/Tatsuki.htm
Widdowson, H.G. (1990). Aspects of Language Teaching Oxford, O.U.P.
Wilkins, D.A. (1976). Notional syllabuses. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [-11-]
Zehni, N. Fun EFL Class Projects. ESL Base. Retrieved May 20, 2011 fromhttp://www.eslbase.com/articles/projects