The use of authentic material in the classroom can boost a student’s confidence and introduce them to real life language, all while supplementing the text. Authentic material can bridge the gap between classroom language and real life language. It brings genuine and realistic linguistic situations and material right into the classroom setting.
Songs are a great way to use Authentic Material in the ESL classroom! Teaching English with songs is exciting for young learners because songs are often engaging and fun.
Below you will find 3 reasons to teach English with songs. This blog includes a video sample of a teacher from China who uses songs in her classroom. You will also find a sample lesson plan at the end of this blog!
Why teach English with songs? Songs are an excellent tool for learning English while having fun. They can be used to learn or practice the target language in a motivating and enjoyable way.
Many teachers think that using songs in the classroom is only for young learners, or as a means for motivating teens. While it is true that children learn most by doing and singing, and teens love learning the lyrics of their favourite singers or bands, songs work equally well with adult learners.
First of all, why use songs in the classroom? When we consider that almost 100% of students enjoy listening to music and most of them also enjoy songs in English, we realize that songs in ESL classes can prove to be a very valuable resource.
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One of the worst things about professionally published language teaching materials is that they often tend to focus on one particular skill in a fairly unnatural way. Indeed, a lot of language courses even go as far as focusing solely on productive skills. In such courses, reading and listening become secondary skills (while other courses do the exact opposite, of course). Authentic materials, in the other hand, allow teachers to plan for integrated skills lessons.
By Margaret Hurley. Co-writer You Can Teach Grammar
The benefits of using authentic material in the TESOL classroom are many. They generate interest, they are certainly more varied in range than the material embedded in textbooks, they can be extremely practical, they can be fun and they can be very current. Especially for teachers who are not in an English-speaking country, authentic material are an excellent way to bring the English-speaking world into the classroom. In this series, different specific ways of using authentic materials will be covered. This inaugural issue covers some tips for using (non-musical) radio or podcasts in the classroom.
There are many things to consider when making our own materials for TESOL classes. The physical appearance of our material is important, as are our instructions. What’s more, we should also think about the importance of context, as well as incorporating learner training into our worksheets. Nevertheless, we can often boil the process of making a great worksheet down to the following two-stage process. Using these guiding questions, you will be able to create a worksheet that does more than simply fill time in class or merely consolidate whatever language point you’ve covered.
When we develop supplementary TESOL material, our intentions are that it will work well and be appreciated by those who use it, namely teachers and learners. However, if we want to avoid unnecessary complications further down the line, it’s critical that we consider our rationale for designing the materials we want to create from the very outset. One simple but effective way is to reflect on the three ‘Cs’: concepts, contents and customers. In other words:
- What is the main objective that we want to achieve (the concept)?
- What kind of activities will help us achieve this objective (the content)?
- Who are our learners and what will please them (the customers)?
The three Cs are a good starting framework for all materials production. There are however, other considerations for those of us who are looking to develop TESOL resources of a truly high quality, such as the roles of context, authenticity and physical appearance. This post highlights two of these factors, namely the importance of giving clear instructions and incorporating flexibility into your materials design.
One of the most important decisions we face in our TESL careers is whether or not to supplement our courses with self-made TESL materials. The notable advantages, like being able to tailor our resource to specific contexts, don’t negate challenges, such as the need to organize and store your new materials carefully. At the end of the day, it’s up to us weigh up the benefits and costs of designing teaching materials and make their own decision as to whether it is worth our time and effort. In this article, I will how you how to make your material durable and reproducible.
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