Using authentic materials in ESL classroom by Tushar6251

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Md. Ashraf Siddique ID# 081970555 Course title: Material Development Course code: Eng 577 North South University Using authentic materials for the secondary level of learners of Bangladesh in “English for Tourism” classroom Abstarct: Language teachers frequently need to design materials. But it is not always effective for the learners. This paper is an attempt to find out how authentic materials could be made more effective for the learners in the classroom context. At the centre of all research are the points regarding learners (age, background, language proficiency level, learning style), principles in developing materials, and finally how to adapt materials in learning context. Thus, this paper is expected to work as a guide for a teacher. Literature Review: “We mean print materials used in ways that they would be used in the lives of learners outside of their classes”1 says Erick Jacobson about authentic materials. I do agree with the point. From my point of view those materials are the authentic materials which brings real life context into the classroom and make learners ready for the outside of the classroom, real life. As ESL teachers we get authentic materials but how to adapt, develop and contextualize it that becomes a big problem for us. Here is an attempt to

Creating Authentic Materials and Activities for the Adult Literacy Classroom by Jacobson. Pg – 1.

Siddique 2 clear those obstacles in the use of authentic materials in classroom context based on certain principles. Introduction: In case of choosing authentic materials, developing, and organizing them in order to serve the communicative purpose in Tourism we need to consider several issues related to the objectives of the course, learners‟ age, learners‟ level of English, learners‟ educational and social background and many other socio-academic conditions, which might have direct or indirect influence on the learners‟ receptive and productive capacities. Thus, in my paper, I prefer to see the level of the learners and learning style at the very initial stage; second considering fact would be the need survey; the third step could be the possible methods applied into the ESL classroom context. It is necessary to consider, next, the adaptation of the authentic materials, plans for achieving terminal objectives, methods reflected on the use of activities and instructions, focused skills, grammatical, vocabulary components and lesson plans of the four classes considering with the level of the learners, need survey and the application of the methods into the teaching context. At the finishing line I will try to rationalize the materials with the help of the principles and techniques proposed by the applied linguists, and thoughts and principles that come out of my personal observation. A list of classroom materials will also be added. Proficiency level of the learners: The proficiency level of the learners is one of those important factors which guides an instructor to develop or adapt materials, for that here the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines for FSI (Foreign Service Institute) is followed to determine the proficiency

Siddique 3 level of the learners. This guideline was used previously to determine learners‟ speaking proficiency level, but it is recently used in identifying listening, reading and writing proficiency level. The proficiency level chart is: Level 0 0+ Description Unable to function in the spoken language Able to satisfy immediate needs using rehearsed utterances Able to satisfy minimum courtesy requirements and maintain very simple 1 face-to-face conversations on familiar topics Able to initiate and maintain predictable fact-to-face conversations and 1+ satisfy limited social demands 2 Able to satisfy routine social demands and limited work requirements Able to satisfy most work requirements with language usage that is often, 2+ but not always, acceptable and effective Able to speak the language with sufficient structural accuracy and 3 vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, and professional topics Often able to use the language to satisfy professional needs in a wide range 3+ of sophisticated and demanding tasks Able to use the language fluently and accurately on all levels normally 4 pertinent to professional needs Speaking proficiency is superior in all respects, usually equivalent to that 4+ of a well-educated, highly articulate native speaker 5 Speaking proficiency is functionally equivalent to that of a highly

Siddique 4 articulate, will-educated native speaker and reflects the cultural standards of the country where the language is spoken

Again Jeremy Harmer (1996:44) suggests us a different type of proficiency level in which the level of the learners are identified as „real beginner‟, „false beginner‟, „elementary‟, „lower intermediate/ pre-intermediate‟, „mid-intermediate‟, „upper

intermediate‟, „advanced‟. In a chart it could be showed as: Advanced

Upper Intermediate


Lower intermediate/ Pre-intermediate


Real beginner

False beginner

Siddique 5 Anyway, after doing a survey (Appendix 1: Questionnaire) on selected 15 students of secondary level of Bangladesh, who are interested in having a course on Tourism since they want to work as tourist guides in the near future, it is found that their proficiency level of English is on an average of Lower intermediate/ Pre-intermediate level or of grade 2 (according to ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines) according to which learners are able to satisfy routine social demands and limited work requirements.

Learning Style: In preparing materials for the pre-intermediate level of students learners‟ learning style is very important. “Keith Willing, working with adult students in Australia, produced the following description: Convergers: these are students who are by nature solitary, prefer to avoid groups, and who are independent and confident in their own abilities. Most importantly they are analytical and can impose their own structures on learning. They tend to be cool and pragmatic. Conformists: These are students who prefer to emphasize learning „about language‟ over learning to use it. They tend to be dependent on those in authority and are perfectly happy to work in non-communicative classrooms, doing what they are told. A classroom of conformists is one which prefers to se well-organized teachers. Concrete learners: Though they are like conformists, they also enjoy the social aspects of learning and like to learn from direct experience. They interested in language use and language as communication rather than language as a system. They enjoy games and group work in class.

Siddique 6 Communication learners: These are language use orientated. They are comfortable out of class and show a degree of confidence and a willingness to take risks which their colleagues may lack. They are much more interested in social interaction with other speakers of the language than they are with analysis of how the language works. They are perfectly happy to operate without the guidance of a teacher.”2

After dealing with this information I have found 80% of my students to be concrete learners for which keeping learners level and learning style I have developed the materials. Principles lying behind the development of the materials:  Impact of the Materials: When the materials are able engage learners to the language activities it can be considered that materials are facilitating the learning process. For materials having impact upon the learners I consider the following things to be important: a) Attractive and colourful presentation b) Instructions are clear and specific c) Activities should bring variety d) Inputs must be based on learners‟ existing level of proficiency e) Exercises should be of learners‟ common interest that will require learners personal psychological engagement.  Learners should feel at ease: Learners should feel at ease with the materials. We need to consider some of these factors while developing materials –

The Practice of English Language Teaching by Jeremy Harmer. Chapter 3: Describing learners. Pg. 43.

Siddique 7 a) Materials, which involves completely unknown to the learners and no psycho-contextual relations are found, bore learners very easily. b) Too much cultural variation could become a barrier in the learning process. c) The materials should not involve excessive tests that demotivates the learners  Help learners to develop confidence: Materials should help learners to develop confidence. In case of the most materials it is found that either materials are over-simplified or too tough for the level of the learners. But what I prefer to do for my students is to give the input a bit higher that the existing level of proficiency, so that the learning process remain accelerated.  Should require and facilitate learner self investment: Materials should be effective enough to attract learners‟ attention so that they engage themselves out of their own interests. Tomlinson, regarding this, says, “materials can help them to achieve this by providing them with choices of focus and activity, by giving them topic control and by engaging them in learner-centred discovery activities”3, which I have implanted in designing my materials and more or less acceptable to all teachers depending on their own contexts.  Learners should be exposed to language in authentic use with the features of the linguistic input: Learners need to be exposed to the real life use of the language for fulfilling certain communicative purposes so that the language acquisition happens in a much complete way and when learns are dealing with real-life situations in a classroom context

Material Development in Language Teaching by Brian Tomilinson. Pg-10 (of introduction)

Siddique 8 materials should be helpful to the learners with conscious or unconscious linguistic inputs.  Learners differ in learning styles: In developing materials it should be brought in instructor‟s concern that learners differs in their learning styles. So depending on their learning style materials should be developed. While preparing material for the particular 15students I have found that they are of concrete and communication learners. Thus, the activities are designed based on their styles.  There should not be too much controlled practices: Too much controlled practices become barriers to the authentic usage of the language and the spontaneous acquisition process, as the learners remain dependent of the instructor and remain unable to use language in the real life situation. Focusing on these points I have kept both the controlled and less controlled activities in my materials.  Provide opportunities for outcome feedback: The teacher should be aware of the fact that the materials do not give too much emphasis on accuracy feed back rather than outcome feed back. If accuracy is focused too much than the learners might bring meaningless outcome which will destroy the real purpose of communication. Thus the initial focus in my materials is given to the outcome feedback. Methods used in the classroom: I do believe that to make a class successful and to reach to the goal of the lesson no single method is going to work. Rather a successful class requires the combination of

Siddique 9 more than one method. In designing these materials for the four classes I have taken help of communicative language teaching, grammar translation method and direct method. Material Adaptation: By adaptation we generally mean to adjust a part of a book or a part of a material to the learners‟ context, level and learning styles. The techniques McDonough and Shaw (1993:87) have mentioned in Materials and Methods in ELT involves adding, deleting, modifying, simplifying, and reordering. A teacher follows the following steps while dealing with authentic materials, as he needs to contextualize the activities considering learners proficiency level, learning style, objective of the class, and the feedback from the classroom activities. Adaptation in lesson 1: o The first listening activity is made short, since the learners are of preintermediate level, time duration is short. o 1st conversation is in Bangladeshi context, but the 2nd conversation is in a foreign context. It is done so that the learner can identify the difference between the expressions, pronunciations and intonations. Adaptation in lesson 2: o Materials in the 2nd lesson are taken from

( The whole article is not used for the classroom since it cannot be covered within 60 minutes. o The activities are designed completely depending on the text. Adaptation in lesson 3:

Siddique 10 o The materials are taken from local newspaper “The Daily Star”. A part of the whole text is used to adjust the activities with the time. o I have divided the material into two parts so that the activity can go on as it is intended to be. o I have added the question to meet the goal after reading the cited text. Adaptation in lesson 4: o Integration between listening and writing is done. o Grammar chart is added so that learners feel at east with the grammatical exercises. o The pictures were not given in the text. These are newly added to make the material attractive. Description of the Materials: The materials designed here are for the pre-intermediate level of learners who are interested in the tourism industry and are willing to have a course on “English in Tourism”. I have chosen 15 students, since I think this the standard number of students for a teacher to teach. Materials are designed considering learners‟ age, language proficiency level, academic background, socio-economic condition etc. Some of the important characteristics of the materials are discussed bellow –  Though the goal of the course is to develop learners‟ language proficiency level in the language activities in tourism, each lesson has its own objective, so that accumulating all the objectives the ultimate goal can be achieved. Again lesson objectives are divided into terminal objectives.

Siddique 11  Every activities and lessons exposed here are designed in way that they remain connected to each other. When the 1st lesson is about listing to how to introduce yourself to someone, the 2nd lesson is about accuracy while speaking, and the 3rd lesson is about the effective reading by finding out general and specific information; in the same way the 4th lesson is about expressing one‟s preferences and comparing things using right structures of expressions.  Learners might find the Reading lesson bit tough, but after certain development in the earlier two classes the reading task is prepared. In this care the theory (I+1) is used.  Though individual lessons have focus on individual skill, the lessons attempt to integrate four skills together in each of them, for I believe when four skills are integrated in a lesson the input becomes most effective.  If we look at the sequence of the lesson, it is found that the queue is like: listening – speaking – reading – writing. Here I have followed the Skinners‟ Natural hypothesis of language acquisition in which listening is the starting point of language acquisition process and writing is the end point of it.  In these activities I have tired to follow Communicative Language Learning, but there is a blend of Grammar Translation Method, and Direct Method which have helped me to keep the rhythm both of materials and teaching process.  I have tired to make the instruction as explicit and effective as possible. Effective inputs are intended to be given keeping learners at ease with the materials. Too much tests are avoided, rather indirect evaluation is done. Controlled and less controlled exercises are involved to motivate learners.

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Conclusion: In using authentic materials in ESL context, I do believe, one need to give first a second thought on the background, age, proficiency level, perspective of the learners, then authentic materials should be chosen depending on certain principles, and next needs to consider the procedures of adapting the authentic materials in the learning context. While designing the materials designer need to keep in mind the learners‟ response and the sequence of activities and lesson. When all these facts are in the head of an ESL material designer it might take time to design materials but hopefully that would be a good one.

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Appendix: 1

Identifying the level and learning style of the learners

Questionnaire 1. Fill up the following conversation: A: Hello! How are you? B: I‟m fine. It‟s ____________________ A: Nice to meet you too. 2. Ask questions: a) Where _________ the bank? i. Is ii. Were iii. Had b) Do you know ____________ the taxi stand __________ ? i. What, was ii. When, have iii. Were, is c) How often ____________ the buses leave for the city? i. Have ii. Do iii. Is d) What time ______________ the duty free shop open? i. Have ii. Were iii. Does e) Do you know what time the duty fee shop ____________?

Siddique 14 i. Have open ii. Open iii. Opens 3. Make complete sentences with the incomplete expressions: a) Let me think. Oh yes …………… b) I‟m not really sure, but I think …………. c) It‟s close to/near ………… d) It‟s in the corner of …………. e) It‟s next to …………. 4. Describe how a person can go from place (A) to place (B). A C


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Appendix 2 (A) Lesson Plan 1: Goal: Class Duration: Number of students: Level of the learners: Age of the learners: Materials: Procedures Help learners to develop their listening skill. 60min 15 Pre-intermediate 17.5 – 20 yrs old book, cd, cd player, white board, marker. Time Terminal objectives Initially it will involve learners to the class room activity.  It will require learners to use his/her real life experience of meeting a new person.

1. Warm up (in this part the teacher will 15 min  speak of any topic that interests the learners. From that he will go on talking about how one can introduce himself to other at the first meeting. The general expressions used in that context; eg. – Hello, I‟m --------; hi, nice to meet you etc. Teachers will write down the expressions on the white board. There will conversations between teachers and students) 2. Learners will listen to a conversation between Chris, a tourist and Naushin, a tourist guide. After every single expression the teacher will give a pause and the students will pronounce what they have listened to. 3. Pair work: Students will be divided into 6 pairs, teacher can also become a 12 min  18 min 

This process involves drilling as well as the understanding of the listening objects. This will help learners to internalize the whole process of “introducing yourself”.

This will bring learners to the real life situations.

Siddique 16 part of a pair. Here the pair mates will introduce each other in the way they have listened to the tape. 4. While the pair work is going on the teacher will identify learners mistakes regarding pronunciation and intonations, and will workout with the learners about the problems 5. Learners will listen to the conversation between Yoko and Rich and will fill up the gap. 10 min  This is basically learners‟ evaluation of the understanding of the context and expressions. 5 min  Correct pronunciation eventually leads the learner to correct listening and spelling.  Pronunciation and intonations will be addressed.

Listening Script: (Only for the teacher) Naushin: Chris: Hello! I‟m Nusrat Naushin. Hi! My name is Chris Robinson, but please call me Chris. Naushin: Nice to meet you, Chris. You can call me Naushin Chris: Naushin: OK. And what‟s your last name again? Naushin

Last activity: Fill up the gaps: Yoko: Rich: Rich, who are the two women over there? Oh, ___________ names are Lisa and Kate.

Siddique 17 Rich: Hi! Kate. This __________ Yoko. ________ from Japan. Yoko: Kate: Lisa: Yoko: Rich: Yoko: Kate: Hello. Nice to meet you. Good to meet you, Yoko. And _________ name ___________ Lisa. Hi, Lisa. Lisa and Kate ________ from Canada. Oh! Where ________ you from in Canada? __________ from Toronto.

Siddique 18 Appendix 2 (B) Lesson Plan 2: Goal: Help learners to develop their pronunciation and grammar while speaking. 60min 15 Pre-intermediate 17.5 – 20 yrs old The brief history of “Lalbug kella” on OHP transparency paper.

Class Duration: Number of students: Level of the learners: Age of the learners: Materials:

Procedure 1. Warm up (In this part the teacher will ask the learners about the places in Dhaka that they have visited last weekend. He will briefly ask some questions about the places. Next the teacher will ask what they know about the “Lalbug Kella”) 2. Teacher will project the picture and history of “Lalbug” through OHP, and will give some time to students to read the information. 3. Students will be allowed to choose any particular historical place to speak on through group discussion 4. After selecting a particular historical place, one of the back benchers will be called to speak on that topic while other students will keep writing the

Time 15 min 

Terminal objectives This will engage learner to the classroom context.

10 min 

This will get the students ready for the speaking tasks.

3 min

30 min 

As this activity is less controlled learners will be motivated to use their imagination in the real life context.

Siddique 19 information. (each students will given 1 minute for speaking and teacher will spend 1 minute for basic error correction with the class) If the place is unknown to some of the students teacher should motivate learners to add imaginary information to the topic) 5. At the end teacher can help learner to 2 min make a portfolio of the learned component.  It will help learner in further studies.


Siddique 20 History Lalbagh Fort (Bengali: Lalbag Kella) (also known as "Fort Aurangabad") is an incomplete Mughal palace fortress at the Buriganga River in the southwestern part of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Construction was commenced in 1678 by Prince Muhammad Azam during his 15-month long vice-royalty of Bengal, but before the work could complete, he was recalled by Aurangzeb. His successor, Shaista Khan, did not complete the work, though he stayed in Dhaka up to 1688.

In the present fort area of 18 acres (73,000 m²), excavations have revealed the remains of either 26 or 27 structures, with elaborate arrangements for water supply, sewerage, roof gardens, and fountains. Renovation work by the Archaeology Department has now put Lalbagh Fort in a much-improved shape, and it has now become an interesting spot for tourists and visitors. ( Kella Kabab and Restaurant is named after Lalbag Kella. This is one of the most famous restaurants in Lalbag area. It is situated opposite to Lalbag Kella Gate.

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Appendix 2 (C) Lesson Plan 3: Goal: Class Duration: Number of students: Level of the learners: Age of the learners: Materials: Reading for general and specific purposes 60min 15 Pre-intermediate 17.5 – 20 yrs old copies of newspaper cutting in sufficient amount, dictionary and vocabulary index. Procedure 1. Warm up (In this part the teacher will talk about Cox‟s Bazaar and will share learners‟ idea of the place) 2. Learners will be divided into groups. Each pair will be given a copy of the newspaper cutting. Before they start reading teacher will ask them the significance of the title. 3. In the pair one will read the part 1 of the text while other will read part 2 of the text. Once both of them finish reading one will exchange the information with other. 4. As the learners share information, it will vary from pair to pair, which will be identified by the teacher. To bring a margin among the exchanged information the learners will be exposed to some questions. 5. After giving question answers orally the teacher will end up with the class. 37 min  Exchange of specific information 5 min  General information about the title Time 8  min Terminal objectives Engaging learners

8 min


Accuracy of understanding will be chaecked

2 min

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The Daily Star
Your Right To Know Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tourism in Bangladesh

1. On an educational tour of western USA, along with a group of about 50 tourists from England, Australia, and Cyprus, I have just passed through Las Vegas, which is a hot desert city with no natural scenic beauty. But more than 30 million people visit the place every year. It really has only one main street about six miles long, with big hotels having gambling facilities on both sides of the road, shopping malls, eateries and other attractions. Many of these hotels and their surroundings are reproductions of other famous sites of the world, for instance, Luxor which has a pyramid and the Sphinx, New York with Times Square, Paris with Eiffel Tower, Italian Venice with gondolas, Imperial Rome with Caesar's Palace, etc. 2. What chance has Bangladesh to develop its tourism industry? This is a tough nut to crack. Sincere efforts by individuals and the government are being made to improve this sector. Unrestricted power supply, reliable broadband, comfortable hotels and roads and eating

Siddique 23 places, easy availability of air conditioned vehicles, etc., will go a long way for entrepreneurs to entice tourists from abroad during the winter. Every visitor centre should also have maps, guidebooks and helpful websites to help individual tourists. A mock Tajmahal has already been made. Perhaps other mock landmarks of the world can also be made to attract visitors. Answer the following questions: 1. What problems do the writer talking about? ______________________________________

2. What are the differences between two places? ______________________________________

3. What does the text say about Tajmahal? ______________________________________

4. How is the tourism industry of USA facilitated? ______________________________________

5. What changes do Bangladesh need to bring in the tourism industry according to the text? _______________________________________

Siddique 24 Appendix 2 (D) Lesson Plan 4: Goal: Develop writing skill with preference; comparison with adjectives 60min 15 Pre-intermediate 17.5 – 20 yrs old cd, cd player, grammar sheet, question paper. Procedure 1. Teacher and students will share their there shopping experiences at home and abroad (what facilities and problems did they face earlier) 2. Students will listen to a tape regarding shopping in USA. 3. After the tape is finished, the learners will be instructed to identify the preferences and comparison of adjectives. 4. Teachers will show the grammatical components in a chart and will discuss. 5. Learners will complete the conversations written on the question paper. Learners will do the activity in pair and after completion will discuss with partner. 6. Teacher will give feed back to the exercises. 5 min 5 min 20 min  Grammatical development in writing. 5 min 15 min   Preparing learners for grammatical components Grammatical development Time 10 min  Terminal objectives Engaging learners into the context.

Class Duration: Number of students: Level of the learners: Age of the learners: Materials:

Siddique 25 New Interchange (Intro) Pg – 21 and 22

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Bibliography Berardo, S. A. “The Use of Authentic Materials in the Teaching of Reading”. The Reading Matrix. Vol. 6, No. 2, September 2006. Brown, D. 2001. Teaching by Principles: An Interative Approach to Language Pedagogy. 2nd Edition. Longman: UK. Dubicka, I. and O‟Keeffe, M. 2004. English for International Tourism. Longman: UK. Harmer, J. 2001. The Practice of English Language Teaching. Longman: UK. Hasnat, M. 2006. English for Hotel and Tourism. Friends Book Corner: Dhaka. Jacobson, E. and et al. 2003. Creating Authentic Materials and Activities for the Adult Literacy Classroom: A Handbook for Practitioners. National Centre for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacry. Lewis, M. (Ed.) New Ways in Teaching Adults, Pantagraph: USA, 1997. McDonough, J. and Shaw, C. 2003. Material and Methods in ELT: A teacher‟s Guide. 2nd Edition. Blackwell Publishing. Nolasco, R. and Arthur, L. 2003. Conversation. OUP. Richards, J.C. 2001. Curriculum Development in Language Teaching. CUP. Richards, J.C. 1997. New Interchange: English for International Communication. CUP: Cambrigdge. Tomlinson, B. (Ed.) Materials Development in Language Teaching, CUP: Cambridge, 1998.

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