Using authentic texts

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Using authentic texts

Unread postby joanne » 14 May 2005, 12:53

Dear madam Lucy,

Thank you very much for your help. It would be of great help if you could outline me how to create a 1 hour lesson plan based on an authentic text (e.g. holiday package pamphlets, visitors guide to places of public interest etc.).

Thanking you again,

Murali.
joanne
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Using authentic texts

Unread postby Lucy » 15 May 2005, 19:54

Dear Joanne,

It’s not possible for me to prepare a lesson plan as there are details about the class that are missing. In order to plan a lesson, it’s necessary to know the age and level of the students, what your aims are, etc. It’s also useful to know about the “timetable fit”, i.e. what the students have studied recently, what they’ll be doing next and what the overall aims of the syllabus are.

However, I can give you some guidance that will help you plan the lesson. First of all decide what your aim will be: are you using the authentic material for speaking practice (if so are you concentrating on accuracy or fluency?). Will the material be used for reading practice or for vocabulary practice and activation? Also consider other elements, such as pronunciation, formation of questions, etc.

It’s a good idea to start with a warm-up activity. This could be a game that revises some of the vocabulary in your brochures. If different brochures are going to be used, you can brainstorm types of brochures and their uses (don’t let this second activity go on too long).

The next thing to look at is how you are going to use your brochures. Are there enough for each student to have one or to look at them in pairs? It’s a shame if there aren’t enough; photocopies can be made but they don’t have the same impact as the authentic brochure.

If you want to practise reading, you could prepare some questions that require skimming and scanning. Examples might be “what time does the museum close on Sundays? Are the opening times the same in winter and summer? How far is it from the city centre?”

If your students are of a good enough level, you could put them into pairs or groups and give each group a brochure. They then write questions about their brochure using your questions as a guide. Groups can then pass their brochure and questions to another group to answer.

The brochures can also be used for speaking practice: students can plan a day out, plan a holiday away or anything else that relates to the brochures. If you choose this option, you’ll need to pre-teach the functions and phrases needed. Phrases for inviting, suggesting, accepting and refusing need to be covered. This could be done in a previous lesson and reviewed quickly just before the speaking activity. Remember to review pronunciation at the same time.

You could follow up the activity with some homework. At a low level, this could be a fill in the gaps exercise about vocabulary or phrases that have been studied. At a higher level, students could write a letter or e-mail to a friend outlining their holiday plans.

I hope this will be of help to you. As I said, in order to plan a lesson, you need to consider other factors.
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