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At Transparent Language, we don’t just support learners of a foreign language, we support teachers, too! That’s why we started our Education Webinar series earlier this year. We’ve received so much positive feedback from attendees—and requests from educators unable to attend—that we’re repeating the series in early 2015! Up next: advice for creating ACTFL-aligned lessons using authentic materials for learners of all experience levels. You can preview the webinar slides and register to join us below!
Authentic texts have been defined as “…real-life texts, not written for pedagogic purposes,” meaning they are written for native speakers and contain “real” language. Authentic materials have been produced to fulfil some social purpose, such as relaying breaking news or telling a story, in contrast to non-authentic texts designed specifically for language-learning purposes.
Authentic also means linguistically and culturally genuine. So, when thinking of authentic lessons, think of blog posts, poems, news stories, magazine articles, etc.
One of the major benefits of authentic lessons is that they enable students to work with the latest news and events in real time. Students love working today’s news, ads, magazines, etc. They are exposed not only to the language, but to the culture and society of the target country. Especially when compared to a textbook, this approach is more motivating, engaging, and exciting.
There are more pragmatic reasons, too, of course. Authentic materials expand students’ vocabulary by exposing them to words and phrases used in different ways, such as idioms, slang, and other elements of a language you might not find in a textbook.
When the topics are modern and exciting, students are more likely to engage and participate in class, improving their speaking skills. You can also choose to introduce and reinforce grammar embedded in your chosen authentic materials, improving students’ reading and writing skills.
This part is better left explained in person! Want expert tips from a 20+ year veteran teacher of French and Spanish? How about suggestions of where to look for authentic materials and how to incorporate them in to your lessons? Join us at our upcoming webinars:
Monday February 9, 2015 7:00-8:00pm EST
Thursday February 19, 2015 4:00-5:00pm EST
Have questions or comments before, during, or after the webinar? Connect with us on Twitter using #TLedwebinars.