Using English Language Periodicals as Authentic Materials

Larry M. Lynch
 


Visitors: 265

Authentic Materials

One of the best ways of teaching or learning English as a second (ESL) or foreign language (EFL) is by using authentic materials which have been prepared for native speakers in real-life conditions. English language newspapers and magazines are typically available in most of the world. At a bazaar or bookstore in Istanbul, a news kiosk in Barcelona, at a cultural center in Bogotá or a street corner in Paris, you can pick up a local, regional or international periodical to use in an English as a foreign language (EFL) class room setting. Here are some suggestions for putting them to good use.

To help you with incentives, suggestions and ideas of what, when and how to use a newspaper or magazine, I’ve scanned through a British English magazine and an American English newspaper to look for ways to extract the maximum use from each. These suggestions might also be applied to online publications as well as other types of foreign language periodicals in both print and digital versions.

Front Cover

The title, issue number and any “teasers” that appear can be used to get an overview of the periodical and start a brief discussion based on prediction. What’s the article going to be about? Who are the people on the front cover? What do you know about them, the place or situation involved?

Table of Contents

Often these contain more detailed information and short descriptions of the articles and features of the periodicals which can help with discussion or prediction activities. Ask the learners which article, section or column they’d most like to read and why.

Full / Half Page Ads

Depending on the content, ads can be used to illustrate verb tenses, describe colors, clothes, materials, etc. If present, additional ad content might include websites, addresses, telephone numbers, dates, times, other contact information, etc. , all useful class work themes. Do you or your students use the products, or similar ones? Are the products seasonal? For men or women only? For a particular age group? Available in your area? Why or why not? Work with any adjectives from the ad: either ones that appear or ones that are implied by the photo or product. Advertising photos frequently tend to be exotic or provocative in nature. They can be used in a variety of ways. Be sure to visit websites mentioned in the ad – either during class or as an online assignment.

So no matter what English language newspapers and magazines are typically available in your part of the world; at a bazaar or bookstore, a news kiosk, at a cultural center or a street corner, pick up a local, regional or international periodical to use in your English as a foreign language (EFL) class room. Both you and your learners will benefit. While you’re at it, e-mail me at lynchlarrym@gmail.com and if you’re nice, I’ll send you a free copy of my e-book, “The Foreign Language Learner’s Startup Guide” by return e-mail.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an ELT Teacher Trainer, expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. For a free copy of his e-book, “The Foreign Language Learner’s Startup Guide”, comments, questions, requests, to receive more information or to be added to his free ELT materials mailing list, e-mail: lynchlarrym@gmail.com

(592)

Article Source:


 
Rate this Article: 
 
Condition of English in Bangladesh: Second Language or Foreign Language
Rated 4 / 5
based on 5 votes
ArticleSlash

Related Articles:

Using Songs as Authentic English Language Texts

by: Larry M. Lynch (January 30, 2007) 
(Arts and Entertainment)

Exploiting an Authentic Reading Passage for English Language Learning

by: Larry M. Lynch (November 29, 2005) 
(Reference and Education)

English Language Teaching - They Speak English as a First or Official Language ..

by: Larry M. Lynch (March 11, 2008) 
(Reference and Education/Languages)

English Teachers - How to Get Your EFL Language Learners to LOVE English Class

by: Larry M. Lynch (March 18, 2008) 
(Reference and Education/Languages)

Grammar Book English - Speaking the Native English Language

by: Jane Sumerset (January 15, 2009) 
(Writing and Speaking/Writing)

Use an English Only Language Immersion Environment to Develop Foreign Language ..

by: Larry M. Lynch (March 20, 2008) 
(Reference and Education/Languages)

Learn Chinese Language - The Worlds Most Frequently Learned Language After ..

by: Alberto Abudara (June 03, 2007) 
(Writing and Speaking)

English and Foreign Language Teaching - They Speak Spanish as a First or ..

by: Larry M. Lynch (March 11, 2008) 
(Reference and Education/Languages)

English Language Teaching and Learning: Are You a Good Language Learner?

by: Larry M. Lynch (July 12, 2006) 
(Arts and Entertainment/Language)

Condition of English in Bangladesh: Second Language or Foreign Language

by: S M Mehdi Hasan (March 21, 2006) 
(Arts and Entertainment/Language)