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Presenting Language Through Texts English Language Essay

2468 words (10 pages) Essay in English Language

5/12/16 English Language Reference this

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Texts have been used in language classrooms for many years. There are many reasons for teachers using texts. Firstly, they use texts as a linguistic objects. Secondly, they use texts as vehicle for information. And for the last reason, they use texts as a springboard for production. So texts in language teaching have played the important role in language learning and teaching.

The most effective texts in learning process are authentic materials. Leaning English through authentic materials will make the learners feel like the are in the a real language situations. The atmosphere of the classrooms are alive. Research studies on the use of authentic materials reveal that it can promote the students’ motivation, positive attitude, involvement and interest on the subject.

There are several kinds of authentic materials which are audio, visual, printed materials and multimedia materials. The multimedia materials are involved audio, video and graphic presentations. All of these materials are applied for communicating specific dispatches in real situations.

Authentic audio materials :

1. Music, news and other audio materials available on the internet

2. TV programming including movies, commercials, quiz shows, cartoons, news and weather

3. Radio including ads, music and sales pitches

4. Taped or eavesdropped conversations, such as one-sided phone conversations

5. Meetings, talks

6. Announcements in airports and stores

7. Professionally audio-taped short stories and novels

Authentic visual materials :

Images and graphs available on the internet

photographs

painting and drawings, children’s artwork

wordless street signs

pictures from magazines, postcards, wordless picture books

stamps

x-rays

coins and currency

clocks

phones

Halloween masks and other holiday decorations

Authentic printed materials :

web based printed materials available on the internet

newspapers including articles, movies reviews and advertisements, astrology columns, sports reports, obituary columns, advice columns, classified ads

reports, obituary columns, advice columns, classified ads

lyrics to song

restaurant menus

street signs

food product labels such as cereal boxes, candy wrappers

tourist information brochures

university catalogs

telephone books

maps

magazines including TV guides, comic books, catalogs

greeting cards, letters

grocery coupons and flyer

pins or t-shirt with messages

bus schedules

mail including bills , missing children flyers and junk mail

flyers, posters, billboards

school notices

forms including leases, tax forms, applications, medical history forms

Authentic multimedia materials :

TV, Video programmes of various kinds

podcasting on the internet

we based programes involving multimedia use

There are criteria for teachers to consider for choosing the authentic materials for classroom use. Firstly, the interest of the students, the teacher has to ensure that the chosen materials suit the age, interest and background of the students. Secondly, the purpose of language learning, teachers must consider the information in the chosen materials are of value to the learners. Thirdly, the cultural appropriateness, some materials are produced on the basis of the native speakers, the learners might not familiar with the culture of the contexts. Thus, the teachers should carefully select the appropriate second language contexts. Fourthly, the language level, the group of students are different levels like beginner, intermediate or advanced students .because the authentic materials are not made to fit the learning purposes so the teachers must choose the kind of comprehensible input which is slightly difficult in order to sustain their motivation. Lastly, the quality of the materials may be concerned. The chosen texts must have the quality of the text organization and the appropriate picture use. In the same time, the teachers must attentively check for errors and spelling mistakes of the texts.

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Using authentic materials have great benefits or advantages, specially for the second language learners of English. A large number of evidences of research studies have revealed a wide range of advantages. Firstly, the learners will expose to a wide range of natural language. Next, the reality and the meaningful interactive are brought into classroom. Then, there is a connection between the classroom and the outside world. The teaching and assessment focus on the 4 skills which the facts of language are not included. Moreover, the important objective is not a memorization for the examination but for the communicative proposes. For the next reason, the authentic texts can help the teachers accessing the ready, available, attractive and inexpensive resources of the texts as well as bring the variety to the classroom activities. So, the students have opportunities to practice the skills learnt in the classroom in the outside world when they meet them in the real situations.

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Using the authentic materials also have some problems. Some kinds of materials may include difficult language and unusual vocabulary items which are not being used in the daily life basis. These kinds of problems cause a burden to the teachers. So to solve the problems, the teachers should carefully pick the authentic materials by using the above mentioned criteria. For instance, the notices, bottled labels and reservation forms are used for the lower level learners. Whereas, the advanced levels need more complex materials.

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Thornbury claimed that ” language always happens as text and not as isolated words and sentences” Therefore, the basis of foreign language teaching is handling texts for both written and oral. There are three acronyms that have been used to describe texts

TALO : Text as a linguistic object – A TALO text is used for language work, specifically grammar or vocabulary.

TALO texts :

are written especially with a pedagogical purpose in mind

could be authentic texts the teacher has chosen because they contain lots of examples of a particular feature of language,

could be authentic texts ” adapted” to contain or highlight certain features of language.

TAVI : Text as a vehicle for information

A TAVI text has a different focus. Information within the text is seen as more important than the language. Students should understand the overall meaning of a text instead of ( or at least before ) the finer points of detail,

TAVI texts :

can be chosen because they are motivating,

these texts are mainly authentic and based on communicative approach.

TASP : Text as a Stimulus for Production

A TASP means using texts as a springboard for another task – usually a reading or writing task. TASP approaches also fit well with communicative approach.

TASP type activities could be :

doing a role play on the text,

discussing issues raised by the text,

having a debate about the points of view presented in the texts,

writing a similar text about something the students know about

writing a response to the text

( Verster 2005 ): TALO, TAVI, TASP.

From : www.vgtu.it

Texts – based activities presented in the course book ‘Information Technology’ are

marking the statements as true or false, filling in the gaps in the statements, linking each pair of actions ( donating cause and effect ) by a time clause, matching the terms in table A with the statements in table B, making a list of the key features of the facility ( device ) students are reading about, matching the reviews of the facilities to their titles, writing a brief evaluation of the phenomenon you have read about ( at least by listing its good and bad points ), trying to guess the meaning of the given abbreviations, trying to paraphrase the statements, linking each set of sentences to make one sentence ( corresponding to the descriptions given in the text ), completing the forms to record the main details of the problem described in the text, working in pairs, studying the diagram to explain how facility works, putting the described events in sequence, finding words or phrases in the table which mean what is given in the statements below.

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From my experience as a teacher, I have been teaching young learners, mostly in the Phatom 1-3 students. And I have used several kinds of authentic materials in my class. For example, I use English songs and nursery rhymes when I would like to present new language to my students for promoting the motivation and engagement in learning of my students. Then, I use many pictures to present the new vocabulary in order to promote a better understanding of the meanings of the words. Sometimes, I have them read their favorable books from the bookshelf, so they can choose what ever they like.

The examples of my authentic materials are :

Five Little Speckled Frogs

Five 5 little speckled frogs,

Sitting on a hollow log,

Eating some most delicious bugs,

Yum, Yum.

One 1 frog jumped in the pool,

Where it was nice and cool,

Now there are four 4 speckled frogs,

Glub, glub.

Four 4 little speckled frogs,

Sitting on a hollow log,

Eating some most delicious bugs,

Yum, Yum.

One 1 frog jumped in the pool,

Where it was nice and cool,

Now there are three 3 speckled frogs,

Glub, glub.

Three 3 little speckled frogs,

Sitting on a hollow log,

Eating some most delicious bugs,

Yum, Yum.

One 1 frog jumped in the pool,

Where it was nice and cool,

Now there are two 2 speckled frogs,

Glub, glub.

Two 2 little speckled frogs,

Sitting on a hollow log,

Eating some most delicious bugs,

Yum, Yum.

One 1 frog jumped in the pool,

Where it was nice and cool,

Now there is one 1 speckled frog,

Glub, glub.

One 1 little speckled frog,

Sitting on a hollow log,

Eating some most delicious bugs,

Yum, Yum.

One 1 frog jumped in the pool,

Where it was nice and cool,

Now there are no 0 speckled frogs,

Glub, glub.

From www. enchantedlearning.com

My students really enjoy it. So they like English language too. And I have another example :

Hark, Hark, The Dogs Do Bark!

Hark, hark, the dogs do bark!

The beggars are coming to town!

Some in rags and some in tags,

And some in velvet gowns.

From www. enchantedlearning.com

One, Two, Three, Four, Five

One 1, two 2, three 3, four 4, five 5,

Once I caught a fish alive.

Six 6, seven 7, eight 8, nine 9, ten 10,

But I let it go again.

Why did I let it go?

Because it bit my finger so.

Which finger did it bite?

The little one upon the right.

From www. enchantedlearning.com

Aesop’s Fables : The Ant and the Grasshopper

In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about,

chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by,

bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the

nest.

“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper,

“instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”

“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant,

“and recommend you to do the same.”

“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; we have got

plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and

continued its toil. When the winter came the Grasshopper had no

food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants

distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had

collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew:

It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.

The Ass and His Masters

AN ASS, belonging to an herb-seller who gave him too little food

and too much work made a petition to Jupiter to be released from

his present service and provided with another master. Jupiter,

after warning him that he would repent his request, caused him to

be sold to a tile-maker. Shortly afterwards, finding that he had

heavier loads to carry and harder work in the brick-field, he

petitioned for another change of master. Jupiter, telling him

that it would be the last time that he could grant his request,

ordained that he be sold to a tanner. The Ass found that he had

fallen into worse hands, and noting his master’s occupation,

said, groaning: “It would have been better for me to have been

either starved by the one, or to have been overworked by the

other of my former masters, than to have been bought by my

present owner, who will even after I am dead tan my hide, and

make me useful to him.”

He that finds discontentment in one place

is not likely to find happiness in another

The Ass, the Fox, and the Lion

THE ASS and the Fox, having entered into partnership together for

their mutual protection, went out into the forest to hunt. They

had not proceeded far when they met a Lion. The Fox, seeing

imminent danger, approached the Lion and promised to contrive for

him the capture of the Ass if the Lion would pledge his word not

to harm the Fox. Then, upon assuring the Ass that he would not

be injured, the Fox led him to a deep pit and arranged that he

should fall into it. The Lion, seeing that the Ass was secured,

immediately clutched the Fox, and attacked the Ass at his

leisure.

*Never trust your enemy

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