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How effectively use of authentic reading materials in the classroom during the English lesson

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How effectively use of authentic reading materials in the classroom during the English lessons.

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«How effectively use of authentic reading materials in the classroom during the English lesson»


Arifaliyeva Aygul Fakhridinovna

The English teacher of the school number 1 Chust district, Namangan region

Toshpolatova Mavjuda Salimovna

The English teacher of the school number 1 Chust district, Namangan region

It is argued that any text may lose its authenticity when they are used in the classroom; however, we believe that learners, who learn English as a foreign language, need to have access to different materials in order to exploit the language in a natural way. This can be reached introducing authentic materials in the classroom. As there is rare opportunity to use the language outside, the classroom is the only place that learners can practice English. In reality, students learn English but they cannot use the language, as there is a certain difference between bookish and natural English. According to Tomlinson (2011) exposure to authentic texts may help students to achieve valuable input. Additionally, Swaffar, Arens and Byrnes (1991) point out that considering authentic texts as a basis for reading, writing and speaking is a new shift in language teaching. Wallace (1992a:145) defines authentic texts as “real-life texts, not written for pedagogic purposes”. These are texts which provide students with opportunity to get to know the real life materials and learn authentic use of language. According to McGrath (2002), authenticity is considered to be essential in learning environment, because learners feel the taste of outside world life and also they practice real life activities in safe language learning environment.

Authentic materials may stimulate students, especially adult students to produce communicative utterances which they will be able to use in real world, as Nuttal (1996:172) describes “authentic texts can be motivating because they are proof that the language is used for real-life purposes by real people”. Additionally, authentic materials provide students with valuable input and allow them to receive various things that suit to their interlanguage system (Gilmore 2007). Using authentic materials can be very motivating and stimulating in language learning process, even though there are some issues like difficult vocabulary, too many complex sentence structures or some materials can be specific only to the certain culture (Berardo 2006). However, exploiting authentic materials for learning purposes is not welcomed by Widdowson (1998) and he argues against using them in the classroom, as there is no real context to authenticate the language. Therefore, it is essential to select appropriate authentic reading or listening texts while designing materials, they should be rich and varied in content (Tomlinson 2011), satisfy learners’ needs, relevant to learners’ level and syllabus, culturally appropriate, easily exploitable and readable (McGrath 2002, Nuttal 1996).

While selecting authentic texts for reading materials, we try to apply all these criteria. Text passages taken from blogs and newspaper articles, a poem and a short story lead students to read more real things in the target language and also they become familiar with different genres. What is more, it helps them to apply their knowledge in writing which foster integrated skills. We use texts on environmental issues, culture, sport activities and language which reflect the syllabus. There is not any topic which may inappropriate to the students’ culture (McGrath 2002) and all topics are expected relevant to the level of the students, even though they are a bit lengthy. As language learners, students need to be exposed to variety of texts on different topics, so that they have less difficulty in using the language outside of the classroom. In order to make authentic texts more comprehensive we design pre reading activities such as questions that activate student’s background knowledge and personal experience related to new information. Learning words before reading the text helps students to understand the text easily and visuals prepare students to predict the content (Wallace 1992b) and activate vocabulary (McGrath 2002). All these pre-reading activities prepare students not only to comprehend the text but also to understand unfamiliar concepts or cultural remarks (Taglibier, Johnson and Yarbrough 1988). After reading students interrogate the text to make sure they understand the key points in reading passages, in some cases they read twice according to the purpose of the activity. This is in line with what Wallace (2001) suggests doing with reading.

Post reading activities allow students to experience producing authentic tasks as they would do in real life, they provide learners with opportunity to replicate using language in “real world” as Tomlinson (2011:ix) states. They make up dialogues and act out as if they are in natural context. All these steps make the authentic texts more comprehensible even though they are long and slightly difficult. These activities around authentic materials foster critical reading skills, which stimulate students think deeply and thoroughly.

By analyzing the text with the help of critical reading questions students understand what is beyond the text, as a result they develop their critical literacy. Wallace (1992b) claims that critical reading needs to be encouraged in English as foreign language settings not depending on the level of the students, which is close to the reality. Opening up space for critical reading skills enables them to identify the author’s point of view, widen their understanding and problem-solving skills and shape their understanding of the world. Wallace (1992b:61) argues that critical reading “involves more than critical response to the text itself”, it involves understanding of reading in a wider sense and consideration of cross-cultural aspects. Additionally, critical literacy pushes students to have authentic communication around social and cultural issues (Luke 2012). Analysing texts from different angles enables students to see how this text is organized, what lexical items are used to describe the situation and what interaction between the reader and the writer is, which in turn leads to better understanding of things hidden beyond the text. Drawing upon above mentioned points, we feel that language learning materials should develop critical reading and thinking skills and this is in line with Tomlinson (2011:21), who emphasizes the importance of language learning activities which encourage students to express thoughts and feelings and “stimulate left and right brain activities”.

In conclusion, we would like to emphasize that correctly chosen authentic materials not only prepare students to use the language outside of the classroom through integrated skills, but also it promotes critical and creative thinking skills which are essential for real life.


1. Berardo, S.A. (2006). The Use Of Authentic Materials in the Teaching of Reading. Reading Matrix 6.2 pp 60-68.

2. Gilmore, A. (2007). Authentic Materials and Authenticity in Foreign Language Learning. Language Teaching 40.2 pp 97-118.

3. Luke, A. (2012). Critical Literacy: Foundational Notes. Theory into Practice 51.1 pp

4-11.McGrath, I. (2002). Materials Evaluation and Design for Language Support. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

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Предмет: Английский язык

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How effectively use of authentic reading materials in the classroom during the English lesson

Автор: Arifaliyeva Aygul Fakhridinovna

Дата: 11.04.2020

Номер свидетельства: 546126

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