Thursday, January 24, 2013

Unit 14


Task 1 – State the advantages and disadvantages of authentic and created materials. Which kind of materials would you favor for a class of intermediate students? Why?

Authentic materials:
-         It can boost the confidence of students if they are able to understand it.
-         It’s authentic or real so it’s more interesting for the students.
-         It can be geared to the interests of a particular set of students such as teen agers or business people.
-         It prepares the students for the real world, most especially if they are migrating to an English-speaking country.
-         The material is not graded to the level of the students because it’s made for native speakers and not ESL learners.
-         It can sometimes be too difficult or complicated for the students to comprehend.
-         It might contain a lot of informal English which can be disadvantageous to the students who haven’t mastered formal/academic English yet.

Created materials:
-         The material can be graded to the level of students.
-         The teacher can easily choose which vocabulary or language items to include in the material (ex: crossword puzzles, matching activities, role-plays)
-         It can be used to replace or supplement material from the book.
-         Student-focused
-         Some students may find it a bit boring because it’s not real.
-         It limits the exposure of students to real English or everyday English.
-         Can be too time-consuming to create the material.
-         Some original materials have not been tried and tested.

I would favor the use of authentic materials for intermediate students because they already have a good grasp of the English language. Using authentic materials can bring the right kind of motivation and challenge to the class. I’m sure that they will appreciate the fact that they are not only learning the language but are being exposed to the cultural content of the material as well.

Task 2 – What do you consider to be the advantages and disadvantages of using course books with a class?

-         It’s something that the students expect.
-         It’s less time-consuming for the teacher.
-         It has already been tried and tested.
-         There is progression and continuity of lessons.
-         It’s always something the teacher can rely on when he/she runs out of ideas.
-         It provides security for both the students and teachers.
-         Language items in the past lessons are often used in the succeeding lessons.
-         There is a balanced mix of lessons covering grammar, pronunciation, speaking, writing, listening, and reading.
-         It’s usually appealing to the eye.
-         It’s helpful for novice teachers.

-         Some books may be outdated and no longer relevant to the students.
-         It dictates the lessons to be covered.
-         Since course books are designed for all nationalities, some of these books may not cover the particular needs of a group of students.
-         It becomes boring and predictable.
-         Teachers can become lazy at times.
-         Some lessons don’t provide an in-depth coverage of language items that the teacher needs to teach.
-         Some topics/lessons may not be suitable for the class.
-         Students may not like the book and might not want to use it.

Task 3 – How can the teacher use the course book to maximum effect?

Teachers should remember the following when following a course book:

-         Use the course book as a guide only and don’t consider it your bible.
-         Don’t think of the course book as a solution to everything.
-         Omit sections/topics from the book that are unsuitable to the level of the students being taught.
-         Supplement the book with other materials, authentic or created, to provide an opportunity for extended language practice.
-         Replace unsuitable materials with similar and more appropriate ones.
-         Don’t use the text book for the whole lesson.
-         Plan lessons well and make them interesting.
-         Use the materials contained in the book in a way that he/she sees fit or perceives to be most beneficial for the students.
-         Don’t base all of the lessons on the book. The teacher should be aware of what the students need and should try to address such in the lessons.

Task 4 – Find an authentic reading text of your choice online appropriate for an upper-intermediate class, and using the blank lesson plan that you should have received, devise a full ESA lesson plan that revolves around the text. As always, complete all sections of the lesson plan, as well as the procedure.

Include all exercises and worksheets when submitting your lesson plan.

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