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The importance of using authentic materials in ESP classes

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Рубрика: Педагогические науки
Журнал: «Евразийский Научный Журнал №6 2018»  (июнь, 2018)
Количество просмотров статьи: 3337
Показать PDF версию The importance of using authentic materials in ESP classes

A teacher of TerSU, Uzbekistan

As we know, the usage of authentic materials is very important for achieving high result on teaching students. Especially for students, to develop communicative competence in reading, classroom and homework reading activities must resemble real-life reading tasks that involve meaningful communication. They must therefore be authentic in following ways:

First, the reading material must be authentic: it must be the kind of material that students will need and want to be able to read when traveling, studying abroad, or using the language in other contexts outside the classroom.

When selecting texts for student assignments, as a teacher we should remember that the difficulty of a reading text is less a function of the language, and more a function of the conceptual difficulty and the task that students are expected to complete. Simplifying a text by changing the language often removes natural redundancy and makes the organization somewhat difficult for students to predict. This actually makes a text more difficult to read than if the original were used.

Rather than simplifying a text by changing its language, we should make it more approachable by eliciting students’ existing knowledge in pre-reading discussion, reviewing new vocabulary before reading, and asking students to perform tasks that are within their competence, such as skimming to get the main idea or scanning for specific information, before they begin intensive reading.

The next way is the reading purpose, it must be authentic: students must be reading for reasons that make sense and have relevance to them.

To identify relevant reading purposes, we should be ready to ask students how they plan to use the language they are learning and what topics they are interested in reading and learning about. Then we can give them opportunities to choose their reading assignments, and encourage them to use the library, the Internet, and foreign language newsstands and bookstores to find other things they would like to read.

The last is the reading approach, it must be also authentic: students should read the text in a way that matches the reading purpose, the type of text, and the way people normally read. This means that reading aloud will take place only in situations where it would take place outside the classroom, such as reading for pleasure. The majority of students’ reading should be done silently.

On teaching ESP students I usually start the class by reading one of the stories in the graded reader to my students. I read in a manner that captivate my students’ attention. In fact, not only do it captivate my students’ attention, but my colleagues’ attention as well, and that of the technician who find himself following the lesson — and enjoying it — as they, is videotaping the class. They read half of the story, after which I ask my students the words that they do not understand. I then explain the meanings of these words using various strategies such as giving analogies, giving examples, and giving hints or prompts to the students as to what the answer or meaning may be, but most often, I use native translations of these words, I also sometimes ask them to look up the words in the dictionary. All this time, they observe that the students’ attention is glued to the lesson. In this class, I pay a lot of attention to explaining the vocabulary, as this is an area the students are apparently weak in.

On doing reading tasks I often move from student to student, listen to as the student reads aloud. After student finish reading the selection, I often invite them to reread it to build fluency and to practice reading new vocabulary. I prompt help my ESP students learn how to think about different sources of information as they put together a flexible system of strategies they could apply increasingly difficult text. The process of reading must be dynamically supported by an interaction of text reading and good teaching. Usually I select texts that will provide opportunities for students to expand their processing strategies. In introducing the text, I prepare an introduction to the text that will help readers access and use all sources of information. For leaving some opportunities for my students to independently solve problems while reading, I introduce key words and their meanings in order to practice using context to understand word meanings and help students to understand how texts are structured.

During the lesson usually for before reading the text I used pre-reading activity, I pick up some words from the text and write on the board in order to familiarize with these words how to read or to pronounce the words, how to use further in the text, word meaning and so on.

On my classes, I try to observe reading behaviors and make notes about the strategy use of individual readers. At the reading table, each student begins to read the text aloud. While they read, I confer with each reader briefly. I try to listen to every students’ pronunciation, take notes on how the student is processing the text, and occasionally help an individual reader problem solve or exchange a quick comment about the story. As it, is my role after the reading discussing and revising: I talk about the text with my students and encourage dialogue among them. On assessing process, I try to evaluate my students’ understanding of what they read. I ask them to return to the text with the purpose of students practice the followings: I refer them learning to connect words by their meaning, learning connections between word parts and their meanings, working with words to connect them by what they mean, manipulating letters, sounds, or words to practice phonics.


  1. Carrell P. L., & Grabe W. Reading. In N. Schmitt (Ed.), An introduction to applied Linguistics (pp. 233-250). London: Arnold. 2002.
  2. Dunn M. Response to intervention and reading difficulties: A conceptual model that includes reading recovery. Learning Disabilities — A Contemporary Journal, 8(1), 21-40. 2010.
  3. Koda K. Reading and language learning: Crosslinguistic constraints on second language reading development. Language Learning 57(1), 1-44. 2007.