Involving students into EFL environment07.06.2022 126 13 Пенкина Сона Азизагаевна
Serik Madlen, student, Yessenov University, Aktau
Thesis tutor: Agayeva Sona Azizagayevna, Yessenov University, Aktau
It is said that in Kazakhstan we should have the following priorities in education: “modernization of teaching methods; technology transfer; cooperation of science and business; roadmap of development prospective national clusters” [1,p.3].
We could also refer to another published document 100 concrete steps to implement the 5 institutional reforms. Hereby there are several steps to follow: Stage-by stage transition to the use of the English language in the education system. The main aim is to increase competitiveness of students when they leave and position the educational sector as attractive for international students [2,p. 1-2].
Thus, in Kazakhstan the present policy is aimed at teaching English efficiently and many reforms have been conducted for achieving the aim.
Authentic materials are print, video, and audio materials students encounter in their daily lives, such as change-ofaddress forms, job applications, menus, voice mail messages, radio programs, and videos. Authentic materials are not created specifically to be used in the classroom, but they make excellent learning tools for students precisely because they are authentic [3,p.11].
There are some different opinions about authentic materials.
Mr. Meija and O’Connor’s stipulate that “the best language instructional materials are those that use authentic samples of speech”. Another statement is that, the best language instructional materials are those that use authentic samples of speech. This is true even for very low-level students.[4,p. 12]
Mr. Beckman and Klinghammer defines authentic materials as the used in the target culture for actual communicative needs. They should enable the learner to hear, read and produce language as it is used in the target culture. [5,p. 2]
Mr. Bailey adds that authentic materials are oral and written texts that occur naturally in the target language environment and that have not been created expressly for language learners.
In our opinion, “authentic materials” are reading texts that were written by native speakers and published in contexts designed specifically for native-speaker consumption, with no thought given to non-native accessibility. The topics, language, syntax, structure, etc., are all pitched at a target audience of native speakers and offered through media intended primarily for native speakers.[6,p. 2]
We would like to refer to The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF or CEFR) for determining authentic materials with the level of students who have recently started learning English.
According to CEFR, there are six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. At Kazakhstan schools we have English from the grade 1. And continue learning it till the graduation. A2 is one of the CEFR levels described by the Council of Europe. It is an ability to deal with simple, straightforward information and begin to express oneself in familiar contexts. A person with complete A2 level is the person who:
- Can take part in a routine conversation on simple predictable topics.
- Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
- Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
- Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need [7,p. 1].
Thus, we can conclude that in the universities most of the students should enter the first year with complete A2 level.
We will consider using authentic materials in the framework of A2 level.
There is no doubt that today English teachers have a lot of choices in terms of teaching materials. Choosing them we are to keep in mind that we should focus students’ attention not only on vocabulary and grammar structures but prepare them for real communication where the knowledge of culture is sometimes crucial. Thus the use of authentic materials can help solve this problem. The majority of scholars define authentic materials as materials which are designed for native speakers; they are real texts, designed not for language students, but for the speakers of the language. Basically, authentic materials provide the following benefits: motivation to learning; authentic cultural information; real language presentation; creative approach to teaching.
Planning a lesson, a teacher should try to use authentic materials because they provide the opportunity to demonstrate language and speech material of a foreign language as well as widen learner’s ideas about national peculiarities, mentality of other people; help to know and compare customs and traditions of his own country and the country which language a person studies; broaden the notion about surrounding world; give the source for a future utterance and the basis for the exchange of opinions. [8,p. 5]
However, students who have this level can have a feeling of panic and find it difficult to read and listen materials assumed for native speakers. According to statistics, every second student quits reading in the original, having mastered no more than one third, and every fifth student of English at intermediate level finds reading books in the original boring, useless and difficult task. The problem is that these people simply do not know how to choose the right book.
Adapted literature is literature, often artistic works of famous writers, adapted for the reader in such a way that it uses only those grammatically constructions and words that will be understood by a particular group of readers, or amendments that are consistent with the political doctrine of a particular country. and dictated by opportunistic rather than educational considerations. The ideas of processing classic works for children are gradually attracting more and more attention.
We have a choice between original fiction and adapted books in English. Let's say right away - both are useful. Just read the original works of English writers is not so easy, so the language base must be solid. Adapted books in English are of two types: abbreviated and simplified original English-language texts, as well as stories specifically written for a particular language level. In the adapted books in English, the grammar is easier, and the vocabulary in most cases includes a certain number of common words. Someone may argue that reading such literature will not teach anything and even harm, because a person will not learn anything new and will only face light grammatical constructions.
However, these obstacles can be solved. We suggest the following solutions:
At lower levels some possibilities include leaflets, timetables, menus, short headline type reports, audio and video advertising, or short news broadcasts. The task should be simple and relatively undemanding, and it is important to pre-teach key vocabulary so as to prevent panic.
At more intermediate levels this list could be expanded to include longer articles, four or five minute TV or radio news reports, a higher quantity of shorter items, or even whole TV programmes, if your copyright agreements allow it. Again pre-teaching is important, although your students should be able to deal with unknown vocabulary to some extent.
At higher levels it's a case of anything goes. At an advanced level students should have some tactics for dealing with new vocabulary without panicking, but it's still useful to have a few quick definitions to hand for some of the trickier stuff!
Students with low-level of English can be fightened to read long and complicated materials and we recommend short stories or abstracts for school children. For listening materials we can use school radio abstracts, songs and lullabies for little children, film trailer for teens.
In addition, we can recommend these techniques of using authentic materials for students with A2 level:
1. Cambridge English Readers - these books contain specially written stories for different language levels, especially A2 level.
2. Penguin Readers - abbreviated texts of original works are presented in these books. Books come in five levels: from easystarts to intermediate.
3. Macmillan - these books contain adapted works of classical and modern literature. Books of four levels (begginer - upper-intermediate) are presented to your attention.
4. British Council materials: LearnEnglish Teens, LearnEnglish Kids.
In conclusion, we can say that authentic materials can and must be used in the classroom as they prepare students for real life situations and bring the felling of confidence.
1. Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan – 2050, 2004.
2. Nursultan Nazarbayev,100 concrete steps, 2015.
3. Sally Laniro, What are authentic materials?, 2007.
4. Meija and O’Connor, Five star films: An intermediate listening/speaking text, 1994.
5. Beckman and Klinghammer, Academics writing: Authentic materials as the used in the target culture for actual communicative needs, 2006.
6. Bailey, S.,Academic writing: A handbook for international students, 2003.
7. Counsil of Europe, The Common European Framework of Reference, 2003.
8.Nunan, D.,Using authentic materials in the framework of A2 level, 2001.
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