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Using Authentic Materials in the Beginning Language Classroom

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The following is an excerpt from this issue of the CLEAR newsletter.  Please click the link below to read the full article.

In my work with preservice ESL teachers, I’ve seen both native speakers and international students find worksheets online that purport to teach students how to, for example, invite, compliment, or disagree in English. I have observed my student teachers give their students lists of expressions that most English speakers would never say. One particularly glaring example on a website for teaching invitations was “How do you fancy going to the restaurant for dinner?” One can only imagine the reaction an ESL student would get if he or she used this expression, even in the UK. Conversely, an ESL student may hear someone say, “How ‘bout havin’ lunch tomorrow?” and not understand that this is an invitation. When students’ exposure is limited to textbook language, they miss out on learning how language is used in real life.

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