HORASIS TORO VARGAS ELT Materials April 10, 2012 Amazonia university Colombia

There is no doubt that English language teaching and learning process has become in a great phenomenon around the world, by which English language has situated as one of the most important spoken languages nowadays. According to Pennycook (2007) among the languages, it is English which is closely tied to processes of globalization. In other words, the presence of English in formal education systems in different societies is so tangible which for many an equation between foreign language and English is taken for granted (Kubota, 2002). The Most of the countries in the different continents have made constant efforts for implementing new approaches, strategies, and methods to make English teaching and learning more effective and easier. Teachers are being trained with the objective of changing the traditional way to teach, new syllabus have been designed to attend students` learning needs, as well as new materials that have been developed to encourage students in every lesson. All these subject matters have taken a central concern in the educational field in the most of the countries of the entire world. However, spite of all the studies, sources and trends involved in English language teaching, most teachers continue applying the traditional way of teaching in the classrooms. Use of language has been increased in the last 40 years, according to Hasman (2003), over 1.4 billion people live in countries where English has official status. One out of five of the world’s population speaks English with some degree of competence. And by 2000 one in five—over one billion people—will also be learning English. Over 70% of the world’s scientists read English. About 85% of the world’s mail is written in English. And 90% of all information in the world’s electronic retrieval systems is stored in English. By

2010, the number of people who speak English as a second or foreign language will exceed the number of native speakers. This trend will certainly affect the language. Along these lines, due to the big challenges that English language use demands such English globalization, business, online education and interchange of cultures, most of governments have made big efforts to incorporate on its educational system programs about English language teaching as foreign language. By the same token, Governments have invested a lot of many carrying out studies, training teachers, incorporating technology in the classrooms in order to attend the new demands that use of English requires. The use of materials in classroom takes place as a pedagogical option available for teachers; they follow the curriculum content by adapting their sources in every class. We can say that there are two types of materials used for teachers to carry out a number of activities in the classrooms, authentic and inauthentic materials. On the one hand, according to Little (as cited by Guariento and Morley, 2001), an authentic text and materials are ―created to fulfill some social purpose in the language community in which it was produced‖ (p.347). In other words, authentic materials are those that involve language use naturally, when we speak about use of web pages, radio, flyers and so forth, by which they are not designed to teaching and learning purposes. Guariento and Morley (2001), argue that, nowadays, there is a general consensus beneficial to the learning process, although they notice that there is less agreement in relation to the most appropriate point at which these materials should be introduced into the classroom. They advise to the teachers to be careful when selecting such materials if they are to be introduced at lower levels, especially regarding the lexical and syntactic complexity. In such way, Newspaper and TV news are two of the most important examples of authentic materials that can be used for teaching. Meriño and Massi (1998) believe that the classroom should be an extension of the learners` world, in which they are exposed to mass media daily. In this sense, they propose that the same procedure should be implemented in the classroom. They argue that these materials provide creative and original ideas for making effective and easier the use of real life English.

We should use authentic materials in the classroom for many reasons; perhaps the main reason is the students` interest and motivation. When teachers utilizes these types of resources and learners begin to understand what the teacher means, they feel so comfortable and engaged, so that they take the new language as part of their lives, they actively participate during the lessons. Even those, one of the most relevant issues for students is to try to go to another country themselves, authentic materials give them the opportunity to acquire new input, if the a student need to be able to interact socially with the target language, the use of authentic materials as learning strategy, it will help his or her to enhance the English level. On the contrary, what happen with the students who are not motivated to acquire a new language, it is possible that the educational institution syllabus where they are studying is not related to communicative competence development, the syllabus may be is addressed on grammatical descriptions. The only form that the teacher can be sure of motivating and encourage the students and knowing that they are learning is by giving them authentic use of language in real contexts. Another subject matter in this issue is when the students want to learn English in this case or learning a new language for specific purpose. I n connection with before it, one of the most important areas of teaching English as foreign language is English for specific purpose (ESP); many universities around the world offer this kind of the English course to those who want to learn English and from this way apply it on their professions. People who take these courses, generally has a good English level, because it is considered for intermediate or advanced students. English for specific purposes concerns more on use of language in determined context rather than on the teaching of grammatical rules, indeed the subject matter in this case is the development of the competence communicative in the learner. For instance, a person who is preparing business administration has to focus in learning vocabulary in relation to his or her discipline or area. In this sense, is common for teachers in this field of knowledge to use a variety of authentic materials such as internet, magazine articles, newspapers as well as TV program broadcasts that enable them to focus in teaching meaningful input for students. To cut a long story short, the

use of internet as teaching strategy, it is a great tool or resource for teachers, since they can support their lessons there and the sane time students car practicing business English classes.

On the other hand, non authentic materials are those that do not have features of real life language, generally it is referred to grammatical structures and mainly it is focused on reinforcing the target language. A clear example would be a passage from a textbook illustrated by the authors, in which, the most important idea is doing that the student practices the different tenses in English. Spite of the teacher experience, most of them continue teaching in a wrong way, generally they support upon a textbook and following the same structure as long as is demonstrated in its content, they do not concern in adapt this course book according to the students` needs, in many cases the book that is being used in an specific grade, do not even have images or illustrations that enable students to relate the image with its content. The student role is to be inactive receivers of the new information. The teacher begins the activities and directs them, and then they are asked to memorize the grammatical items and the new vocabulary with their meanings in their native language. The most popular vocabulary teaching strategy is the memorization of long set of words with their equivalents meanings; this shows that the teaching of grammatical presentation is made through deductive form. The teacher explains the

rules plainly and they are asked to apply them in new examples in exercises. Learners have to memorize the rules. In order to explain the rules, the teacher uses a set of exercises written on the board to do emphasis in the difference between the students’ native language grammar and target language grammar. After knowing the importance the use of authentic materials in the learning and teaching process there is a latent potential that teachers need to explore. It implies a change of attitude from teachers` viewpoints. It also implies, not seeing the students as human beings who just memorize a set of mechanical rules, which means that language can not be looked at as a set

of separated fragments. On the contrary, it implies that students use the language to talk about real situations and mainly understand and being understood. In such way, with regard to the use of authentic materials, it is pertinent to consider the following pedagogical sources. Using authentic materials such as TV news, and newspapers articles, by which they are the most relevant tools in English as a foreign language classroom influences learners deeply. In this particular scenario, the fact of using authentic materials rather than a traditional textbook provide additional motivation for students` participation. This can be seen as positive effect for students` attitude towards class activities.

I think it is appropriate to state a personal position about this complex issue. The use of materials involve important questions such as why should we use authentic materials in the learning and teaching process? How to select authentic materials? How can one teach authentic materials? How effective is the use of authentic materials during the lesson? To answer these questions, it is necessary support me upon what I have read. According with my previous knowledge about English language teaching materials, they are all sources or pedagogical aids available for teachers can use them in every lesson in order to attend the students` needs. The materials can be designed by the teacher, if he or she wants it, or on the contrary the teacher wants support upon a course book. Ii implies to know what the topic to teach, the target language area, skills, students` needs objectives to achieve are and how can integrate the four skills during the course. Regarding my personal position, I would prefer to use authentic materials established in my lesson plans, because they are meaningful advantages, they are: according to (Philips and Shettlesworth 1978; Clarke 1989; Peacock 1997, cited in Richards, 2001): They have a positive effect on learner motivation, they provide authentic cultural information, they provide exposure to real language, they relate more closely to learners ' needs, they support a more creative approach to teaching. We can claim that learners are being exposed to real language and they feel that they are learning the 'real' language. These are what make us excited and willing to use authentic

materials in our classrooms, but while using them, it is inevitable that we face some problems.

Taking into consideration the advantages that have the use of authentic materials in the classroom environment, it is inevitable to speak about some problems that teachers have to face, for example authentic material contain refined language, in which would be a little difficult for a student who has a basic level, in related to Richards (2001, p. 253) points out that alongside with these advantages, authentic materials often contain difficult language, unneeded vocabulary items and complex language structures, which causes a burden for the teacher in lower-level classes. Martinez (2002) mentions that authentic materials may be too culturally biased and too many structures are mixed, causing lower levels have a hard time decoding the texts. In short, the use of authentic materials in teaching – learning process is in fact, a valuable pedagogical tool. However, it must be selected, adapted and controlled by the teachers in order to foster in the student a positive effect towards participation.

http://www.eltnews.com/features/special/2004/10/selecting_elt_materials.html