Teach English in ShA'erqin Zhen - Huhehaote Shi — Hohhot

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English is the most spoken language in the world and nowadays business English courses are in a great demand. More and more people are dedicating their time to study English, either for seeking new employment, travelling on business trips or for handling the daily workplace scenarios such as presentations, meetings and negotiation deals. This paper examines the differences between authentic and non-authentic materials. How to source good class material? And how to use it with the students in class to ensure an overall effectiveness of the teaching process? Teaching materials are classified as either authentic or non-authentic. Authentic materials are real-life examples used in our everyday life situations such as newspapers, menus and radio-programs. Whereas non-authentic materials refer to anything that has been designed for academic purposes like worksheets, flashcards and textbooks. Real-life materials offer great advantage over the created one, therefore, a combination of both gives differentiation to the teaching curriculum and supports learning rather than causing boredom and frustration. The main advantages of using authentic materials; they have a positive effect on learner motivation. They provide authentic cultural information. They provide exposure to real language (Philips and Shettlesworth 1987; Clarke 1989; Peacock 1997, cited in Richards, 2001). In this sense Nunan (1999:212) states that” the use of authentic materials sources leads to greater interest and variety in the material that learners deal with in the classroom. This authentic material helps bring contact to life and makes learning and using language more meaningful, and, ultimately, easy for students.’’ There are a lot of sources for authentic materials. For example; the internet, advertisement, journals, menus, movies, newspapers, weather reports, songs, etc. Before the selection of materials, there are things to bear in mind. First, the teacher should check the suitability of the content, meaning whether it meets the interests or the needs of the learners. Another very important thing to consider is the linguistic level of the students. Authentic materials are not graded, as they are not designed for English language classroom, so tailoring the tasks to the students’ proficiency level is inevitable. Shifting from the theoretical aspect to the practical one; here bellow an example of a business English lesson plan using authentic materials to create a realistic learning environment. The material for use is an annual report of Apple’s business strategy (http://www.annualreports.com/Company/apple-inc). Lesson Plan: Upper intermediate This lesson is designed for a one-hour class. The learners’ objectives are for the students to practice reading skills and vocabulary they’ll need to handle business meetings. Engage stage: (10 min) The first objective is to make the students think and talk in English by asking them about business meetings they have been involved in or their concepts of a normal business meeting. Allow them to describe their experience. Elicit the vocabulary then board it. Study stage: (30 min) The teacher will discuss several business English phrases used in meetings, explain any complicated vocabulary. Play an mp3 audio of Apple’s business strategy and hand out a gap filling text to let them practice both reading and listening skills and to facilitate the understanding of the content. After that, the teacher explains any complicated vocabulary within the text. Group the students into small groups, present them a role play of a business meeting to improve the business strategy and come up with new suggestions of new products and sells strategies then demonstrate it to them. Activate: (20 minutes) Let the students collaborate and participate in a meeting scenario. They will have 5 minutes to prepare. The meeting will be centered around: *New business strategies for Apple Company. *What can you and your team come up with during this meeting? Let each group present its work. In conclusion, the exposure to authentic materials helps not only to improve students' general skills but also to boost their confidence in a real-situation especially, in the business English classes. Authentic materials are an excellent way to bring the English-speaking world into the classroom, but they must be introduced and used in the appropriate way. I highly support the wise answer of Jeremy Harmer in one of his talks when asked whether teaching is a craft; he replied: ‘‘Teaching is about experimentation. Doing the same thing over and over is boring. If you want your students to stay engaged, try new things and talk to other teachers!”. Creative teaching allows students to get engaged with English in a low-stakes tool and makes the teaching process genuinely satisfying and enjoyable. References: Richards, J. C. (2001). Curriculum Development in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nunan, D (1999). Second Language Teaching and Learning, Boston, Heinle & Heinle www.annualreports.com