adapting authentic texts for spiritually valuable and pedagogically useful lessons
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DESCRIPTIONAdapting Authentic Texts for Spiritually Valuable and Pedagogically Useful Lessons. Kitty Purgason Biola University CELT Dallas 2013. Professor of TESOL at Biola University. Mauritania. Indonesia. Iran. Kuwait. Oman. Vietnam. Tajikistan. China. Overview Intro: Why bother? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Adapting Authentic Materials for High Interest Lessons
Adapting Authentic Texts for Spiritually Valuable and Pedagogically Useful Lessons
Kitty PurgasonBiola University CELT Dallas 2013Note: my presentation will be posted on my pbworks siteno handout, but slides and notes available there.
Professor of TESOL at Biola UniversityBefore we begin, Id like to introduce myself and let you know what it is in my experience that has shaped this presentation.2
3Introducing myself.Im a missionary kid from India and early on in my career I had experience in Korea, China, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.3
MauritaniaMore recently, Ive done teacher training in other nations: Mauritania20084
OK, lets get started.As soon as I heard a public radio feature on entrepreneur Ping Fu and her new book, Bend Not Break, I thought, it would make a good lesson for English language students. An immigrant ESL class might find her story inspiring. A business ESL class might be interested in her ideas on entrepreneurship. An EFL class might have students who have similar dreams.
As a Christian teacher I was also interested in the spiritual implications of the resilience of the human spirit.
But how can we go from full-length biography, a book review in Inc magazine or the Economist ,or a story on the radio to an ESL lesson? Thats what Ill be talking about today, along with suggestions for which authentic materials we might choose.12OverviewIntro: Why bother?Step 1: finding materialsStep 2: creating an openerStep 3: scaffolding textsStep 4: developing more activitiesStep 5: finding more materials for follow-upIll begin by talking about the value of authentic materials and then outline five steps for using such materials to create a full-length lesson or unit.13
First, why bother with authentic materials? They add three important elements to our teaching. The first is interest. We can motivate our students with materials which will encourage them to do the hard work of language learning. The second is relevance. We know our students and we can choose materials which are current, and which fit their particular backgrounds and needs. There are wonderful ESL textbooks that fit the criteria of interest and value, but the realities of the publishing world are that they will never be as relevant as what we can find this week for next weeks lesson for the students in our class. The third is value. Tomlinson (2010) says that materials can help learners become more mature, more critically astute, more creative, more constructive, more collaborative, more capable, and more confident. As Christian teachers, these are important qualities we might hope to instill in our students as they may be on what we trust is a journey to Jesus. These goals can often be met with well-chosen authentic materials. 141. Finding the core listening or reading text
Scour public radio, news, blogs, youtubeIdeal: both audio and textChoose high qualityCheck for cultural, cognitive, and linguistic demandsLink the topic to your textbook or curriculumLook for expansion capabilityConsider Kingdom values
Step 1 is to find the core listening or reading text.Scour public radio, news, blogs, youtube you probably have your favoritesthe ones you listen to or read. Thats a great starting point. Ideally you can find things that have both an audio component and a transcript or text already in place.Choose high quality. Its better to have a well-known journalist and a high quality audio recording, for example, than someones homemade shaky video recording.Check for cultural, cognitive, and linguistic demands Well be talking about how to make authentic texts accessible to students, but there are some things which are just too out of reach. I saw a delightful video about a parking attendant who complimented all the customers who stopped by. His positive, encouraging compliments changed everything for the better. It might be a great supplement to a lesson on compliments. The problem was that the video relied on a play on words: to validate a parking ticket and to validate a human being. It also relied on a situation familiar to most Americansgetting ones photo taken at the DMV. If I were to show the video in rural Vietnam where there is no such thing as a parking structure with an attendant validating ones ticket, and where the DMV might be completely different from that in the U.S., there would probably be too much unfamiliar culture to explain to make it worthwhile. Similarly, materials written for adults are probably cognitively difficult for young learners. Finally, while well see how we can deal with some linguistic challenges, others may be too difficult for our learners to overcome.Link the topic to your textbook or curriculum. If you are responsible for your own curriculum, you can choose whatever topics you want. However, if you have a required textbook or curriculum, its a good idea to look for related topics. For example the chapter on health might send you to the blogs on healthy living. The chapter on friendship might have you look through the NPRs StoryCorps for an account about friends.Look for expansion capability. As youll see, to create a whole unit, you want more than a single text. A good text will have the capacity for expansion because its on a topic that lots of people are talking or writing about.Finally, lets consider what aspects of Gods Kingdom we can ethically promote in our classes.
151. Finding the core listening or reading textScour public radio, news, blogs, youtubeChoose high qualityCheck for cultural, cognitive, and linguistic demandsLink the topic to your textbook or curriculumLook for expansion capabilityConsider Kingdom values
What might some of these Kingdom values be? They might help our learners contribute to their communities with acts of justice, healing, peace, and forgiveness. They might help our learners act more ethically, be more patient, engage in more self-control, show more kindness. They might provide practical suggestions for strengthening marriages, caring for the creation, using money wisely, raising children well, and exercising good leadership. There are many topics we can bring up without being preachy or proselytizing. Of course we know that without the power of the Holy Spirit, we cant expect a lesson on forgiveness or truth-telling or kindness to make a radical difference in our students lives. Ultimately, they need Jesus. However, such topics can still have a positive effect on learners and their communities, and can whet their appetite for more in the spiritual realm.
162. Creating an opener
Goals:Get students ready for the main textActivate schemaCreate anticipationProvide key languagePrompt predictions Possibilities:HeadlinesVisual images Surveys
Lets continue with the steps to using authentic materials effectively. Step 2 is to create an opener. The goals for this brief section of the lesson are to get students ready for the main text, to activate their schema, to create a sense of excitement about whats to come, and to prompt students to make predictions. There are several possibilities for opener materials.17Were going to be listening to a piece from Marketplace, a business show on public radio. Look at this headline. The piece is about a Chinese woman named Ping Fu. Look up entrepreneurship and resilience in your dictionary.
Heres an example of an opener that combines headline and key language.Were going to be listening to a piece from Marketplace, a business show on public radio. Look at this headline. The piece is about a Chinese woman named Ping Fu. Look up entrepreneurship and resilience in your dictionary.
18An entrepreneur is someone who starts a new business. Can you guess what business Ping Fu might have started? Someone who is resilient is strong, happy, or successful after a difficult situation. Can you guess what difficulties Ping Fu has experienced?
We can also add the element of prediction. Heres another opener with the same headline:An entrepreneur is someone who starts a new business. Can you guess what business Ping Fu might have started? Someone who is resilient is strong, happy, or successful after a difficult situation. Can you guess what difficulties Ping Fu has experienced?
Heres another example of a possible opener for this lesson using a visual. Look at this picture. What do you see? Is this the usual place for a flower to grow? How do you think the flower was able to grow in this rock? Can you think of some people who are like flowers growing in rocks? We might say that they are resilient people. They know how to be strong, happy, or successful after or even in the middle of a difficult situation.20
Another possible image is the bending bamboo. I might ask, Do you know any proverbs or sayings about bending bamboo?21People who are resilient usually:Feel in controlHave a personal vision Have strong faithAre able to solve problemsAre socially competentAre proactiveCan get connected and have good relationshipsAre flexibleAre organizedA third opener is a checklist, survey or questionnaire.Ask students to read the checklist once and check the items they agree are important for resilience. Then read it once more to identify the traits they are strong in. Notice the presence of such items as personal vision and strong faith. This enables students who are believers to self-identify. It allows our class to be a well-rounded place that takes into account our students souls as well as their minds and their bodies.22Pros and cons
Which one will fit your available time?Which one will best accomplish your goals?Which one will suit yo