IX Международная студенческая научная конференция Студенческий научный форум - 2017


Сыдыман Т.Ж. 1, Ниязова А.Е. 1
1Евразийский Национальный Университет им. Л.Н.Гумилева
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The present level of development of society requires a high quality of teaching a foreign language in school, which in turn requires a thorough search for effective methods of language teaching. Analysis of native and international methodological literature showed great potential of adaptation of authentic texts as a medium of English training.

The purpose of learning a foreign language is to be able to use it in the real world, in real environment. The majority of language teachers approach to the process of selecting the textbooks thoroughly. Nowadays there is a large choice of course books, which are intended for teaching purposes but considered artificial because they can not supply student with particular linguistic and communicative components. Therefore, language teachers want to adopt using authentic materials to support students’ language learning process and help them to develop their skills.

Existing modern English textbooks despite all their richness and diversity of the materials do not create in the minds of students a holistic picture of the reality in which British or the Americans live. Authentic text may help learner to generalize grammar and vocabulary language usage. Authentic text also provides the essential input needed to increase learner awareness of language usage in written and spoken mediums and provide learners with the various authentic, also called genuine texts to improve reading comprehension.

In accordance with the tendency to develop not only the communicative but also the cultural competences in language teaching, there was a need to clarify the notion of authentic text and communicative authenticity. The concept of authenticity has been debated in Europe by Coste and Widdowson and The United States by Kramsch and Nostrand in 1989.[1] According to Rost authenticity is one of the terms which researchers talk about questionably. [2] Kilickaya, states that authenticity has been put under deep discussion by many researchers. As a result, they came up with different definitions for this problematic term. According to Widdowson, authenticity does not lie in the text but in the way speakers and readers make use of it, namely in their response. J. Harmer claimed that authentic text is the text which was designed and written for native speakers by the native speakers themselves. [3]

According to authors authentic texts include: personal letters, jokes, articles, and excerpts from diaries of teenagers, advertising, recipes, stories, interviews, non-fiction and cross-cultural texts. They also emphasize the importance of preserving the authenticity of the genre and that genre and compositional diversity allows students to acquaint with speech cliches, phraseology, vocabulary associated with a variety of spheres of life and belonging to different styles. It shows that the authentic texts differentiate from simplified texts by diversification of lexicology. Therefore, it is important to scrutinize the linguistic peculiarities of authentic texts.

The selection of teaching materials in English language teaching has been a popular issue in the education field because this concerns many, if not all, English teachers. From the perspective of authenticity, there are mainly two types of materials, namely authentic and non-authentic or simplified. Although there are various definitions of authentic materials, I am referring here to materials that were not created for language learning purposes. Instead, they were created with some real-life goal for, generally, native speakers. They include both spoken and written language samples. [4]

According to Breen (1985) there are four types of authenticity.These are: text authenticity, learner authenticity, task authenticity and authenticity of the classroom. These types are discussed below:

-Authenticity of text: refers to the authentic qualities of a text. Authentic texts in the context of language learning, means any source of information used to help learners to develop an authentic understanding.

- Authenticity of learners: refers to the ability of learners to interpret the meaning present in the text like the native speakers do in the real world.

- Authenticity of the tasks: refers to the chosen tasks provided for the learners to be engaged in an authentic communication and authentic aims for learning.

- Authenticity of the classroom: the most important role of the classroom is to enable the learners to experience "public and interpersonal sharing of content of language learning, the sharing of problems with such content, and revealing of the most effective means and strategies to overcome such problems." [5]

Аuthеntіс mаtеrіаls аrе аmоng thе mоst іmpоrtаnt tооls а tеасhеr саn аnd must usе іn сlаss іn оrdеr tо mаkе hіs/hеr tеасhіng gо smооthlу аnd bе еffесtіvе іn trаnsmіttіng thе nесеssаrу knоwlеdgе tо аll studеnts. Іn thіs pаpеr, I am going to dіsсuss thе effесt оf usіng authеntіс text іn tеасhіng, bесаusе а numbеr оf studіеs pоіnt оut thаt thе usе оf аuthеntіс text іs rеgаrdеd а usеful mеаns tо mоtіvаtе lеаrnеrs, аrоusе thеіr іntеrеst аnd еxpоsе thеm tо thе rеаl lаnguаgе thеу wіll fасе іn thе rеаl wоrld.

In order to achieve the aims, the following tasks were set:

  • to study on the educational and methodical literature on the subject;

  • to define the essence of authentic texts;

  • to identify the criteria for selection of authentic texts of the educational


  • to conclude an experiment in order to confirm the hypothesis;

Although the use of authentic materials in the classroom has become general practice during the previous 30 years, the issue of authenticity has been one of the most debatable aspects in the ground. However, the need or usefulness of authentic materials has been increasingly recognized especially in non-native countries as Iran. Empirical studies have demonstrated the positive effects of utilizing authentic texts by language learners. For example, some researches show that using authentic materials leads to oral language development. Moreover, some other studies have confirmed that using authentic materials has great influence on developing reading comprehension by presenting new words and expressions to students [6] . Harmer points out that these are only authentic materials which actually develop students’ listening and reading skills. Furthermore, Allen mentions that developing students’ strategies in comprehending authentic texts will lead to developing their writing proficiency in the target language learning. According to Omaggio Hadley and Rogers and Medley, if students are to develop a functional proficiency in the language and to use the language communicatively in the real world, they must begin to encounter the language of that world in the classroom. Also, learners need opportunities to practice using the language to cope with everyday situations they might encounter outside the classroom.

The authors developed the following options authentic educational text. They consider the totality of the structural features of the text corresponding to the norms accepted by native speakers. According to them, such text is authentic text (text taken from the event-aspect), which is characterized by the naturalness of filling lexical and grammatical forms, situational adequacy of linguistic resources, illustrates the usage of authentic cases [7].

The parameters of the authentic teaching material

Functional authenticity

The concept, implying the natural selection of linguistic means for solving the speech problem, work on functional teaching authentic text brings the student to the real conditions of use of language, introduces him to a variety of linguistic tools and preparing for independent functionally authentic use of these funds in the speech.

Lexical-phraseological authenticity

The authenticity of the academic text is largely determined by the selection of the correct vocabulary and phraseology. The most important selection criteria for this are the authenticity of a particular unit, its frequency, usage in natural English speech.

Grammatical authenticity

This concept involves the use of spoken and written language peculiarities in the grammatical structures of the language.

Structural authenticity

The concept associated with the peculiarities of the text, its logic, content and formal integrity. The signs of structural authenticity of the text is informative and formal integrity, strong logical and grammatical connections between its components

The statistical characteristics of the authentic text

Statistical characteristics in combination with other aspects of the authenticity of the text allow you to develop an optimal model of the authentic text, created in methodical order.

Teachers and students are naturally attracted to authentic texts. Finding that you can read something designed for a native speaker is motivating, and developing strategies to deal with ‘real’ texts enables students to read more confidently and extensively outside the classroom.

According to McGrath there are eight criteria to be considered when choosing appropriate authentic texts. [8] These are:

1) Relevance to course book and learners' needs;

2) Topic interest;

3) Cultural fitness;

4) Logistical considerations;

5) Cognitive demands;

6) Linguistic demands;

7) Quality;

8) Exploitability.

Linguistics is the scientificstudy of language and involves an analysis of language form, language meaning, and language in context. Linguistics is the study of language - how it is put together and how it functions. Various building blocks of different types and sizes are combined to make up a language. Sounds are brought together and sometimes when this happens, they change their form and do interesting things. Words are arranged in a certain order, and sometimes the beginnings and endings of the words are changed to adjust the meaning. Then the meaning itself can be affected by the arrangement of words and by the knowledge of the speaker about what the hearer will understand. Linguistics is the study of all of this. There are various branches of linguistics which are given their own name, some of which are described below. [9]

Authentic texts have broad diversity of devises and meanings. Besides, I would like to emphasize the importance of preserving the authenticity of the genre and that genre and compositional diversity allows students to acquaint with speech cliches, phraseology, vocabulary associated with a variety of spheres of life and belonging to different styles. It shows that the authentic texts differentiate from simplified texts by diversification of lexicology.

The linguistic peculiarities of the authentic texts are characterized by its linguistic components - peculiar vocabulary: they present a lot of pronouns, particles, interjections, words with emotional overtones, phrases, calculated on the occurrence of associative connections of phraseology, buzz words; and peculiar syntax: short and non-sentences, fragmentation, presence of structurally-sensitive proposals. It is also possible innuendo, breaking off the started sentence, preference is given to simple sentences. Authentic texts may contain following components and devises:

A double entendre is a figure of speech or a particular way of wording that is devised to be understood in either of two ways, having a double meaning.

An innuendo is a hint, insinuation or intimation about a person or thing, especially of a denigrating or a derogatory nature. [10]

A dialect is a form of the language that is spoken in a particular part of the country or by a particular group of people.

Slang consists of a lexicon of non-standard words and phrases in a given language.

Jargon is a type of language that is used in a particular context and may not be well understood outside of it.

An idiom is a phrase or a fixed expression that has a figurative, or sometimes literal, meaning. Categorized as formulaic language, an idiom's figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning. [11]

A metaphor is a figure of speech that refers, for rhetorical effect, to one thing by mentioning another thing.[12]

The main advantages of using authentic materials, especially texts in the classroom therefore include:

- having a positive effect on student motivation;

- giving authentic cultural information;

- exposing students to real language;

- relating more closely to students’ needs;

- supporting a more creative approach to teaching

In addition, it‘s a fact that a number of researchers have confirmed the role of authentic materials in developing reading skills through introducing learners to new vocabulary and expressions. Harmer states that authentic material haspositive effects on learners, in that it:

1) helps learners to produce better language.

2) helps learners to acquire the language faster

3) makes learners more confident to deal with real life situations.

Furthermore, [13] regard authentic materials useful in language teaching, for the following reasons:

1) they expose learners to real language;

2) they are more related to learners' needs;

3) they have a positive effect on learners' motivation;

4) they bring cultural information to the students‘ attention.

They encourage teachers to adopt creative teaching approach.

Important Factors in Choosing Authentic Reading Materials

The concept of authenticity is central to CLT, with the learner being exposed to the same language as a native speaker. Four types of authenticity within the classroom have been identified and in particular to the use of authentic texts:

1. Authenticity of the texts which we may use as input data for our students;2. Authenticity of the learners’ own interpretations of such texts;3. Authenticity of tasks conducive to language learning;4. Authenticity of the actual social situation of the classroom language. [14]

Methods of selecting authentic texts

Before looking into the advantages and disadvantages of using AMs, it would be worthwhile to take a brief look at the important factors in choosing suitable AMs. In fact, selecting AMs for pedagogic use takes a great deal of sensitivity and considerations. A certain number of authors such as Lee and Wang have suggested different checklists to guide teachers to select appropriate AMs.

Authentic texts are full of different linguistic components. This diversification of linguistic features can help student to broaden his vocabulary as well as the view to the world. Authentic texts taken from newspaper, magazines and journals, travel brochures, web sites, advertisement letters, friends diaries and etc. aid student to come closer to real life environment, to feel language as it is supposed to be felt. We decided to look closely at the idea of application of authentic texts at the English lessons because they are underestimated. Authentic text contents itself a large amount of linguistic components and by learning them student broadens not only his or her vocabulary but also feels the real environment of language usage. Therefore I want to mention that it is important to highlight the linguistic peculiarities of authentic texts as one of alternative ways of teaching English. I believe that if they were used more, English teaching would be not only more effective, but also more interesting.


1. Widdowson, Henry G. (1990). Aspects of Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press

2. Harmer J. The Practice of English Language Teaching. London.

3. Rost, M. (2002). Teaching and Researching Listening. London: Longman Pearson Education.

4. Breen, M. (1985). Authenticity in the language classroom.Applied Linguistics 6, 60-70.

5. Bacon, S. M. (1992). Phases of listening to authentic input in Spanish: A descriptive study. Foreign Language Annals, 25(6), 317-334. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1944-9720.1992.tb00552.x

6. Hadley, A. (2001). Teaching language in context (3rd ed.). Boston: Thomson Heinle

7. Rogers, C., & Medley, F. (1988). Language with a purpose: Using authentic materials in the foreign languageclassroom. Foreign Language Annals, 21, 467-478.

8. Wallace, C. (1992) Reading Oxford, O.U.P.

9. Halliday MAK and R Hasan. (1985) Language, Context, and Text: Aspects of Language in a Social-Semiotic Perspective. Geelong: Deakin University.

10. Oxford English dictionary.

11. Merriam-Webster Online dictionary.

12. Oxford English dictionary

13. Westney, P. (1994) ‘Rules and pedagogical grammar’ in T. Odlin (ed.) Perspectives on Pedagogical Grammar. CUP

14. Gilmore, A. (2004). A comparison of textbook and authentic interactions. ELT Journal, 58(4), 363-374.

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