Reviews of Related Theories
This chapter discusses the comprehensive references used as foundations of solving problems faced in developing the AELTMs for the 2ndYME students at Politeknik Negeri Padang. In attempting to meet the needs of the theoretical reviews, the researcher provides the related off and online theoretical and empirical references or resources of developing materials for language teaching, authentic learning, ELT approaches, and the quality product of the AELTMs, relevant studies, and theoretical framework.
Developing Materials for Language Teaching
What are (the developed AELTMs) Materials?
Briefly, the frameworks and principles of developing the AELTMs for the 2ndYME students refer to the Tomlinson’s greatest works of the ELT materials’ development. Brian Tomlinson, who is one of the world leading ELT experts, specifically dedicates his expertise on improving the future for language teaching materials (Tomlinson, 2003, p.9). Conceptually, materials development can be both as a ‘field of study’ which studies the principles and procedures of the design, implementation and evaluation of ELT materials and as a ‘practical undertaking.’ As a practical undertaking, developing materials for language teaching involves the production, evaluation, and adaptation of the ELT materials. The ELT textbooks produced from this practical undertaking are widely traded and used for the purposes of teaching English in primary and secondary educations to higher education. These generic and commercial textbooks, indeed, are not aimed at meeting the specific groups of students or particular educational context but exclusively produced for the worldwide EFL markets (Howard & Major, 2004, p.101; Block, 1991, p. 211–217). In general, this second point is meant for the ELT’s purpose, for sale or distribution. Developing the AELTMs for the 2ndYME students is, therefore, in the realm of a field of study.
As a field of study, the key word in developing the AELTMs for the 2ndYME students is ‘materials.’ The materials, as it is interpreted, are printed materials which are selectively accessed online for teaching’s purposes. These developed materials contain the instructional themes related to the mechanical engineering’s field of study. The language knowledge and skills in these instructional themes, according to Tomlinson (2003, p.2), inform and expose the students about the real language mostly used in the mechanical engineering’s field of study; provide the experience of the language in use; can stimulate the language use or can help the students to make discoveries about the language for themselves. The 2ndYME students at Politeknik Negeri Padang learn these developed materials to support them to augment their receptive and productive skills; to learn the rules of language (grammar) mostly used in the field of mechanical engineering and to enrich their vocabulary knowledge. Most importantly, these materials can aid them to communicate their ideas in English.
To comprehensively understand the meaning of what are the developed ELT ‘materials’, the researcher tries to briefly elaborate the ELT experts’ definitions of the ‘materials’ themselves. Three of them are, firstly, Tomlinson (2001, p.66) defines “materials” as something which can be made use of assisting the students learning a language.” These materials can be in the forms of linguistic, visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic and they can be printed out (hard copy such as book) or can be saved in the forms of softcopies such USB flash memories, CD, DVD, cassette, etc. Secondly, as extracted, Richards (2001: 251) describes that the “instructional materials” generally serve as the basis for much of the language input learners receive and the language practice that occurs in the classroom.” Thirdly, Dudley-Evans ; St. John (1998, p.170-171) put forward that “ESP materials serve as sources of language, learning support, motivation, simulation and reference.” To advocate these roles, the ESP materials are required to be able to expose real language (genres/registers of ESP, EAP, EOP) to back up the teaching and learning processes, stimulate cognitive processes; to provide structure and progression for the students to follow; to motivate through achievable challenges and interesting contents and to provide resource for self-study outside the classroom (1998, p.170-171).
Lastly, Cunningsworth (1995, p.7) elucidates, “The roles of ELT materials particularly the developed ELT course books are to guide, lead and facilitate the students to augment their spoken and written performance (a source for presentation materials); access to practice the language, communicate their ideas or ways of establishing their social interaction (a source of activities); to improve their rules of sentences (grammar); enrich vocabulary; improve pronunciation; and a source of role-playing and ideas (simulation) for classroom learning activities (see also Cunningsworth, 1984).” The three definitions of the developed authentic materials/texts above are naturally different from those created materials (textbooks) used for ELT’s purposes. The followings are the differences.
Differences between the Developed AELTMs/Ts and
the CMs/ELT Textbooks
The developed Authentic ELT Materials/Texts
(Developed AELTMs/Ts) Created Materials (ELT Textbooks)
are not designed/prepared/developed for ELT pedagogical purposes,
are contents and language-based,
are authentic, contextual, integrative, collaborative,
are communicative language teaching
integrate the teaching of the vocabulary (knowledge) receptive and productive skills with the rules of language all at once
reflect the English knowledge and skills mostly used in real-world life,
are based on the needs of specific groups of students, or particular educational context,
provide learning reflection,
meet the curriculum of higher education,
meet the needs of students,
meet the need of the stakeholders,
arose reading interest,
designed and written for students,
describe instructional objectives,
compiled based on the the flexible learning patterns,
structure based on student needs and final competencies to be achieved,
give students the opportunity to practice a lot,
accommodates student difficulties,
communicative and semi-formal writing styles,
density based on the students’ needs,
package for instructional processes,
underline feedback on learning
explain how to learn the developed teaching materials,
use authentic/alternative /performance assessment to assess learning,
language is beyond the classroom,
engagement is prioritised, etc. assume the interest of the reader,
are written for general English readers (students, teachers, lecturers and general public),
are designed to be extensively marketed,
do not necessarily explain the instructional goals,
structures are based on the logic field of science,
do not necessarily provide practices,
do not anticipate the student learning difficulties,
do not necessarily give a summary,
do not necessarily give a learning feedback,
have narrative writing styles but not communicative,
are very dense/thick,
learning themes are determined by the textbooks’ writers,
learning themes are general,
particularly focus on learning rules of language,
do not tailor to the demands of the curriculum,
do not suit to the students’ needs,
are contrary to the needs of the stakeholders,
are contrived to the real-world life,
do not fully pay attention to the specific groups of students or educational context,
provide less opportunity to orally practice,
focus on doing written exercises in the classroom,
memorising is part of its learning strategy,
emphasise on standardise tests, (selecting responses, true/false, matching, etc),
knowledge is individually constructed,
teacher-centred or lecture-based,
are less engaged in learning,
the teaching of the vocabulary (knowledge) receptive and productive skills and the rules of language are isolated,
teaching to the test (ELT materials taught to are meant for the testing’s purpose),
are designed for secondary education teaching’s purposes, etc.
These differences are processed from various reliable off and online references ; resources
Furthermore, the student-learning materials are categorized into two types. The printed-learning materials and the non-printed-learning materials. The printed materials are in the form of handouts (are papers containing a summary of information or topics which will be dealt with in a lecture or talk); books (set of printed pages held together in a cover that students can read); modules (are one of the separate parts of a course taught at a college); student’s worksheets (are prepared pages of exercises designed to specifically improve the student’s knowledge/understanding of a particular subject); textbooks (book containing facts/ knowledge about a particular subject that is used by people/students studying that subject) and teaching materials (books containing the authentic materials/texts/themes aiming at aiding the students to effectively learn or help the lecturers to effectively teach the subject) while non-printing are like cassette, mobile phone, computer, USM dish memory, CD-ROM, DVD, or the Internet (Tomlinson, 2001, p.66).
The brief descriptions of the definitions of the ‘materials’ in developing language teaching materials answer the question of why the English lecturers should develop his/her own materials (English lecturer-developed materials). Theoretically-empirically, the various studies and researches of the ELT experts brought up that there are at least three main raison d’être (reasons) that encourage the English lecturers to design and develop their language teaching materials. The first is ‘contextualisation (Block, 1991, p.213; O’Neil, 1982, p.106).’ The ELT Materials and themes taught so far present fictitious information, fictitious sentences’ construction, and so forth. For instances, in the assigned reading texts, the students were asked to read the stories about the crows, owls, Jane’s travel to New York City. In teaching/learning Grammar, the lecturers provide irrelevant example such as “Patrick drove his black Jaguar to North London,” etc. The questions, “how important were they for the students to know the stories? How urgent was the information? etc. Because there were no urgencies to present them in the EFL classroom, the ELT materials totally require being contextualised or authenticated to make them more relevant to the real-world situations.” The rules taught were correct. The materials/texts and themes presented were, however, devoid of context. In order to prevent the students from learning these fictitious facts, information and examples, the teaching materials, therefore, require being authenticated, or contextualised.
The second is timeless (Block, 1991, p.214). In today’s epoch, the ELT materials are demanded to adjust to and respond to the technological developments and progress. Even though the inauthentic materials were also interesting to learn, but it was hard to believe that, the inauthentic ideas are not similar to those authentic ones. The authentic ones more affect the students’ deep understanding of their subject matters as well as English skills’ enhancement. The third is personal touch (Block, 1991, p.214-215). Even though the English lecturer-developed materials are less heeded to and even underestimated, majority of the students greatly appreciate their lecturers who take or pay heed to their classroom managements, and develop their teaching materials. By seeing their lecturers’ seriousness preparing for the classes and materials, the students are automatically motivated to learn it. The English lecturers’ personal touch can affect the students’ English learning motivation.
Frameworks for Developing the AELTMs for the 2ndYME students
The fundamental frameworks for developing the AELTMs for the 2ndYME students refer to the ideas of Tomlinson (2003, p.108); Rozul (1995, p.213) and Hutchinson ; Water (1984). These ideas briefly put in plain words the key components of developing the teaching materials. The keys are starter (strategies used by the lecturers ahead of coming into the learning activities (whilst-teaching) such as Q;A, asking the students to list ideas or brainstorming, etc); input (what knowledge, or skills the students will receive, learn); general information (what general information the lecturer should have to include or deliver or the students should have to know); language focus (what language skills should be prioritised to learn) and tasks (activities or pieces of works which the students have to either do or complete at school or at home).
Principles of Developing the AELTMs for the 2ndYME students
The processes of articulating the principles of developing the AELTMs for the 2ndYME students are theoretically guided by Bell ; Gower’s (1998, p.122-5) ideas (Tomlinson, 1998, p.122-125). The principles are as follows.
Flexibility ? the developed AELTMs can be made as classroom resources for English lecturers and self-study book for the the 2ndYME students.
From text to language ? the developed AELTMs contain examples of language used in field of mechanical engineering. These materials can enable the students to learn the real language; facilitate them to augment their reading, speaking, listening and writing skills, develop their knowledge of vocabulary, and improve their rules of English language. More importantly, the developed AELTMs allow them to orally communicate their ideas in English.
Engaging contents ? the developed AELTMs contain the mechanical engineering’s themes to personally engage them in improving their spoken and written performances and other required skills.
Natural language ? the developed AELTMs can expose real language, or bring the 2ndYME students closer to their target language culture (Al Azri ; Al-Rashdi, 2014, p.249). As a result, the can authentically and naturally communicate their ideas in English.
Analytic approaches ? teaching, learning and mastering the rules of language (grammar) are the most important session in developing the AELTMs. It therefore requires various strategies, method and approaches to teaching grammar so that the students can discriminate between a few/few and a little/little, for instances.
Emphasis on review ? the developed AELTMs prefer ‘reviewing’ to ‘teaching’ a lot of grammar because the students had known the rules though they rarely use them. Reviewing means to consider the rules carefully to see what are wrong with them or how they can be improved.
Personalised practice ? the developed AELTMs provide a lot of opportunities to practice the language skills in and outside the classroom. Practising makes perfect as saying goes.
Integrated skills ? there are no skills are taught in isolation. Language use (receptive and productive skills) extremely depends on each other. Productive skills should have to come out of works on listening and reading texts.
Balances of approaches ? the developed AELTMs balance on using deductive (deductive approach (rule-driven) starts with the presentation (presentation, practice and production) of rules of language and is followed by examples in which the rules are applied, students become passive) and inductive (An inductive approach (rules-discovery) starts with some examples from which rules are inferred, students become active) approaches to teaching grammar (Thornbury, 1999, p. 29).
Students’ development ? the developed AELTMs underscore the masteries of vocabulary and rules of language. These masteries allow the students to easily enhance their receptive and productive skills. Without these masteries, they fall short to enhance their language skills.
Professional respect ? the developed AELTMs can affect the students’ professionalism and or academic subject matters plus language skills.
Furthermore, the other principles of developing the ELT materials elucidated by Nunan (1998, p. 1-24) are (1) materials should be obviously linked to curriculum demands and stakeholders’ needs; (2) materials should be authentic in terms of texts and tasks; (3) materials should actively engage students’ in learning interactions; (4) materials should enable the students to learn formal aspects of the language; (5) materials should motivate the students to enhance their receptive and productive skills, and vocabulary and (6) materials should encourage the students apply their language skills to the real-world settings. The development of the AELTMs underpins the needs to communicate, long-term goals, authenticity and student-centred (Hidalgo, et al, 1995, p.8).
Authentic Learning (AL)
What is Authentic Learning?
The today’s university challenges are how to prepare the graduates who are capable of solving the global issues. Most of the graduates, however, failed to meet the global demands because of the graduates’ lacks of knowledge and skills related to its demands. They are, according to Christmas (2014, p.51), incapable of practically transferring the learnt knowledge and skills mostly used in real-world relevance. In responding to the facts, the educational experts, Brophy (1991, p.9-23); Herrington ; Oliver (2000, p.23-48); Christmas (2014, p.51), strongly called in questions the existences of the schools and colleges’ teaching traditional methods and principles being applied today. The methods and principles are not being retrievable in real-world life; the segregation between ‘knowing and ‘doing and the uses of generic, commercially and well-defined teaching materials keep the students away from their real lives (Christmas, 2014) and of course become irrelevant to the global demands (Hui & Koplin, 2011 in Christmas, 2014). For this reason, Howard Gardner in Christmas (2014, p.51) claims that “education is nothing more than attending the class; teaching, learning and memorising concepts and rules; doing the concocted assigned tasks; evaluating; the students’ learning, do testing, etc. These imply the irrelevant teaching materials break (get critical cracks) the students’ expectation of being able to respond to the current global demands.”
Even though the time-honoured teaching methods and concocted materials are not totally blamed as sources of students’ weaknesses of being unable to apply the learnt knowledge and skills to the real-world settings, the accesses access to failure already exists and this should be seriously taken into account (Christmas, 2014, p.51). Therefore, the universities are required to review the teaching policies that are less responsive to the global issues or that do not support the global demands. The educational paradigm of behaviourism, which has been used for centuries, forces the lecturers to lecture the subject matters and intend the students to be more passive recipients of knowledge. Further, the constructivists define “learning,” according to Christmas (2014, p.51), as active and meaningful activities of gaining knowledge and skill and intend the students of being capable of associating and even unifying between the new knowledge and prior knowledge. The learning activities of linking between the new and prior knowledge can create effective and meaningful learning where the real-world contexts are really present in the classroom (Brown, Collins ; Dudguid (1989, p.9-33; Hui ; Koplin (2011, p.59-72); Christmas, 2014, p.51-52).
As an alternative, the 21st-century educational experts offered a new teaching/learning approach as a solution to the traditional teaching methods and principles. The new teaching/learning approach was “authentic learning.” The following is the definition of the authentic learning.
“Authentic Learning is an instructional or pedagogical approach which enables the students to investigate, examine thrash out, and evocatively build the concepts and relationships in contexts that have real-world problems and projects that are relevant to the students’ needs (Donavan, Bransford, & Pellegrino, 1999; Christmas, 2014, p.52). Authentic Learning, therefore, refers to the real, genuine, bona fida, pure learning which can be meaningfully used to solve the real-life problems (Mishan, 2005, p.x; Christmas, 2014, p.52)”
The definition encourages the students to create a tangible, useful product to be shared with their world or in language teaching, the EFL students to be able to orally/in writing communicate their ideas/subject matters in English. Authentic learning is learning by doing meaning that the English lecturers are demanded to provide the students more chances to directly communicate the language without spending the hours for lecturing. The English lecturers serve as facilitators of how language used in the real world setting (not as language experts who talks (Christmas, 2014, p.53; Pearce, 2016, p.1-3).
The paradigm shift from the traditional teaching methods and principles (teacher-centred) to the authentic learning (student-centred) approach totally affects the lecturer role’s change in the teaching and learning processes. Christmas (2014, p.53) deciphers the roles of the lecturer in the Authentic Pedagogy as excerpted as follows.
“The function of the (EFL) lecturer mostly turns into a facilitator, guiding the (EFL) students on (completing) the real-life tasks. The tasks are organised into portfolios. The authentic learning approach engages the entire students’ senses thus allowing them to construct meaningful, useful, shared outcomes. The students work on the real life tasks, or the simulated tasks that provide the students with opportunities to connect with the real world. Authentic learning provides students with the support to achieve tangible, useful results worth sharing with their community and their world. It is practical for lecturer to implement multi-sensory activities, pursue meaningful tasks, explore a variety of skills with real world applications is optimal learning and that it needs to be practiced regularly. The authentic learning model emphasises mainly the quality of process and innovation. The emphasis is not about understanding lecturer speaks and repeats the content just for a unit test, it is more about developing a set of culminating skills sets, within a realistic timeline, using self-motivated inquiry methods to create a useful product to be shared with a specific audience” (Christmas, 2014).
Similarly, Lombardi (2007, p.2) asserts that, “Authentic learning naturally places emphasis on the real-world problems, complex issues and their solutions using role-playing exercises, problem-based activities, case studies, and participation in virtual communities of practice”. Other than that, another important point of view come from the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) proposed by Pearce (2016, p.1-3) in her ACEL e-Teaching Management Strategies for the Classroom states that, “Authentic Learning enables the students to make use of the skills and knowledge learned beyond the classroom walls. Learning in authentic learning is designed to connect what the students are taught in school to real-world issues, problems, and applications (Pearce, 2016, p.1-3).”
In the context of foreign language education, authentic learning is defined by Rossi (2013, p.55-64) as learning with authentic materials that highly orient to language used in the real world. This orientation refers to the language use that takes place in a real-life setting and aims at providing the students with as real-life language competences such as reading, listening, speaking, writing, knowledge of vocabulary, affective and authentic rules of language mostly used in that subject matters and communication skills. In addition to it, the main characteristics of authentic learning in foreign language educations are motivating and meaningful; real-world orientation; and setting authenticity. These main characteristics elucidate that the topics and materials the students learn exceedingly link to their real world and of course make them easier to learn the target language skills (Rossi, 2013, p.55-64). Authentic learning materials are, on the other hand, defined as materials which are not originally been produced for the language foreign language education purposes. This type of material has its source authenticity, which means it is taken straight from its ‘natural environment (source of origin such as novels, newspapers, online articles, etc)’ and it was originally most likely created for a native speaking audience in the target language country and culture (Rossi, 2013, p.43-54).
The authenticity of the sources of authentic learning materials in foreign language education originate from, for examples, literary texts such as novels, poems and short stories; newspaper and argumentative texts such as news pieces, articles, columns; other texts such as letters, song lyrics and comic books; instructive and informative material such as brochures, cards, manuals, recipes, menus and tickets; photographic images such as advertisement, photographs and other pictures; audio material such as radio, music, interviews, and podcasts; audio-visual material such as TV-series, movies, and video clips; and lastly, Internet-based material such as websites in general, YouTube videos, chat forums and blogs (Rossi, 2013, p.46-47).
In conclusion, authentic learning is an instructional approach that enables students to learn real world relevancies whereas authentic learning in foreign language’s context is a language learning that reflects the language knowledge and proficiencies (skills: reading, listening, speaking, writing, vocabulary and grammar) used real-world life for examples English for nurse, English for mechanical engineering students, etc. The key aspect of authentic learning in foreign language’s context is the processes of texts’ development and exploitation in the EFL classroom.
Characteristics of Authentic Learning
To authenticate learning at schools, colleges and higher education, Herrington & Oliver (2000, p.23-48); Herrington & Herrington (2008, p.70-73) propose the nine critical characteristics of authentic learning.
Authentic learning provides an authentic context that reflects the way the knowledge and skills are used in real life. In language teaching, the English lecturers provide students suitable examples of real language (words, phrases, vocabulary, expressions, sentences, rules of language, etc) mostly used in the field of mechanical engineering (or in the real-world situation).
Authentic learning provides Authentic Activity. In language teaching, the tasks the students perform should ideally comprise ill-defined activities that have to do with real-world setting and of course orally and or in writing communicated to notice their language progresses.
Authentic learning provides examples/models (of how the language used in certain real-world context). In language teaching, even though this is extremely difficult to do by mostly English lecturers, they have to learn the ways the real practitioners (engineers) communicate in English ahead of giving his/her students (a simple) models of how the real practitioners (engineers) communicate their in English.
Authentic learning provides multiple roles and perspectives. In language teaching, the students are demanded to have roles in the learning activities and dare to communicate their ideas in front of their classmates and or of the class.
Authentic learning provides collaborative construction of knowledge. In language teaching, English lecturers should provide opportunities for his/her students to collaboratively complete the assigned tasks, to learn the rules of language, or discuss the topics being learnt. This is the way of solving the English learning problems (the smart ones are required to teach/explain the assigned tasks to the problem students).
Authentic learning provides learning reflection after the instructional process. In language teaching, the questions that may reflect the students’ learning are “what have they done, what have they learnt, what have they discussed, what problems they have had and how to solve them, did they work together, did they complete the assigned tasks well, did they cheat, did they perform well, did they tried to communicate their ideas in English, what they need to know, did the past lessons improve their language skills, etc.” These reflection questions are meant to recognise whether the student become better at or well improved in learning authentic materials.
Authentic learning provides articulation/presentation. In language teaching, this characteristic is importantly required. Every meeting, the students are demanded to articulate/present their works and defend their argument in front of the class. The audiences are required to take notes what they are listening to and, besides listening to music, YouTube or other, this is the simple way of improving listening skills.
Authentic learning provides coaching and scaffolding. In language teaching, the English lecturers are urged to not to teach the language, but they should have to coach/train the students to communicate the target language. The lecturers are encouraged to provide learning assistance to those who have not yet understood the theme being learnt and after that, they have been given responsibility to learn on their own.
Authentic learning provides authentic assessment. In language teaching, it is very important to authentically assess the students’ learning.
As it is defined by O’Malley, & Pierce (1996, p.4-5), authentic assessment is a form of assessment in which the students are asked to directly and meaningfully perform or demonstrate the tasks which is a process of reflection on their learning. Similarly, Nitko (1996, p.243) authentic assessment is a means of assessing students’ tasks and or learning outcomes. Therefore, in authentic learning of English, presenting students with tasks that are directly educationally meaningful to the real-world life is a way to engage the students in learning. In the authentic assessment, the four features should be incorporated. The first is emphasise applications. The lecturer should assess what his/her students can do and know. The second is to focus on direct assessment. This means that the assessment should be based on the stated learning target. The third is to use realistic problem. The tasks performed/demonstrated must be framed in a highly realistic way so that the students can recognise them as part of their real-life world. The last is to encourage open-ended thinking. The tasks assessed should provide more than one correct answer. The students are expected to provide multiple answers over the tasks (Herrington & Herrington, 2008, p.71).
In implementing it in the EFL classroom, the authentic assessment, according to Mueller (2016), includes four important procedures. They are identifying standards or learning objectives for students, selecting authentic tasks, identifying the criteria for the tasks, and creating the rubrics. The followings are the detailed phases of authentic assessment.
(1) Standards or Learning Objectives
(2) Authentic Tasks
(4) Rubric, rating scale, checklist, etc
Table 2: Phases of Authentic Assessment
What should the students know and able to do? English lecturers list the knowledge and skills that become the standard/learning objectives, for instances:
In reading skill, the students are able to identify the information about the the genuine and fake auto spare parts.
In writing skill, the students are able to write a summary of the identified information about the genuine and fake auto spare parts.
In vocabulary knowledge, the students are able to exploit the words, terms, expressions, and or lexis mostly used in the the genuine and fake auto spare parts’ texts/materials.
In grammatical competence, the students are able to understand and correctly use the eight parts of speech, i.e., noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, articles, etc; degrees of comparisons (positive, comparative, superlative and constructions with comparisons, etc); simple present tense; show cause and effect; introduce additional idea (furthermore, in addition); introduce an opposite idea (in contrast); introduce example (for instance); introduce a conclusion (in conclusion), etc.
In speaking skill, the students are able compare (explain, describe, and elaborate) the differences between the genuine and fake auto spare parts.
In listening skill, the audiences (the students who are listening to his classmate’s articulation/presentation) are able to take note, what they have already listened to indicate that they truly engage, participate and understand what has been articulated or uttered by the presenter.
What indicates students have met these standards? To determine if students have met these standards, you will design or select relevant authentic tasks, for example:
The tasks the students perform comprise ill-defined activities that have to do with their real-world life (lecturers and students determine the tasks will be learned and presented). Each student has different task.
What does good performance on this task look like? To determine it, students have performed well on the tasks, teacher will identify and look for characteristics of a good performance called criteria, for examples:
selects the auto spare parts,
show the differences between the fake and the genuine auto spare parts to the client,
explains the characteristics of the fake and genuine ones,
explains the quality,
explains the endurance of the fake and genuine auto spare parts,
explains the advantage of using genuine and fake parts,
shows the list prices, etc.
How well does the student perform? To discriminate amongst students’ performance, teacher creates scoring criteria such as rubrics, rating scale, checklist, anecdotal record, or memory approach (Mueller, 2016).
After identifying a standard, selecting authentic tasks, identifying the criteria for the task or assignment, the final procedure is to create scoring criteria for assessing students’ learning (Mueller, 2014). The authentic assessment scoring criteria suggested to apply are first is checklist. Checklist, according to Hills (1992), is a list on which the lecturers (or parent or other adult) checks the knowledge, skills, or behaviours observed before, during, or after the behaviour occurs. Second is Rating scale. Rating scale is a list of behaviours made into a scale, using frequency of behaviour, level of mastery, etc., which the observer checks before, during, or after the behaviour. Then the third is anecdotal or narrative record (or anecdote) is like a short note which narrates or recounts the most important events, incidents, cases during learning. This record is observed, analyzed and written by the lecturers. The fourth is memory approach is similar to anecdotal record. However, in this approach, the lecturer does not take a note to record but s/he prefers to use his own memory to remember the events (Brookhart, 1999) in Moskal, (2000).
The last is rubrics. Rubrics (scoring tools) are a way of describing evaluation criteria (grading standards) based on the expected outcomes and performances of students. Typically, rubrics are used in scoring or grading written assignments (essay exams and group work), homework (in-class activities and lab report), participation (oral presentations, portfolio) and project (self-assessment/term-paper) or other forms of student performance (Stevens & Levi, 2005; May, 2005; Allen, 2004; Huba and Freed, 2000).
The elements of a rubric typically designed as a grid-type structure, a grading rubric includes criteria, levels of performance, scores, and descriptors. The first element is criteria identify the trait, feature or dimension which is to be measured and include a definition and example to clarify the meaning of each trait being assessed. Each assignment or performance will determine the number of criteria to be scored. Criteria are derived from assignments, checklists, grading sheets or colleagues (Stevens & Levi, 2005).
The second is levels of performance are often labelled as adjectives which describe the performance levels. Levels of performance determine the degree of performance which has been met and will provide for consistent and objective assessment and better feedback to students. These levels tell students what they are expected to do. Levels of performance can be used without descriptors but descriptors help in achieving objectivity (Stevens & Levi, 2005). Words used for levels of performance could influence a student’s interpretation of performance level (such as superior, moderate, poor or above or below average).
Levels of performance, examples:
Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
Master, Apprentice, Beginner
Exemplary, Accomplished, Developing, Beginning, Undeveloped
Unacceptable, Marginal, Proficient, Distinguished
Beginning, Developing, Competent, Exemplary
Novice, Intermediate, Proficient, Distinguished, Master
Needs Improvement, Satisfactory, Good, Accomplished
Poor, Minimal, Sufficient, Above Average, Excellent
Unacceptable, Emerging, Minimally (Jackson, 2001-2006)
The third is scores make up the system of numbers or values used to rate each criterion and often are combined with levels of performance. Begin by asking how many points are needed to adequately describe the range of performance you expect to see in students’ work. Consider the range of possible performance level (Stevens & Levi, 2005). Score example: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
The last is descriptors are explicit descriptions of the performance and show how the score is derived and what is expected of the students. Descriptors spell out each level (gradation) of performance for each criterion and describe what performance at a particular level looks like. Descriptors describe how well students’ work is distinguished from the work of their peers and will help you to distinguish between each student’s work. Finally, the same descriptors can be used for different criteria within one rubric. For example, the three level of performance: Excellent, Good, Fair and Poor can be used for the separate criteria of Accuracy, Organization, Punctuation & Grammar, and Spelling. Descriptors should be detailed enough to differentiate between the different level and increase the objectivity of the rater or assessor.
Subsequently, the important aspect when dealing with the rubric is developing a Grading Rubric. The aspects which must be taken into account is first is to select a performance/assignment to be assessed. The second is to list criteria. The third is to write criteria descriptions. The fourth is to determine level of performance adjectives. The fifth is to develop scores in numerical value. The sixth is to write the descriptors. The last is to evaluate the rubric whether it has met or matched the instructional goals and objectives (Stevens & Levi, 2005).
The educational experts, Stevens & Levi (2005) put forward four types of rubrics. They are holistic, analytical, general, and task-specific. Each of them is described as follows. The first is holistic rubric assesses all criteria are as a single score. Holistic rubrics are good for evaluating overall performance on a task. Because only one score is given, holistic rubrics tend to be easier to score. However, holistic rubrics do not provide detailed information on student performance for each criterion; the levels of performance are treated as a whole. Reasons to use holistic rubric are for
simple tasks and performances such as reading fluency or response to an essay question
scoring quickly; no feedback and no detail information provided
requiring lecturers to score the overall process/product as a whole without judging the component parts separately (Nitko, 2001)
getting a quick snapshot of overall quality or achievement
judging the impact of a product or performance” (Arter ; McTighe, 2001: 21).
The second is analytical rubric. In this rubric, each criterion is assessed separately, using different descriptive ratings. Each criterion receives a separate score. Analytical rubrics take more time to score but provide more detailed feedback. Reasons to use analytical rubric are for
judging complex performances involving several significant (criteria)
helping students and lecturers identify the strengths for improvements/feedback. It takes longer to prepare as it judges the component parts separately (Nitko, 2001).Time consuming to assess the students’ tasks.
providing more specific information or feedback to students (Arter & McTighe, 2001, p 22).
The fourth is generic rubric contains criteria that are general across tasks and can be used for similar tasks or performances (or is used to evaluate/assess a process, problem solving). Criteria are assessed separately, as in an analytical rubric. Reasons to use generic rubric are
when students will not all be doing exactly the same task; when students have a choice as to what evidence will be chosen to show competence on a particular skill or product.
when instructors are trying to judge consistently in different course sections” (Arter & McTighe, 2001:30)
Table 3: Student’s Self-Evaluation of Reading Activity
Read each statement. Put a check (?) in the box that is most “true” for you
No Statement Yes No
Before reading (mostly done outside the classroom)
1 I set my purpose of reading the theme 2 I preview the text to activate my prior knowledge While reading (mostly done outside the classroom)
3 I repeatedly read the texts 4 I focus on finding main ideas or information 5 I look the unknown word up in the dictionary or glossary 6 I keeping writing sentences from the selected vocabulary 7 I work on the graphic organiser to support my reading comprehension 8 I answer the assigned questions 9 I do the assigned tasks and exercises 10 I work in pairs 11 I myself learn rules of language 12 I write my own summary 13 I articulate or present my task/work in front of the class (done inside the classroom) 14 I take note during my classmate present/articulate his own task/work (done inside the classroom) After Reading (mostly done outside the classroom)
15 I review the reading passage to clarify my understanding 16 I recheck those the assigned tasks National Reading Panel. (2000);
Pressley, M., ; Wharton-McDonald, R. (1997, p. 448-467)
Duke, N.K. ; Pearson, P.D. (2002)
The followings are generic rubric for oral presentation and written material adapted from the Nebraska K-12 Foreign Language Frameworks, 1996 in New Jersey World Languages Curriculum Framework, p. 238-239 http ://w ww.maineforeignlanguage.org/uploads/2/4/0/9/24094931/appendb.pdf.
Table 4: Generic Rubric for Oral Presentations
Generic Rubric for Oral Presentations
4 3 2 1
Pronunciation accurate throughout near native understandable with very few errors Some errors but still understandable Poor pronunciation, very anglicised
Fluency smooth delivery fairly smooth unnatural pauses halting; hesitant; long gaps
Comprehensibility easily understood understood difficult to understand incomprehensible
Credibility (shows knowledge of culture extensive use of targeted vocabulary some use of targeted vocabulary minimal use of targeted vocabulary fails to use targeted vocabulary
Performance lively, enthusiastic; good eye contact general enthusiasm; some eye contact little enthusiasm; limited eye contact reads from cards; monotonous; no eye contact
Table 5: Generic Rubric for Written Material
Generic Rubric for Written Material
4 3 2 1
Grammar perfect uses well what is being studied some errors with what is being studied doesn’t seem to understand
what is being studied
Vocabulary creative use of vocabulary vocabulary at present level of study some use of current vocabulary; key words missing minimal use of targeted vocabulary at present level of study; words used incorrectly
Spelling perfect very few errors in spelling and accent marks some errors in spelling and accent marks many errors in spelling and accent marks
The last is task-specific rubric. It assesses a specific task. Unique criteria are assessed separately. However, it may not be possible to account for each and every criterion involved in a particular task which could overlook a student’s unique solution (Arter ; McTighe, 2001). Reasons to use task-specific rubric are as follows.
It is easier and faster to get consistent scoring
Lecturers may use it when s/he wants to know whether his/her students know particular facts, equations, methods, or procedures (Arter ; McTighe, 2001: 28).
O’Malley, & Pierce (1996:11-14) propose eight types of assessment in the EFL classroom. They are as follows.
Types of Authentic Assessment in EFL Classroom Descriptions
Lecturer asks students questions about personal background, activities, readings, and interests
Lecturer provides some interviews questions to the students relating the theme read, then they answer, explain them
Story or Test Retelling
(better used for reading assessment) Student retells main ideas or selected details of text experienced through listening or Reading
(better used for reading assessment) Student generates narrative, expository, persuasive, or reference paper or any types of texts.
Exhibitions Student completes project in content area, working individually or in collaboratively
Demonstrations Student completes experiment or demonstrate use of materials
Items (better used for reading assessment) Student responds in writing to open-ended questions
Lecturer’s Observations Lecturer observes student’s attention, response to instructional materials, or interactions with other students
Portfolio assessment Focused on the collection of students’ work to show progress over time
Performance assessment Form of assessment in which the students construct response orally or in writing
Self-assessment In becoming self-regulated learners, students make choices, select learning activities and plan how to use their time and resource. The students who are self-regulated learners collaborate with other students in exchanging ideas, eliciting assistance when needed, and providing support to their peers
Table 6: Types of Authentic Assessment in the EFL Classroom
Additionally, J. Michael O’Malley (1996) and Callison (1998) have listed characteristics of student performance that should be considered in authentic assessment of English. The first is Constructed Response: The student constructs responses based on experiences he or she brings to the situation and new multiple resources are explored in order to create a work/product. The second is Higher-Order Thinking: the responses are made to open-ended questions using what, why and how that require skills in analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The third is Authenticity: The tasks are meaningful, challenging, and engaging activities that mirror good instruction often relevant to a real-world context. The fourth is Integrative: The tasks call for a combination of skills that integrate language arts with other. The content across the curriculum with all skills and content open to assessment. The fifth is Process and Product: the procedures and strategies for deriving potential responses and exploring multiple solutions to complex problems are often assessed in addition to or in place of a final product or single-correct-response. The last is Depth in Place of Breadth: the performance assessments build over time with varied activities to reflect growth, maturity, and depth, leading to mastery of strategies and processes for solving problems in specific areas with the assumption that these skills will transfer to solving other problems.
3. Authentic Learning and Authenticity in Language Learning
Authentic Learning in Language Learning
The catchphrase of these two terms, ‘authentic’ and ‘authenticity’ to language learning, have been ‘hotly’ debated over the past three decades. At first, in the early 1970s, the English teachers started using the authentic materials in the EFL classroom as a result of the emergence of the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approach. This approach rejected the traditional structuralists’ ideas (grammatical-translation, direct and audio-lingual language teaching methods) of teaching English structurally (Mishan, 2005, p.1; Renau, 2016, p.82-87; Richards ; Rodgers, 1986, p.64-82).
In the ELT context, the traditional ‘structuralists’ assumptions were heavily associated with the American psychologists, Bloomfield and Skinner. The structural approach is rooted from the behaviourism’s educational perspectives (Richards & Rodgers, 1995), where its grounded theory views language learning as a set of habits, rules/form and functions of a language (Brown, 1987). In this approach, the elements in a language are viewed as being linearly produced in a rule-governed way. Language samples can be exhaustively described at all levels, such as phonetic, phonemic, and morphological. The linguistic levels are regarded as being pyramidically structured from phonemes to morphemes to phrases, clauses and sentences (Richards and Rodgers, 1995). The focus of the ELT in the Structural Approach is on “speeches” (Mareva & Nyota, 2012: 104-105; Askes, 1978; Richards and Rodgers, 1995). The speeches described are sound systems, rules for word formations, rules for combining words into grammatically acceptance sequences, and meaning of words (Gleason & Ratner, 1998:8).
Another important tenet or principle of the approach is that the focus (such as repetition, substitution, and translation drills) is on knowledge of language, with the ‘doing’ being passive to knowing (Krashen, 1995; Widdowson 1991). The belief is that “language learning comes about by teaching learners to know the forms of the language as a medium and the meaning they incorporate” (Widdowson, 1991). Another feature of the method, according to Richards & Rodgers (1995), is non-contextualisation of the language used. Furthermore, the emphasis is on linguistic competence and accuracy as production is “expected to be error free” (Krashen, 1995: 129). Apart from the boredom associated with the method, its other major weakness is that, according to Yule (1999: 193), “isolated practice in drilling language patterns bears no resemblance to the interactional nature of actual language use.” In addition, the method is lecturers dominated (Mareva & Nyota, 2012: 104-105; Nunan, 1995).
Besides, the typical of the structural approach is long lists of words and a set of grammatical rules have to be memorized (Mareva & Nyota, 2012: 104; Yule, 1996: 193). In addition, its emphasis is on accuracy, and the basic unit of teaching and language practice is the sentence (Mareva & Nyota, 2012: 2; Richards & Rodgers, 1995). A major learning activity in the method is translation from L1 to L2 and from L2 to L1 (Mareva & Nyota, 2012: 104; Krashen, 1995). Focus is entirely on form rather than meaning, the method results are “very low amounts of acquired competence” (Krashen, 1995: 129). Another weakness of the method, which is also a major weakness of the structural approach, is that formal grammar “contributes little to the successful use of language” (Mareva & Nyota, 2012: 104; Askes, 1978: 21).
The ideas of structuralists are clearly illustrated in the ELT methods normally used by the English lecturers these days. Three of them are, first, the Grammatical-Translation Method (GTM). This method places emphasis on translating, reading comprehension, antonyms and synonyms, orthographic systems (cognates), deductive approach used in teaching rules of language, fill-in-the-blanks, memorisation of vocabulary, grammatical rules; sentences’ constructions and essay writing/composition (Prator ; Celce-Murcia, 1979:3). This method is, however, still applied in the EFL classroom today. The second is the Direct Method (DM). This ELT method focuses on exclusively teaching English; native language was not allowed during/when learning the target language; vocabulary was taught through demonstration; speaking skill was administered around the questions and answers (Q;A) between the teacher and the students; grammar was taught inductively; speech and listening comprehension were also taught in isolation. This method lasted from the late nineteenth to the twentieth century or in 1920s (Renau, 2016, p.83). The last was Audiolingualism. This method emphasised on listening, speaking, reading, and finally writing, on dialogues and drills. Dialogues were used for repetition and memorization. The correction of pronunciation, stress, rhythm, and intonation were stressed. This method lasted from the late 1950s to the 1960s (Renau, 2016, p.83).
The summaries denote that the traditional teaching methods extremely emphasised on achieving grammatical competence (learners are expected to be capable of producing sentences in English), translation competence (learners are expected to be capable of translating the literary works into the native language), reading comprehension (learners are expected to be capable of identifying ), the uses of the concocted texts/materials, memorising rules, vocabulary, etc. The weakness is that this method had not fully associated or linked the contents of the language teaching with the students’ real-world life. These weaknesses then academically encouraged the ELT experts to find a communicative language teaching method as an attempt to mask the weaknesses of these three traditional methods aiming at aiding the (EFL) students to interact with and effectively communicate their ideas in English. In the early 1960s, the British ELT experts and linguists –Wilkins, Widdowson, Candlin, Christopher Brumfit, Keith Johnson – put forward a new idea of the method of teaching language. The method is called Communicative Approach or simply Communicative Language Teaching (Richards & Rodgers, 1986, p.65-66). This new method best describes the students’ needs of learning a foreign language like English.
Further, in the history of the ELT method’s development, the emergence of the CLT, according to Breshneh & Riasati. (2014), occurred at the time when the ELT was looking for a change (Richards & Rodgers, 1986). Due to the unsatisfactory traditional syllabus that failed to facilitate the learners’ ability to use the language for communication where the traditional ‘structuralists’ gave much priority to the communication over rules of language, linguists attempted to design a syllabus to achieve the communicative goals of language teaching (Richards ; Rodgers, 1986). Wilkins’s (1976) notional syllabus (is a learning centred approach (Hutchinson & Waters, 1987)) had a significant impact on the development of CLT.
To support the learners’ language communicative needs, Wilkins (1976) included communication function in a notional syllabus. “Notions” refer to the concepts of time, sequence, quantity, location, and frequency. The communicative functions refer to the language functions such as requests, denials, offers, and complaints, etc. The notional syllabus underpins a communication language syllabus consisting of situations; language activities; language functions; notions; and language form are developed. As a result, the design of foreign language syllabus focused on a student-cantered and communication-oriented language instruction (Richards ; Rodgers, 1986).
The CLT approach begins with the arising idea of the functionalists’ view of language in 1920. The functional view of language originated from the works of Bronislaw Malinowski, a professor of anthropology at the University of London. His works provide two important concepts to the functional approach. First, the context of situation as indispensable for understanding language and the second is the reference to social and emotive functions in communication (Ahmed, 2013:92-93; Yalden, 1987). Similarly, the Prague school (a group of scholars mostly Czech or Russian) proposes a functional approach to language study. This approach visualizes language as a tool that performs a number of essential functions or tasks in the community, which uses it. The most outstanding among these tasks is the “communication” which functions to serve and meet the needs and wants of the mutual understanding of individual members of the given language community (Ahmed, 2013:92-93; Yalden, 1987).
CLT, therefore, discourages over-correction of language errors by the lecturers as it distracts from the message (Brumfit, 1984). This is a view shared by Brown (1987), who believes in the absence or infrequency of error correction so that language learners are not discouraged in their endeavour to communicate. The EFL students are afraid of making mistakes. As a result, they do not like to learn it. Richards in (Mareva & Nyota, 2012:105) goes to the extent of viewing errors as being useful to both the lecturers and the learner. To the lecturers, errors determine how far the learner has progressed towards the language learning. To the learner, errors are evidence of learning (Mareva & Nyota, 2012:105).
In the CLT, the lecturer is a facilitator, guide, participant, resource organizer, learner needs analyst and counsellor, and this is exceptionally important rather than teaching (Richards and Rodgers, 1995). During the performance of an activity, the students should not normally be aware of intervention by a lecturer as a lecturer but as a communicator of a language (Brumfit, 1984). Yet, another important aspect of the CLT is its advocacy for the judicious use of the learners’ native language in the learning of the target language. The use of translation and code switching where learners need or benefit from it is permissible (Richards and Rodgers, 1995).
CLT treats language in context rather than in isolated units of meaning. Classroom activities are aimed at the situational and contextualized use of particular language (Piepho in Candlin, 1981). Mareva ; Nyota (2012) call for the provision of rich highly contextualised linguistic input to the language learners. The CLT, therefore, discourages drills and rote (method of learning of memorising without deeper understanding) learning, which by their nature are not normally contextualised. As for teaching materials in CLT, Richards and Rodgers (1995) advocate the use of realia, that is, authentic materials drawn from real life. These include magazines, advertisements, newspapers, maps, pictures, graphs, charts and objects. It is around that realia that communicative activities can be built. Nunan (1995) refers to these as task- based materials that play the primary role of promoting communicative language use (Mareva ; Nyota, 2012:105).
Sociologically, English language is greatly influenced by the growing power and control of information, communications, and technologies (ICT) on our work and learning practices. The ICT uses English as a means of informing and communicating various products. English facilitates its users to have greater access to communication, technology and in various contexts such as ICT in Education, Mechanical Engineering, Banking, etc.
The question is what is the proximity to or relationship between this new method with the authentic learning, and authenticity in language teaching or learning. The relationships or proximities of this new method –CLT– to the authentic learning, and authenticity were the new and original ideas of placing emphases on teaching and or learning the target language communicatively and empowering the uses of the authentic materials, texts, and themes in the EFL classroom. It is tremendously believed that these new and original ideas are capable of exposing real language, bringing the students closer to their target language culture, and arousing students’ learning motivation (Al-Azri & Al-Rashdi, 2014, p.249). The following are brief detailed descriptions of the power of ideas in the CLT approach/method (Richards & Rodgers, 1986, p.67-68).
“CLT ? Meaning is paramount. Dialogs, if used, centre on communicative functions and are not normally memorized. Contextualisation is a basic premise. Language learning is learning to communicate. Effective communication is sought. Drilling may occur, but peripherally. Comprehensible pronunciation is sought. Any learning media, which help the learners, are accepted, varying according to their age, interest, etc. Attempts to communicate may be encouraged from the very beginning. Judicious use of native language is accepted where feasible. Translation may be used where students need or benefit from it. Reading and writing can start from the first day, if desired. The target linguistic system will be learned best through the process of struggling to communicate. Communicative competence is the desired goal (i.e. the ability to use the linguistic system effectively and appropriately). Linguistic variation is a central concept in materials and methodology. Sequencing is determined by any consideration of content, function, or meaning which maintain interest. Teachers serve as students’ /facilitator them to work with the language. Language is created by the individual often through trial and error. Fluency and acceptable language is the primary goal: accuracy is judged not in the abstract but in context. Students are expected to interact with other people, either in the flesh, through pair and group work, or in their writings. The teacher cannot know exactly what language the students will use. Intrinsic motivation will spring from an interest in what is being communicated by the language (Richards ; Rodgers, 1986, p.67-68).
These ideas then became the evocative bases for the English teachers and lecturers to adopt the authentic materials/texts for their language teaching’s purposes. In conclusion, authentic learning in language teaching is simply interpreted as the uses of authentic texts/materials in the ESL/EFL classroom as the most rich learning input resources. Authentic means “genuine, real, pure, bona fide, valid, true, etc (Mishan, 2005, p.x)” that describes the texts/materials exactly what they appear to be, and are not false or an imitation or good imitation that it is almost the same as or as good as the original and of course, they provide pieces of information or account of something is reliable and accurate (Collins Cobuild Dictionary, 2006).
b. Authenticity in Language Learning
Even though, “authenticity” has been put into a deep heated debate by the educational researchers and scholars (Al-Azri & Al-Rashdi, 2014; Rahman, 2004; Kilickaya, 2004). The birth of this term, “authenticity,” was advocated by the expert’s commencement of the CLT in the 1970’s as especially against written pedagogic materials for the language teaching (Al-Azri & Al-Rashdi, 2014; Rahman, 2004; Hedge, 2000). The concern with the authenticity, according to Rahman (2004), has its own originality in ethnographic objective of elicitation, description and explanation of the pure data of linguistic interaction (Lynch, 1982). Besides, the SLA’s researches indicated the rich input, information, or resource of English language is actually mostly originated from the authentic materials/texts. The richness of its content (the content of authentic materials/texts) creates a positive environment for affective factors essential to learning, most notably, motivation, and engagement. On the contrary, the fact of the impact of structured language instruction on such factors as grammatical accuracy, acquisition order or the strength of learning is clearly lacking. That is why; the SLA supports the use of authentic materials/texts for language learning as the rich sources of language inputs (Mishan, 2005:41) and of course these materials bring closer the students’ needs to their real-world life (Al-Azri & Al-Rashdi, 2014;).
The educational advantages of exploiting the authentic materials/texts are clearly illustrated in the following three approaches. The first is ‘CLT approach’ which stresses on the competency of the language users. Competence was now seen as ‘the overall underlying knowledge and ability for language use which the speaker-listener possesses. This involves far more than knowledge of (and ability for) grammaticality’ (Brumfit and Johnson 1979: 13-14). In other words, a learner communicative competence involves what s/he needs to know about the language and its culture, and how well s/he is able to use the language in order to communicate successfully, that is, to get the desired outcome from the interaction of the authentic context. The communicative competence is the cornerstone of CLT (Mishan, 2005:1-3).
The second is the authentic materials-focused approach in which language learning is centred principally on the text. The uses of authentic materials/texts for language learning had been historically long started since 19 century by the King Alfred himself translating various different materials/texts from Latin (Latin was the international and communication language of the Europeans) to vernaculars (language widely spoken by the people) such as Old English and Anglo-Saxon. After realising the benefit of the translation, he then attempted to improve the education of the people through asking his educated people to translate Latin books to vernaculars. In this context, both the texts and methods of learning were defined as authentic; long stretches of text were read in what have been called a ‘holistic, reading for meaning approach’ (Mishan, 2005:1-5). By working with the authentic materials/texts, it can authentically improve the quality of the students’ language communicative competence.
The last is, according to Mishan (2005, p. 5-6), thematically associated to the cluster of approaches pertinent to authenticity in language learning can be termed ‘humanistic approach’. The existence of humanistic approach derived from the response to the mechanistic teaching methods that totally make use of the sensory repertoire of the brain during the learning experience. Suggestopedia, (Lozanov 1978), Total Physical Response (TPR) (Asher 1977), The Silent Way (Gattegno 1972) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) (Bandler and Grinder 1975) draw on cognitive psychology, and are methods intended to use the potential of the human brain for concentrating to learn linguistics aspects and specifically structured for language learning purposes. These methods give emphasis on the correct language usage of linguistics aspects. Therefore, to authenticate the ELT and its language materials, the humanistic approach stresses on the ‘language use (what and how people do with language)’ to allow the learners explore and exploit the English language more communicative (Mishan, 2005:5).
On the contrary, the traditional ELT methods promote the left-brain activities. The left hemisphere is the centre for more abstract language. It processes information logically, analytically and sequentially. The way the students learning English is no more than they learn math whereas in learning English, the students are actually expected to be more expressive and communicative. The right-brain, on the contrary, processes the information intuitively, imaginatively and holistically think of. The right-brain hemisphere is the centre of motor activity instead of the left-brain. The right-brain hemisphere is more exploited to learning English; the non-native students’ second language learning can be well enhanced (Mishan, 2005:6).
What are more, authenticity sends specific meanings that encourage the students are trying to communicate their ideas in the target language. Gilmore (2007, p. 98) outlines the ideas of the ELT experts about possible meanings of the “authenticity” in language learning. The eight possible meanings are as follows.
Authenticity relates to the language produced by native speakers for native speakers in a particular language community,
Authenticity relates to the language produced by a real speaker/writer for a real audience, conveying a real message,
Authenticity relates to the qualities bestowed on a text by the receiver, in that it is not seen as something inherent in a text itself, but is imparted on it by the reader/listener,
Authenticity relates to the interaction between students and lecturers,
Authenticity relates to the types of task chosen,
Authenticity relates to the social situation of the classroom,
Authenticity relates to the authentic assessment,
Authenticity relates to the culture, and the ability to behave or think like a target language group in order to be recognised and validated by them (Gilmore, 2007, p.98).
Besides having specific meanings in foreign language education, authenticity is categorized into four types (Al-Azri & Al-Rashdi, 2014; Breen, 1985). First is authenticity of text. This refers to the authentic qualities of a text. The authentic texts in the context of language learning means any source of information used to help the learners to develop the authentic understanding. Second is authenticity of learners. It refers to the ability of learners to interpret the meaning present in the text as if the native speakers do in their real-world life. Third is authenticity of the tasks. It refers to the chosen tasks provided for the learners to be engaged in an authentic communication and authentic aims for learning and the last authenticity of the classroom. It enables 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 (Al-Azri & Al-Rashdi, 2014; Breen, 1985).
In conclusion, the idea of authenticating English teaching/learning materials/texts arises from SLA research indicating that the non-native students are easily helped to acquire English through engaging in learning the authentic materials/texts. Secondly, the critical debate/controversy between the traditional structuralists and functionalists affect to the birth of the authenticity in language teaching. The structuralists strictly stated that ELT should be heavily stressed on grammatical comprehension, grammatical-translation method, and vocabulary memorisation. Opposing to the structuralists’ standpoints on ELT, functionalists emphasize ELT’s importance on communicative competence. The English or other languages must be learnt communicatively.
Therefore, the CLT functional approach promotes the integrated language skills, communicative competences and the uses of authentic materials/texts in the EFL classroom. This approach involves not only knowing the grammatical rules of language but also knowing when, where and with whom to use the language in a contextually appropriate way. This requires more than unimportant knowledge of the structures, grammar, and vocabulary; it requires skills in how to use English in meaningful situations (Sing, K. 2013, p.3). More importantly, the uses of authentic materials/texts affect the students’ understanding towards the rapid growth of ITC using English as a means of communicating their own products. Those that relate to the authentic online website, and applications, to name just a few are www…, https://…, YouTube clips, Face book, Twitter, blogs, email, e-books, e-articles and e-journal, e-magazine, e-papers, the electronic/digital devices, etc ease the students to learn, acquire and master the target language, English. ICT has become a means of global communication (Roessingh, 2014:2).
Authentic Materials in Language Learning
Al-Azri ; Al-Rashdi (2014) assert that the use of authentic materials in the EFL classes is not new because teachers started using them in the 1970s because of the spread of the Communicative Language Teaching Approach. The approach allows the students to communicate through interaction in the target language; uses authentic texts into the learning situation; provides opportunities for the students to focus, not only on language but also on the learning process itself; enhances the students’ own personal experiences as important contributing elements to classroom learning, attempt to link classroom language learning with language activities outside the classroom and promotes the masteries of communicative competences (grammatical competence: words and rules, sociolinguistic competence: appropriateness, discourse competence: cohesion and coherence, strategic competence: appropriate use of communication strategies) (Sreehari, 2012; Nunan, 1991).
Many have defined what authentic materials are. Martinez (2002) defines authentic materials are the materials which are prepared for native speakers and not designed to be used for teaching purposes (Al-Azri & Al-Rashdi, 2014). Authentic materials are, according to Kilickaya (2004), are materials which exposes real language to its own community. According to Carter & Nunan (2001) authentic materials are ordinary texts not produced specifically for language teaching purposes. According to Herod (2002) authentic learning materials and activities are designed to imitate the real world situations.
In the 21st century global competence, learning English is not more about rules of language but it is more about preparing students for real life situations and this the utmost concern for 21st century global English teachers (Al-Azri & Al-Rashdi, 2014). In order to particularly help the non-native students learn English better and prepare them to communicate with the outside world, the 21st century global English teachers to make use of authentic English materials in the EFL classroom (Al-Azri & Al-Rashdi, 2014). The uses of authentic materials for non-native learners can be highly motivating because they are proof that real people use the language for real-life purpose (Nuttall, 1996). Many researchers assert that if students are willing to communicate in English sufficiently, they must be exposed to the real language, exactly as it is used in real life situations by native speakers (Al-Azri & Al-Rashdi, 2014).
What is more, Nunan (1997) in Widdowson (1990) believes that exposing learners to authentic materials is indispensable because of possessing rich language input they provide. Exposing students to such language forms will enable them to cope with genuine interaction, whether it is inside or outside the classroom. According to Al-Azri & Al-Rashdi (2014) states that the researchers have claimed that when authentic materials are used with the purpose of students’ learning, they will have a sense that the real language for communication is being learnt, as opposed to classroom language itself. In contrast to the design of the text books, authentic materials are intrinsically more active, interesting and stimulating (Peacock, 1997; Lee, 1995; Little, Devitt ; Singleton, 1988;).
Authentic materials are a bridge to facilitate the students to recognise the real language. Kelly, Kelly, Offner ; Vorland (2002) believes that authentic materials are a useful means, to bridge the gap between classroom and the real world (Al-Azri ; Al-Rashdi, 2014). Researchers have proven that the language taught in the classroom must be linked to its functions in the real world (Al-Azri ; Al-Rashdi, 2014). In addition, Richards (2001) states that the language which the learners are engaged with in classroom, must represent the language used in the real world (Al-Azri ; Al-Rashdi, 2014). In the context of ELT for non-native students including mechanical engineering students, they are very keen on the originality of things, particularly when the matter is connected with their learning. So, authentic texts will bring them closer to the target language culture, and therefore this will result in them making the learning process overall an even more enjoyable and thus, motivating (Al-Azri ; Al-Rashdi, 2014).
If they are seen from their sources, authentic materials, according to Al Azri ; Al-Rashdi (2014); Genhard (1996), are classified into three categories. The first is authentic listening materials, such as television news, radio news, cartoons, songs, etc. The second is authentic visual materials, such as street signs, magazines and newspapers pictures, post cards, etc and the last is authentic printed materials, such as sports reports, newspapers, restaurant menus, train tickets, etc.
Similarly, as the fact-sheet authors, the contributors and reviewers of the California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO), Ianiro, Mason, Green ; Park (2007:1) put forth that the authentic materials are print, video, and audio materials students encounter in their daily lives, such as change of address forms, job applications, menus, voice mail messages, radio programs, and videos. Authentic materials are not created specifically to be used in the classroom, but they make excellent learning tools for students precisely because they are authentic. There are two main categories of authentic materials ?print and auditory. English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Secondary Education (ASE), and Adult Basic Education (ABE) students all can benefit from using authentic print materials. The ESL students often use authentic auditory materials, although the ABE and ASE students also may find them useful. The following is Authentic Printed or Auditory Materials.
Some examples of the many types of authentic print materials include: Examples of authentic auditory materials include:
Articles, Journals, E- Books from all kinds of disciplines.
• Phone messages
• Radio broadcasts
• Videos and DVDs
• Television programs, etc
These authentic printed or auditory materials are not specifically designed for the ELT purposes but they can used for ELT purposes to enrich, extend students English knowledge and skills. The materials represent the most real-world life.
Table 7: Authentic Printed or Auditory Materials
The printed and auditory authentic materials can help students to bridge the gap between the classroom and the outside world. Many students enrol in school to learn or improve a language-related task, such as helping a child with homework or speaking English at work. Others enrol because they have personal long-term goals that involve education, such as becoming an engineer or business owner. In working with new students, lecturers need to identify why students have come to class. When lecturers know the learners’ motivations, they can target instruction to meet those goals. A key way to help the learners reach their goals is to use authentic, goal-directed materials (Ianiro et al, 2007:1).
Meanwhile, three are three other important factors that must be taken into account by the EFL lecturers when selecting the authentic materials for ELT’s purposes. The three factors are suitability, exploitability, and readability (Berardo, 2006:62; Baghban ; Pandin, 2011). The most important criterion, suitability, refers to the idea that texts must be chosen based on learners’ needs or highly relevant to their educational backgrounds. By exploitability, this means the way through which learners’ language skills (competence) as readers can be developed (after reading the authentic materials/texts). Readability means choosing texts’ difficulty based on learners’ language level. The materials should be developed in several levels of difficulties and students, if possible, can choose which materials to learn according to their level of their abilities. On the contrary, if the materials are beyond the learners’ ability or level, it may lead to de-motivation and discourage learners from learning English (Al Azri & Al-Rashdi, 2014).
Authentic English Reading Materials in Language Learning
Reading is one of the most preferred activities when dealing with the authentic materials/texts or when dealing with the development of AELTMs for the 2ndYME students at PNP. Reading bridges the readers (particularly the EFL students) to understand the messages/information sent by the authors; easily recognise rules of language which are mostly used in the texts; identify the specific terms, lexis and or expressions; and sources of enabling the readers to communicate the ideas. Overall, reading is an access to acquire information, facts, or knowledge required by the readers. Likewise, Berardo (2006) elaborated the Alderson’s definition of what is reading about and its relation to the authentic materials to the EFL classroom. Reading (Alderson, 2000) is “an enjoyable, intense, private activity, from which much pleasure can be derived, and in which one can become totally absorbed). Reading can mean for different things to different people, for some it is recognising written words, while for others it is an opportunity to teach pronunciation and practice speaking, etc. However, reading always has a purpose. It is something that all do every day; it is an integral part of people’s daily lives. Reading can mean something if it has certain purposes.
The raison d’être for reading depends on the purpose of reading such authentic texts. Reading can have three main purposes, reading for survival, reading for learning or reading for pleasure. Reading for survival is considered to be in response to our environment, to find out information and can include street signs, advertising, and timetables, etc. It depends on the day-to-day needs of the reader and often involves an immediate response to a situation. In contrast, reading for learning is considered the type of reading done in the classroom and is ‘goal orientated’. The type of reading skill taught to the second year mechanical engineering students at PNP is, therefore, reading for learning which has specific goal oriented. While reading for pleasure is something that does not have to be done, it just gets a feeling of enjoying from it. For Nuttall (1996); Berardo (2006:61) point out five central ideas behind reading are:
the idea of meaning;
the transfer of meaning from one mind to another;
the transfer of a message from writer to reader;
how we get meaning by reading;
how the reader, the writer and the text all contribute to the process.
The reader processes the texts in two ways, either Top-Down or Bottom-Up. The bottom-up processing is when the reader builds up meaning by reading word for word, letter for letter, carefully scrutinising both vocabulary and syntax. This is often associated with poor or slow readers, but can sometimes occur when the readers own schema knowledge is inadequate. The top-down processing is the opposite, where a global meaning of the text is obtained, through “clues” in the text and of course, the reader has good schema knowledge. This is often associated with a good reader, who does not read word for word but quickly and efficiently understand what the authors transfer/send (Berardo, 2006:61).
In conjunction with the two processes, the most comprehensive descriptions of the reading process are interactive models, “in which every component in the reading process can interact with any other component (Alderson 2000:18)”, combining elements of both bottom-up, and top down models. Reading is considered to be an interactive process (a conversation between writer/reader, even though the writer is not present) occur when both processes are necessary, top-down to predict the meaning and bottom-up to check it. The two are therefore complementary ways of processing a text. Our knowledge and experiences of the world around us also influence how a text is read or processed, this is known as schema theory (Bartlett, 1932). It operates actively and constructively, with our knowledge of the world being a continuous process that upon receiving new information interprets it because of what is already known (Berardo, 2006:61).
Good readers have ideas of what is normal (linguistically and conceptually) and of how the world works, therefore when reading, they make use of existing schemata and then modify them with any new information. They also have expectations or make predictions before reading that are either reinforced, challenged or modified after reading. Schemata have also been described as “cognitive constructs which allow for the organization of information in the long term memory” (Widdowson 1983:34). Often a writer will presume that the target reader has the relevant schemata to read the text and will therefore leave the certain facts out or unstated (presuppositions) but this creates problems when the writer and reader do not share the same relevant schema (Berardo, 2006:61).
One of the main ideas of using authentic reading materials in the classroom, according to Berardo (2006:64), is to “expose” the learner to as much real language as possible. Even if the classroom is not a “real-life” situation, authentic reading materials do have a very important place within it. It has been argued that by taking a text out of its original context, it loses its authenticity:
“As soon as texts, whatever their original purpose, are brought into classrooms for pedagogic purposes they have, arguably, lost authenticity.” (Berardo, 2006:64; Wallace 1992:79).
Even if true, the learner is still exposed to real discourse and not the artificial language of the course textbooks, which tend not to contain any incidental or improper examples. They also tend to reflect the current teaching trend. Authentic reading materials also give the reader the opportunity to gain real information and know what is going on in the world around them. More times than not, they have something to say, be it giving information, a review. They also produce a sense of achievement. Extracting real information from a real text in a new/different language can be extremely motivating, therefore increasing students’ motivation for learning by exposing them to real language (Berardo, 2006:64; Guariento & Morley 2001). They also reflect the changes in language use, (again something that does not occur in textbooks, which become very dated, very quickly) as well as giving the learner the proof that the language is real and not only studied in the classroom:
“Authentic (reading) texts can be motivating because they are roof of that the language which is used for real-life purposes by real people.” (Berardo, 2006:64; Nuttall, 1996:172)
The wide variety of different types of text means that it is easier to find something that will interest the learner and may even encourage further reading or reading for pleasure. An advantage of taking a complete newspaper or magazine into classroom, rather than photocopies of an article, is that students can actually choose what they want to read. The more the learner reads, the better a reader he will become, not only improves his language level but also confidence. If the text interests the learner, it can also be related to his own experiences. One of the aims of authentic reading materials is to help the student react in the same way L1 speakers react in their first language (L1). Learners who live in the target language environment, once outside of the classroom will encounter a variety of situations in which different reading purposes/skills are required. We can claim that learners are being exposed to real language and they feel that they are learning the real language. The main advantages of using authentic reading materials in the classroom therefore include (Berardo, 2006):
having a positive effect on student extensive reading motivation;
giving authentic latest and newest information;
exposing students to real language;
relating more closely to students’ needs;
supporting a more creative approach to teaching such as CLT (Berardo, 2006:64).
These are what make us excited and willing to use authentic reading materials in our classrooms, but while using them, it is inevitable that we face some problems. The negative aspects of authentic reading materials are that they can be too culturally biased, often a good knowledge of cultural background is required when reading, as well as too many structures being mixed, causing lower levels problems when decoding the texts (Berardo, 2006:65; Martinez 2002).
Students often bring copies of newspaper articles (in particular the tabloids) to the classroom, asking to translate them after having looked up each word in the dictionary and not understood a single word. Berardo (2006:65) and Richards (2001) note that authentic reading materials often contain difficult language, unneeded vocabulary items and complex language structures, which can often create problems for the lecturers too. They can also become very dated, very quickly but unlike textbooks can be updated or replaced much easier and more cost effectively. The biggest problem with authentic materials is that if the wrong type of text is chosen, the vocabulary may not be relevant to the learner’s needs and too many structures can create difficulty. This can have the opposite effect, rather than motivate the learner; it can de-motivate (Berardo, 2006:65).
Authentic (English Reading) Materials
“Real” language exposure with language change/variation being reflected;
Students are informed about what is happening in the world today;
Textbooks tend not to include incidental/improper English and become outdated very quickly;
The same piece of material can be used for different tasks;
Ideal for teaching/practising mini-skills such as skimming/scanning;
Contain a rich and wide variety of text types, language styles not easily found in conventional. teaching materials
Encourage reading for pleasure, likely to contain topics of interest. Disadvantages:
Often too culturally biased, difficult to understand outside the language community;
Vocabulary might not be relevant to the student’s immediate needs;
Too many structures are mixed so lower levels have problems decoding the texts;
Special preparation is necessary, can be time consuming;
Can become easily outdated, e.g. news stories, articles due to the rapid growth of digital ITC. The news stories, articles, etc change and move expeditiously, and develop rapidly.
Table 8: Advantages & Disadvantages of Authentic Reading Materials
When bringing authentic reading materials into the classroom, it should always be done with a purpose, as highlighted by Senior (2005:71) “we need to have a clear pedagogic goal in mind: what precisely we want our students to learn from these materials.” (Berardo, 2006:65). Students feel more confident, more secure when handling authentic materials as long as the lecturer gives them with pedagogical support. Authentic reading materials should be used in accordance with students’ ability, with suitable tasks being given in which total understanding is not important. In order to overcome the problems created by difficult authentic texts, one solution is to simplify them according to the level of the learner. This can be done by removing any difficult words or structures but this can also remove basic discourse qualities, making the text “less” authentic.
The basic parameters to consider when simplifying (not complicated and can be understood or done easily) a text, according to, (Berardo, 2006:65), are:
Linguistic simplicity: grammatical structures, lexical items and readability;
Cognitive simplicity: age, education, interests of the learner;
Psychological simplicity: does it follow traditional social norms?
Another possible solution is to give text related tasks. They are three basic types:
Pre-reading: The text related tasks used are not just to test or compensate for linguistic/socio-cultural inadequacies but also used to activate existing schemata (prior/background knowledge);
While-reading: used to encourage the learner to be a flexible, active reader also to promote a dialogue between reader and writer;
Post-reading: often are questions that follow a text, used to test understanding but sometimes a good schemata will be enough (Berardo, 2006:65-66).
Rather than just simplifying the text by changing its language, it can be made more approachable by eliciting students’ existing knowledge in pre-reading discussion, reviewing new vocabulary before reading and then asking students to perform tasks that are within their competence, such as skimming to get the main idea or scanning for specific information, before they begin intensive reading. The reading approach must be authentic too. Students should read the text in a way that matches the reading purpose, the type of text, and the way people normally read. This means that reading aloud will take place only in situations where it would take place outside the classroom. Reading is an activity with a purpose. The purpose for reading guides the readers’ (students) selection of texts. The purpose for reading also determines the appropriate approach to reading comprehension (Berardo, 2006:66).
The sources of authentic reading materials that can be, according to Berardo, 2006:63) used in the classroom are infinite, but the most common are newspapers, magazines, TV programs, movies, songs and literature. One of the most useful is the Internet. Whereas newspapers and any other printed material date and discover very quickly, the Internet is continuously updated, more visually stimulating as well as being interactive, therefore promoting a more active approach to reading rather than a passive one.
From a more practical point of view, the Internet is a modern day reality, most students use it and for lecturers, there is easier access to endless amounts of many different types of authenticating learning materials. From an even more practical/economical point of view, trying to obtain authentic materials abroad can be very expensive, an English paper/magazine can cost up to 3-4 times the price that it usually is and sometimes is not very good. Often by having unlimited access in the work place, looking for materials costs nothing, only time. Authentic materials should be the kind of material that students will need and want to be able to read when travelling, studying abroad, or using the language in other contexts outside the classroom. Authentic materials enable learners to interact with the real language and content rather than the form. Learners feel that they are learning a target language as it is used outside the classroom. When choosing materials from the various sources, it is therefore worth taking into consideration that the aim should be to understand meaning and not form, especially when using literary texts with the emphasis being on what is being said and not necessarily on the literary form or stylistics (Berardo, 2006:63).
In selecting the text/materials, Nuttall (1996) and Berardo, 2006:62) give three main criteria when choosing texts to be used in the classroom suitability of content, exploitability, and readability. Suitability of content can be considered to be the most important of the three, in that the reading material should interest the students as well as be relevant to their needs. The texts should motivate as well as. Exploitability refers to how the text can be used to develop the students’ competence as readers. A text that can not be exploited for teaching purposes has no use in the classroom. Just because it is in English does not mean that it can be useful. Readability is used to describe the combination of structural and lexical difficulty of a text, as well as referring to the amount of new vocabulary and any new grammatical forms present.
It is important to assess the right level for the right students. Variety and presentation also influence the choice of authentic materials. A reading course can be made more interesting if a variety of texts is used. Students very often find it very boring when dealing with only one subject area, as can be the case when dealing with authentic reading materials. One of the advantages of using texts dealing with the same subject area is that they use the same vocabulary, with the student having to make very little conscious effort to learn it (Berardo, 2006:62).
While on the contrary, the student becomes highly specialised in that particular area and not in others. Whether the text looks authentic or not, is also very important when presenting it to the student. The “authentic” presentation, using pictures, diagrams, photographs, helps put the text into a context. This helps the reader not only understand the meaning of the text better but also how it would be used. A more “attractive” text will appeal to the student and motivate them into reading. It may seem to be a very superficial aspect but the appearance of any article is the first thing that the student notices. An “attractive” looking article is more likely to grab the reader’s attention rather than a page full of type. Very often, it is so easy to just download an article from the Internet and present the student a page full of impersonal print, without taking any of these factors into consideration. (Berardo, 2006:63). Briefly summarized, the important factors of choosing authentic reading materials are as follows.
Suitability of “Content”
Do the English reading materials interest the student?
Are they relevant to the student’s needs?
Do they represent the type of materials that the student will use outside of the classroom?
Can the English reading materials be exploited for teaching purposes?
For what purpose should the English reading materials be exploited?
What skills/strategies can be developed by exploiting the text?
Are the English reading materials too easy/difficult for the student?
Are they structurally too demanding/complex/difficult?
How much new vocabulary do they contain? Are they relevant?
Do the English reading materials “look” authentic?
Are they “attractive”?
Do they (authentic materials) grab (succeed in getting) the student’s attention?
Do they make him/her want to read more?
To easily identify the required information on the given authentic reading texts, the graphic organisers (GOs) are made use of assisting the 2ndYME students to remember, understand, apply, analyse, evaluate information, and even create new information from the AELTMs. This aims at guiding and leading them to “organise and visualise information from what they already acquired from their reading.” GOs are important and effective pedagogical tools for organizing content and ideas and facilitating learners’ comprehension of newly acquired information. The Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences posits that students are able to learn and internalize information when more than one learning modality is employed in an instructional strategy. Since GOs present material through the visual and spatial modalities/methods/ways (and reinforce what is taught in the classroom), the use of GOs helps them internalize what they are learning (McKnight, 2009 & 2010).
Theoretically, GOs are “visual and graphic displays that depict the relationships between facts, terms, and/or ideas within a learning task. A theory relating to the GOs is schema theory. According to Gloria A. Dye, author of “Graphic Organizers to the Rescue”, states “schema theory constructs new information which must be linked to the pre-existing knowledge a person takes and stores it in pre-existing hierarchies or channels.” To add to the prior knowledge that students have, GOs organize the information, and help them to begin processing it and then constructed into the existing scaffold of the students’ mind, essentially increasing learning and knowledge.
Principally, Buckhold (2008: 1-8) classifies GOs into two types. The first category of GOs is hierarchical organizer. It represents the main ideas and supporting details in ranking order from the background of information, Important information including quotes to 5Ws+1H (who what, where, when & why + how). Hierarchical Organizers can be drawn with “inverted pyramid” where the students may use to visualise the organization of traditional news stories (Buckhold, 2008: 1-8). The second one is comparative organizer. It depicts similarities among key concepts. The Comparative Organizers can be drawn with “venn diagram” where students use to compare/contrast things, objects, person, or ideas. The third is sequential organizer. It illustrates a series of steps or place events in a chronological order. The Sequential Organizer can be drawn with “plot development chart” where the student can chart fiction stories. The fourth is diagram. It depicts actual objects and systems in the real world of science and social studies. Diagram can be drawn with “water cycle” where students can visualise the process. The fifth is cyclical organizer. it depicts a series of events that have no beginning or end. This organizer can be drawn with “cycle” where the students can recognize the recursive (recurrence or repetition) thought process of something. The last is conceptual organizer. It includes a main concept with supporting facts, evidence, or characteristics. Conceptual Organizer can formed with “essay outline” where the students can use for prewriting (Buckhold, 2008: 1-8).
Another type of the GOs is, according to Bellanca (2007); Buckhold (2008); McKnight (2009), graphic organisers that show relationships (cause and effects, fishbone); graphic organisers that show categorise information (concepts maps, mind mapping and KWL: know, wonder & learn); graphic organisers that show order, sequences, or development (chain, cycle, flow chart, ladder, picture web, story board and story map); graphic organisers that compare and contrast (compare & contrast, T-Charts and Venn Diagram). In this research, however, the GO used to aid second year mechanical students’ AELTMs comprehension are Brainstorming and Idea Generation, Vocabulary Development and Supporting Reading Comprehension (Buckhold, 2008:6-160).
Student-centred Educational Paradigm
Over the many years’ standing, the English lecturer’s critical dominance in the ELT’s and learning’s process in Mechanical Engineering study program cannot be anymore else dammed up and repressed. The dominance is a reflection on an aged fashion of the ELT wherein “students sit quietly, passively receiving words of wisdom being professed by the lone lecturer, standing in front of the class, taught and explain, asked to memorise, present the memorised tasks, instructed to do millions of exercises and finally attend the test (Catalona & Catalona, 1997).”
The lecturer’s perceptive of today’s ELT classroom management is mostly rooted in the behavioural theories of learning. The emphasis for the ELT classroom management in a behavioural learning theory is the learning approaches applied that bring students’ behaviour under stimulus control (Garrett, 2008; Brophy, 1999). These behavioural approaches to ELT classroom management are consistent with a “traditional” or transmission approach to instruction. For the last two decades, the ELT perception and ideas, however, move gradually from teacher towards the students-centred. The gradual change occurs because the lecturer her/himself realises that learning in the 21st century is centred to students where they are the main subjects (not the object) of knowledge’s construction with the guidance and helps of lecturer, parents, peers, friends, experts and online resources such as E-books, blogs, journal, newspapers, etc. Such a real condition of the changing world, lecturer is now encouraged to implement an instructional approach based on constructivist principles of learning (Garrett, 2008; Brophy, 1999; Dollard ; Christensen, 1996).
The student-centred approach, in contrast to traditional instruction, focuses on meaning making, inquiry, and authentic learning activities. The ELT’s goal in student–centred classrooms, based on the constructivist principles of learning, is to create a learning environment where knowledge is constructed by the teacher and students rather than totally transmitted directly by the teacher him/herself. Brophy (1999) explains that in the constructivism classrooms, students are expected to “strive to make sense of what they are learning by relating it to prior knowledge and by discussing it with others.” The class serves as “a learning community that constructs shared understanding (Garrett, 2008; Brophy, 1999, p. 49).”
Table 9: Teacher and Students-centred Educational Paradigms
Teacher-centred educational paradigm
(behaviourism learning approach) Students-centred educational paradigm
(constructivism learning approach)
Focus is on teaching Focus is on both students and instructor
Focus is on language forms and structures (what the instructor knows about the language) Focus is on language use in real situations (how students will use the language)
Instructor talks; students listen Instructor models; students interact with instructor and one another
Students work alone Students work in pairs, in groups, or alone depending on the purpose of the activity
Instructor monitors and corrects every student utterance Students talk without constant instructor monitoring; instructor provides feedback/correction when questions arise
Instructor answers students’ questions about language Students answer each other’s questions, using instructor as an information resource
Instructor chooses topics without involving the students Students have some choice of topics
Instructor evaluates student learning Students evaluate their own learning; instructor also evaluates
Classroom is quiet Classroom is often noisy and busy
Online Resource: http://www.nclrc.org/essentials/goalsmethods/learncentpop.htmlTo significantly contribute to the students’ learning outcomes and achievement (Richards, 2006), the developed AELTMs for the 2ndYME students, according to Trianto (2009, 2010); Slavin, (2010), are supported by, first, is Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). Theoretically, CLT can be understood as a set of principles about the goals of language teaching, how learners learn a language, the kinds of classroom activities that best facilitate learning, and the roles of lecturers and learners in the classroom and, above all, its primary goal is to promote students’ communicative competence (Richards, 2006; Canale & Swain 1980).
In promoting the EFL/ESL students’ communicative competence, there are four components that connect to the communicative competence (Canale ; Swain (1980; Canale, 1983). The components are firstly Grammatical competence ?the knowledge of the language code (grammatical rules, vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, etc). Secondly, Sociolinguistic competence ?the mastery of the socio-cultural code of language use (appropriate application of vocabulary, register, politeness and style in a given situation). Thirdly, Discourse competence ?the ability to combine language structures into different types of cohesive texts (e.g., political speech, poetry). Lastly, it is Strategic competence ?the knowledge of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies which enhance the efficiency of communication and, where necessary, enable the students to overcome difficulties when communication breakdowns occur (Richards, 2006).
What is more, the CLT focuses on the use of pair work activities, role-plays, group work activities and project work. The functions of CLT are to activate students to do exercises promoting the uses of authentic, context, activities and materials to reflect the real-life situations, meet the students’ needs and respond to the global demands. In addition, it functions to accent on learning by doing, rich, meaningful, comprehensible, and elaborated learning, to promote cooperative and collaborative learning, to focus on contextual and specific grammatical forms to correct students’ linguistic competence, to provide error corrective feedback, to recognize and respect affective factors of learning (Doughty ; Long, 2003; Canale ; Swain 1980; Celce-Murcia et al. 1995; Hymes 1972).
The second is Small Group Discussion (SGD). SGD allows students to contribute many ideas for other to discuss and reflect upon. Discussion allows for an interchange of ideas within the certain context of the discussion. SGD serves intellectual, emotional, and social purposes. Intellectually, it helps students become aware of the diversity of opinions on an issue, allows student to realise the complexity of the issues and helps them to think about all possibilities. The students must discern the difference between fact and opinion and thus they must practice the skill of listening. Emotionally, the students may have some sort of personal involvement in the issue they are discussing, making it important to them. Here, SDG is the key to the building of self-confidence. The last is socially the group discussion help the students to realise that it is an arena in which the differences in opinion, race, gender and participation should be welcome, accepted and understood well (Brewer, 1997).
The third is Role-play. Role-play exercises give students the opportunity to assume the role of a person or act out a given situation. These roles can be performed by individual students, in pairs, or in groups which can play out a more complex scenario. Role-plays engage students in real-life situations or scenarios that can be “stressful, unfamiliar, complex, or controversial” which requires them to examine personal. To help students understand the use of role-playing sessions, the role-plays should be content-focused, match learning objectives, and be relevant to real-world situations. Role-playing exercises encourage students to think more critically about complex and controversial subjects and to see situations from a different perspective. When properly employed, role-plays can motivate students in a fun and engaging way. The benefits of the role-play are to motivate and engage students Enhance current teaching strategies, provide real-world scenarios to help students learn, learn skills used in real-world situations (negotiation, debate, teamwork, cooperation, persuasion), provide opportunities for critical observation of peers (Northern Illinois University, 2017; Penn State University, 2007; Harbour, ; Connick, 2005; Lebaron, ; Miller, 2005; Bolton, ; Heathcote, 1999; Bonwell, ; Eison 1991).
The fourth is Cooperative Learning (CL). Cooperative language learning provides students more opportunities to produce and or communicate language in a functional manner. In traditional classroom, the teacher in an artificial setting usually initiates discourse, but cooperative learning can be used to create a mimic real-life social settings in which language is normally used. For a specific purpose in accomplishing the group task, cooperative groups can be helpful to students in developing their social abilities. The students produced not only a greater quantity but also a greater variety of speech in-group work rather than in teacher-centred activities. Students may find themselves involve in requesting, clarifying, making suggestions, encouraging, disagreeing, negotiating of meaning, exchanging conversation during group work. Working in cooperative learning groups will foster learner discourse control and thereby ensures opportunities for language learning (Zhang, 2010; Lightbown ; Spada, 1999).
Cooperative learning, compared with traditional instruction, tends to promote productivity, achievement, and provide more opportunities for communication in real-life situation. When connected with foreign language learning, it shares the same basic set of principles with the widespread Communicative Language Teaching. It makes clear that the objective of foreign language teaching is not only to teach students some grammatical rules and vocabularies, but also how to use the knowledge in practice to express or narrate thoughts and ideas. Cooperative language learning responds to the trend in foreign language teaching method with focusing on the communicative and effective factors in language learning. It is not surprising that cooperative language learning is beneficial in foreign language learning and teaching. It is worthwhile for teachers and scholars to introduce this method to language learning classroom (Zhang, 2010; Lightbown ; Spada, 1999).
The last is Collaborative Learning (CollL). Collaborative learning is a technique designed to make learning a lively and successful process. It is also called cooperative learning or small group learning. Some linguists suggest that cooperative learning is a face-to-face, highly structured learning whereas collaborative learning assigns responsibility primarily to the students. Collaborative learning is also aimed at producing academically stronger students (Brown, 2017; Nagata ; Ronkowski, 1998). As a facilitator, the duties of the teacher include monitoring and intervening. These are done through such activities as (a) observing students to see that they work as a team; (b) monitoring each team’s progress; (c) explaining concepts and tasks as the need arises; (d) mediating and teaching social skills in cases of conflicts among group members; and (e) commending/prising/complimenting good group efforts and interactions (Brown, 2017).
Criteria for Qualifying the Developed Instructional
Product of the AELTMs
The Research and Development (R&D) intended to produce a course workbook of “English for Mechanical Engineering” for the 2ndYME students at PNP. The developed instructional product of the AELTMs that has been designed and developed must refer to the quality criteria of the internal consistency and effectiveness (Richey (1996, p.1213).
The theory, which academically supports the quality criteria of the internal consistency and effectiveness of the product, has been discussed by Nieveen (1999). In her scientific journal, Nieveen proposes a number of generic/general criteria for high quality interventions of the product, namely validity, practicality, and effectiveness. The intervention should address a need, and its components should be based on the state-of-the-art knowledge (content validity, also called relevance) and all components should be consistently linked to each other (construct validity, also called consistency). If the intervention meets these requirements, it is considered to be valid. A second characteristic of the high-quality interventions is that lecturers (or more general, representatives of the target group of users) consider the intervention to be usable and that it is easy for them to use the intervention in a way that is largely compatible with the developers’ intentions. If these conditions are met, we call these interventions practical. A third characteristic of the high quality interventions is that they result in the desired outcomes, i.e. that the intervention is effective” (Akker., Bannan., Kelly., Nieveen & Plomp, 2013: 28-30; 2010: 26).
In addition, Nieveen and Folmer indicate the importance of the distinction between expected and actual practicality and effectiveness. Only when the target users have had practical experience with using the intervention, should one be able to get data on the actual practicality of the prototype. Similarly, only when target users have had the opportunity to use the intervention in the target setting, should the evaluator obtain the data on the actual effectiveness. In all other instances, such as expert appraisals or a group discussions based on the materials, the researcher should only get data on the expected practicality and/or expected effectiveness. More evaluation will then be needed to demonstrate the actual practicality and the actual effectiveness (Akker., Bannan., Kelly., Nieveen & Plomp, 2013: 28-30; 2010: 26).
The validity of a product should have the components of the materials that are based on the state of the art knowledge (content validity) and all components that consistently link to each other (construct validity) Nieveen (2010: 94). The AELTMs are judged “valid” if it meets two important criteria. The first criterion is the AELTMs developed should have philosophical and theoretical rationalities (content validity). The second criterion is the AELTMs have internal consistency. Internal consistency means that the components, which exist in the AELTMs, must relate or interrelate to each other. From the theoretical aspect, the AELTMs must be based on the correct and clear theories meanwhile the consistency of the AELTMs, all the components or criteria of the student’s course book must interrelate with each other (there must be a connection between them and they have an effect on each other).
The second criterion of the product’s quality is practicality. Practicality relates to the usability of the AELTMs. The AELTMs are practical if the users (lecturer and students) judge that the AELTMs are easy to apply. Nieveen (1999) states that practicality refers to the extent that the users and other experts consider the intervention as appealing and usable in normal condition. In assessing or judging the practicality of the AELTMs, the product must not only be rated or validated by the experts but also seen from its implementation. Trianto (2009) explains that the rating/evaluation of the practicality of the instructional course book requires the development of the instructional device or media. Besides, research instrument should be developed based on the expected objectives.
The last criterion for judging the quality of the AELTMs is the effectiveness of the designed and developed materials. The AELTMs is judged “effectiveness” if the outcomes/results expected corresponds to the reality. The AELTMs developed generates the desired/expected interventions or outcomes in the students’ cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. Nieveen (1999) states that a model or product is said “effective” if it meets two criteria. The first criterion is based on the experts’ (English teachers/practitioners) knowledge and empirical experience which judge that the model or product is effective. The second is operationally the model provides the expected outcomes.
Laba (2014) researched on “An Examination of Text Authenticity Used at Kent State University ESL Centre: Reading Materials, the Insights and Perceptions of ESL/EFL Students and Instructors” English language learners need to be exposed to and have access to the same language native speakers typically use and to communicate in a natural way. Authentic materials can provide this access for learners with alternative to the traditional textbooks and introduce them simultaneously to the target language and its culture in their classroom. This study examined the nature, the extent, and the use of authentic materials that are used in reading classes in the ESL Centre at Kent State University. Moreover, the study explored the instructors’ and students’ insights and perceptions towards using the authentic materials in reading to learn English. Data were qualitatively collected through text analysis, focus groups, and a survey.
The findings of the analysis reveal that reading textbooks that are used at the ESL Centre require some extra authentic materials that assist the students to function in the English language environment and learn the daily language that the native speakers use in everyday circumstances. The focus groups analysis indicates that instructors believe that authentic materials are valuable for improving reading skills and vocabulary learning. Last, the survey analysis shows that the students have much interest to use authentic materials in reading classes and students prefer the internet reading texts as a source of authentic materials. Most students believe that authentic materials assist them to build new vocabulary, idioms, slang and daily life vocabulary.
Adéla (2014) tried to define the use of authentic reading materials in the Czech secondary classroom. The title of her research is “Using Authentic Materials in Teaching English in Secondary Classrooms”. This was a qualitative research within which the data were found out through questionnaires given to English lecturers and then followed by a description of a lesson observation. The results of the questionnaires showed the proportions of the questioned lecturers who use authentic materials in teaching English. The observation illustrated the actual example of use of authentic materials in secondary classroom. The research revealed that Czech lecturers are willing to work with the authentic materials but they find their preparation rather difficult. On the contrary, a significant number of lecturers did not choose to use these materials to expose students to real language but rather to introduce them to new vocabulary and grammatical structures, or to avoid working with textbook. Whatever the reasons, according to the results of the research, they do use the authentic materials and unless they use it ineffectively, it can be only beneficial to their students.
Marwan (2014) did a research on “Improving the students’ English Reading Comprehension through Authentic Materials in SMK N 1 Godean grade XI on the 2013/2014 academic year”. This was a classroom action research within which the data were obtained through field notes, reading test scores, and interview transcripts. The data validity was obtained by applying democratic validity, outcome validity, process validity, catalytic validity and dialogic validity. The study indicated that the uses of authentic reading materials improved the students’ reading comprehension effectively; get authentic information from the texts. The materials were able to amuse the students and enhance their awareness in analyzing texts. More importantly, the materials provide authentic language so the students were assisted to reflect and use their English knowledge and skill realistically in their real-life worlds and applications.
Al-Musallam (2009) researched on the attempts to elicit the EFL learners’ and lecturers’ beliefs and attitudes regarding the use of authentic reading materials at the college level in Saudi Arabia. The descriptive research design used incorporated both qualitative and quantitative instruments to accomplish the objectives of the study, employing two questionnaires ?a learners’ attitude questionnaire and a lecturers’ attitude questionnaire ?as well as interviews with both learners and lecturers from a randomly selected representative sample of the participants. The participants were 144 female Saudi university students majoring in EFL and 32 female college EFL lecturers from three higher education institutions in Riyadh.
The analysis of the results indicated that EFL Saudi college learners and lecturers had positive attitudes toward the use of authentic reading materials in their reading classes. In fact, they indicated that an ideal reading class should use a combination of both authentic texts and textbooks. However, a t-test analysis showed a statistically significant difference between lecturers and learners’ attitudes, with the learners having stronger positive attitudes. In addition, a negative correlation existed between the learners’ age and their attitudes, whereas the other variables – including the amount of outside readings, and language proficiency level – had no effect on their attitudes.
The results further revealed a negative correlation between lecturers’ academic degrees and their attitudes, although the remaining variables ?including nationality, years of experience, and study in an English-speaking country –had no effect on their attitudes. The participants identified short stories as the most preferable type of authentic material, whereas poems were the least preferable. A major conclusion of the study was that EFL language programs should consider introducing authentic materials into the curriculum as a tool to improve the current learning environment.
Fadeli (2009) did a research on “The Effectiveness of Authentic Materials in teaching Reading which are viewed from students’ English learning interest.” This is a quantitative research. The data obtained were from questionnaires and a set of reading tests. The research finding indicates that first authentic materials are more effective than textbook to teach reading for the seventh grade students of SMP Negeri 2 Kunjang Kediri in 2008/2009 academic year. Second, the reading achievement of the seventh grade students of SMP Negeri 2 Kunjang Kediri in 2008/2009 academic Year having high learning interest is better than the one of those having low learning interest. Third, there is an interaction between teaching materials and learning interest in teaching reading for the seventh grade students of SMP Negeri 2 Kunjang Kediri in academic year. Based on the research findings, the conclusion is that the authentic material is an effective teaching materials for teaching reading to the seventh grade students of SMP Negeri 2 Kunjang. Since the authentic materials are taken from the real world around students’ daily life, they are able to attract the students to be more active in the teaching and learning process. When the students are active in the teaching and learning process, their achievement can surely be improved optimally.
The question is how similar and distinct this research from other previous studies. The similarity lays on the discussions or studies of the authentic reading materials at the ESL/EFL classrooms whereas the distinctions are clearly seen from the methodologies used. The previous researchers did qualitative, quantitative researches and classroom action research (CAR) while in the AELTMs researcher; I make use of Research and Development (R&D). To clearly see the distinctions, the followings are the brief explanations of the previous research.
Laba (2014) qualitatively studied the students and English instructors’ insights and perceptions towards the use of authentic reading material (text authenticity). Adela (2014) did a qualitative research on the use of the authentic reading materials in the Czech secondary classroom. Marwan (2014) researched on classroom action research (CAR) that aims at improving the students’ English reading comprehension through authentic materials at SMK Negeri 1 Godean. Al Mussalam (2009) studied the learners and English lecturers’ beliefs and attitudes pertaining to the use of authentic reading materials at college level in Saudi Arabia. Fadeli as the last previous researcher (2009) did a quantitative research on the effectiveness of the authentic materials in teaching reading comprehension which are viewed from the students’ English learning interests.
Developing Materials for Language Teaching
Developing the AELTMS for the 2ndYME students at PNP
Authentic learning and Authenticity in Language Teaching
Authentic Materials in Language Teaching
Authentic English Reading Materials in Language Teaching
Student-centered Educational Paradigm
Criteria for Qualifying the Instructional
Theoretical Framework of Developing the AELTMs
for the 2ndYME students at PNP