Authentic* material that may or may not be useful for class

*I don’t know what authentic really means. I don’t know what it means to you, or me, or anyone else. In this case it mostly means “not specifically made for learners of English.” These are in pretty much random order. The formatting seems to be a mess. Sorry. Maybe I will fix it some day. Or maybe I will just keeping adding to it as links fly by me.

Notes: (in the order in which they were thunk)

  1. I mostly teach mostly Korean students (so there is a clear Korea focus with some of these) but hopefully most of the things placed here might be of interest to teachers around the world. 
  2. I have wanted to have something like this for ages but after talking to Alex Walsh of AlienTeachers I finally decided today March 10th, 2013) was the day.
  3. The very same Alex Walsh wrote about Korean high school students’ attitudes on authentic materials. 
  4. Comments are very welcome. Especially if you have a specific idea on how to use something or report on how you actually used it.
  5. There was a #KELTchat on Authentic Materials and here is the summary. 
  6. The ever resourceful Rachael Roberts has a category focused on exploiting authentic materials on her amazing blog.
  7. This blog post on Materials Light Reading Tasks from fraternal and separated at birth blogging twin Ben Naismith offers a lot of ideas on using texts.
  8. In compiling this list I have become aware of some of the criteria that comes to mind when I think about authentic material for class. The first few that come to mind include not so long, engaging, interesting. Bonus points for quirky.
  9. Another thought that occurred to me is that I am drawn to the texts (broadly defined) that sort of bend the genre or play with it a bit. For example, I love the disastrous cover letters and think they would be great material for class on many levels.
  10. I like lists.


  1. Pingback: All OK in the ROK | ELT Rants, Reviews, and Reflections
  2. Mr Nibanna

    I want to tell you something about the Dalai Lama interview. To the uninitiated it might just seem an uncomfortable moment of cross-cultural communication breakdown. But DL is getting his own very gentle dig in! At one point, when the guy is trying to explain the joke, he says again the phrase “make me one with everything” and DL says, emphatically, “theoretically possible”.

    This is what Buddhist monks will commonly say to Westerners just started down the path when they bring out their malformed scenarios about achieving nibanna with little effort or likelihood of success.

    “Master, when I achieve Godhead will I be even less attached than the Buddha?”
    “Theoretically possible!”

    It is the (supportive and cozy) Buddhist version of “dream on/fck you”.

  3. Pingback: A look back at 2013 on this blog | ELT Rants, Reviews, and Reflections
  4. Pingback: What is the best way to exploit authentic materials? (#ELTchat summary) | Sandy Millin
  5. Pingback: 201! | ELT Rants, Reviews, and Reflections
  6. Pingback: Get your Linguistic Landscape on | ELT Rants, Reviews, and Reflections

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s