*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.
- An awesome and atypical commencement speech from a comedian/speechwriter http://www.upworthy.com/obamas-speechwriterstand-up-comedian-gives-a-graduation-speech-not-surprisingly-its-badass?c=upw1
- A series of emails between Margaret Cho and Tilden Swinton on whitewashing.
(I think a lot could be done here on emails but also on various perspectives related to this issue and how to talk about it).
This follow-up from NPR is also interesting: http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/12/21/506347676/when-swinton-and-cho-talk-race-the-points-lost-in-translation?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=2049
- A modern remake of the song “Ironic” feature Uber and Netflix and more:
- A very interesting infographic of common mythconceptions
I’d think it would be good and random cultural learning to see which mythconceptions are believed.
- Snopes report on the legend that Santa was crucified by a Japanese department store back in the day
- A list of 107 beautiful sentences from literature
- A Korean man begs the internet for help after seeing his girlfriend’s bare face for the first time http://www.koreaboo.com/trending/korean-man-begs-netizens-for-help-after-seeing-girlfriends-bare-face/
- Korean artist draws Western fairy tales in traditional Korean style
- A fun complaint letter about a specific seat on an airplane.
(Actually, lots of the letters on this site are excellent and could be used in class)
- 16 People share their thoughts on what was surprising for them about living in the United States.
- “Eat Turkey, become American”
A story of Korean immigrants in the US (it is well written and interesting and powerful)
- Youtube clip of Americans trying Korean snacks for the first time
- A list of topics to avoid when doing business in Asia (written with a Western audience in mind– could be especially interesting for use here in Asia)
Ridiculous graphs that show correlations between things that are totally unrelated. Fun for explaining graphs and exploring issues related to interpreting numbers.
- Report from the UK government on predictions of South Korea’s future
Korea_s_Growth_Engines_for_the_Future (HT to the Breathy Vowel)
- Differences between Western and Eastern Cultures (or German and Chinese) according to a visual artist.
Could be an interesting prompt for classroom discussion.
- Pictures of (33) clever innovations. It is a nice mix of clever and silly.
- A TED talk about bow making (which is much more interesting than my summary might hint at) from a Korean high school student
- An American couple celebrates their 81st wedding anniversary. Includes some quotes from the lovebirds.
- A series of pictures were older folks look into the mirror and see a younger version of themselves.
I can imagine some nice writing/storytelling coming out of this.
- A collection of (poor) one sentence reviews for US national parks.
- This is a fun story about how LL Bean takes back nearly everything for returns. http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/09/25/223787129/what-happens-when-a-store-lets-customers-return-whatever-they-want My lesson idea involved having students imagine they bought something (perhaps using the catalog: http://www.llbean.com/shop/shopByCatalog/index.html) and then call up to see if it is ok for them to return the item. They’s have to prepare a reason and be ready for responses. I also hope they’d prepare a better reason than “spite.” Jerry Seinfeld was not so clever in this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fP0MXJAQhmo
- (33 of the) Worst First sentences in novels. (lots of potential for English students here, I think) http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/33-hilariously-terrible-novel-sentences-you-need-to-read/
- Reviews of “Veet for Men Hair Removal Gel Creme” on Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000KKNQBK/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_2hgprb174GG9M
- A nice clip on racial profiling and bike stealing http://www.upworthy.com/know-anyone-that-thinks-racial-profiling-is-exaggerated-watch-this-and-tell-me-when-your-jaw-drops-2?g=2
- Another brilliant set of reviews on Amazon. This time for pens for women. http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B004FTGJUW
- Husband Animates a Joke Told by His Drunk Wife
- A restaurant review of a Korean restaurant in Portland, Maine offers some interesting language and (kind of) Korean cultural content http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/259/1548691/restaurant/Little-Seoul-Portland#posts
- I thought this was really cool. It is a short video where Korean uni students share what they’d like to share with the world about stereotypes. I think it would be great to use in class (and even try to create a similar video/list of messages) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90Y4jx38DF4
(I realized after posting this the comments section is filled with some really ignorant racist responses..which could be interesting too)
- An 8 minute conversation and news story about poor customer service from a cable provider.
- A telling list of cultural aspects about Korea written for foreign English teachers. https://eltrantsreviewsreflections.wordpress.com/korean-culture-tips/
- A list of tips for foreign visitors to Korea written by my students from around the world.
- Another list from my students, this time about aspects of Korean culture they felt were unique.
- Wacky stuff actually written on resumes is fun. http://www.careerbuilder.com/jobposter/small-business/article.aspx?articleid=ATL_0096ODDRESUMES http://www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-1485-Cover-Letters-Resumes-Weird-and-Wacky-Things-Actually-Written-on-R%C3%A9sum%C3%A9s/
- Here is a cute cover letter written by a Korean student that went viral http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/04/viral-cover-letter-south-korea_n_2618222.html
- An incredibly honest cover letter http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/15/wall-street-cover-letter-student_n_2482324.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003
- And some incredibly crazy cover letters http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/10/cover-letter-to-jp-morgan-laughing-stock-of-wall-street-goes-_n_1268695.html http://gawker.com/206285/daily-dose-of-douchery-bonus-schadenfreude-edition-aleksey-vayner
- A ballsy cover letter from Hunter S. Thompson
- Youtube clip where a journalist tells the actual Dalai Lama the joke about the Dalai Lama going into a pizza shop and asks them “to make him one with everything.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GogjFO8GNEo
- 10 things students get wrong on assignments (common mistakes that hurt students’ exam scores) http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2013/apr/30/student-advice-exams-success?CMP=twt_gu
- 10 of the worst examples of “management speak” http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/apr/25/top-10-worst-management-speak
- A quiz in which participants are asked to determine the feeling of a person based on pictures of various eyes. (Lots of words to describe emotions) http://kgajos.eecs.harvard.edu/mite/
- Margaret Cho‘s piece about what is like to go to a Korean sauna in LA with tattoos (***spoiler alert: not pleasant)http://jezebel.com/5992256/in-a-room-full-of-naked-koreans-margaret-chos-body-is-an-unwelcome-sight
- TED Talk by North Korean defector Hyeonseo Lee, entitled “My escape from North Korea” http://www.ted.com/talks/hyeonseo_lee_my_escape_from_north_korea.html
- Excerpts of stories and a TED Talk from Korean author Kim Young-Ha http://www.ktlit.com/korean-literature/ted-has-kim-young-ha-videos-and-excerpts-from-6-works
- This email exchange between not so friendly neighbors is hilarious and probably has some useful language/ http://www.27bslash6.com/halogen.html (In fact, most of the site is very funny and I can see it being used quite well in class, especially for higher levels) Another classic is this one: http://www.27bslash6.com/p2p.html
- A guide to understanding British euphemisms (or decoding what they say) http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2011/05/euphemistically_speaking?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/this_may_interest_you_
- A song. A bizarre song about foxes and the sound that foxes make. Could be fun for students of all ages. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jofNR_WkoCE&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DjofNR_WkoCE&nomobile=1 HT to Anthony Teacher
- Top 20 Facebook friend and excellent photographer John Steel shares a picture and a story related to “Salarymen” in Korea as well as his early experiences teaching in South Korea.
- Josette LeBlanc of Tokenteach fame has a non-teaching blog. On this blog she has pictures of random shoes that are without the feet of their owners or the owners themselves. I have often thought these pictures could be the basis of a creative writing lesson. http://privatemixture.wordpress.com/random-shoes/
- Professor John Cleese (from Monty Python) almost explains our brains. and confuses the heck out of a computer while doing so. http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/04/04/176258637/monty-pythons-john-cleese-almost-explains-our-brains?utm_source=NPR&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=20130405 (I have no idea how I might go about using this in class but it is a bit of fun)
- In a TV interview, Andrei Lankof, an expert on North Korea shares his thoughts on why there is not much to worry about. My students had a bit of a hard time with his Russian accent but it was a nice model of “NNS” speaking and he makes his points clearly and eloquently. http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2013/s3727471.htm Here, he writes in a New York Times editorial that we should stay cool and call North Korea’s bluff.
- Youtube video on the true origins of pizza. Could pizza have been invented in Korea? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiLA6Bk_ivs
- This Dove ad about beauty and perception caught a lot of attention http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XpaOjMXyJGk Here are some lessons that use it effectively (and affectively) http://elt-resourceful.com/2013/04/26/real-beauty-free-downloadable-lesson/ http://film-english.com/2013/05/06/real-beauty/ And one of the many pieces that critique the ad (justifiably if you asked me, which I realize you didn’t) http://www.salon.com/2013/04/18/stop_posting_that_dove_ad_real_beauty_campaign_is_not_feminist/
- The Not To Do list (with a bonus “to be list) http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6088/The-NotToDo-List-15-Habits-to-Stop-Now.html
- Bill Gates and a controversial handshake with the President of Korea http://kotaku.com/how-a-bill-gates-handshake-caused-controversy-in-south-477602802
- A pretty CRAZY email from a sorority sister in the states http://gawker.com/5994974/the-most-deranged-sorority-girl-email-you-will-ever-read and the email being read aloud by an actor http://dangerousminds.net/comments/michael_shannon_reads_the_insane_delta_gamma_sorority_girl_letter and a comedian http://www.nerdist.com/2013/04/alison-haislip-reads-the-deranged-sorority-girl-email-nsfw/
- Green Day singer calls PSY “the herpes of music.” Psy responds. Comments also very interesting. http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/stop-the-presses/psy-thanks-green-day-vocalist-calling-him-herpes-211954554.html
- A spoken word artist talks beautifully about tests and society and everything in between. “I will not allow an exam result decide my fate.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=D-eVF_G_p-Y
- http://www.upworthy.com/this-frickin-guy-has-gotten-more-confessions-out-of-people-than-the-frickin-pope-2 (11 min) Talk from the founder of Post-Secret
Notes: (in the order in which they were thunk)
- 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.
- 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.
- The very same Alex Walsh wrote about Korean high school students’ attitudes on authentic materials.
- Comments are very welcome. Especially if you have a specific idea on how to use something or report on how you actually used it.
- There was a #KELTchat on Authentic Materials and here is the summary.
- The ever resourceful Rachael Roberts has a category focused on exploiting authentic materials on her amazing blog.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- I like lists.