English Learning Resources: Variety and Motivation

By: Luke Holden

It is worth noting that new learners of a language really do need to build a solid foundation of knowledge before attempting anything else, and it is most useful for them to use material intended for that purpose such as structured textbooks and some websites for beginners. Both of these types offer constructive examples with relative variety. The good news is that for English learners with at least a basic level of ability, there is an abundance of material available as learning resources. In order to create some order of what exactly is available, the following three categories have been constructed;

'Authentic material' is material which has not been created for the classroom. It can be thought of as original and unedited, and covers areas like newspapers and magazines, business reports, leaflets and brochures, novels, and more. The advantage to using authentic material as a study aid is that you can get a first hand idea of how to apply your English knowledge to real, everyday situations. The problem for many learners is that they don't feel that they can use their knowledge, but authentic material crosses that bridge and is an endless source of interesting and varied information. For example, in a newspaper alone you can learn about world events, improve your general knowledge with related reports, or simply find out what is on television in another country. Authentic material has such huge diversity that a learner can always find something relevant to their needs or interests, and new authentic material is being created everyday.

'Non-authentic material' is material which has been designed for the classroom, and is usually edited to make it appropriate to a particular level of English. This kind of resource is best found in the classroom from certified esl and tefl teachers, or in the school itself. It's a very effective form of learning and covers categories like word searches, dialogues and worksheets, amongst others. Correctly designed non-authentic material has been built with a teaching idea or topic in mind, and should focus on helping the learner to understand a specific point of knowledge relating to grammar or vocabulary. The English learner who wants to understand an exact concept can use non-authentic material as a strong and useful tool, and then move back into authentic material for the application.

'Online material' is technically both authentic and non-authentic, but has been put into its own category because it is such a unique phenomenon. The growth of the internet over the last twenty years has helped numerous groups of people, with language learners at the forefront. A massive number of websites to help English learners has emerged, as Google proves with 85 million results for the phrase 'learn English.' Without a doubt, the internet connects the world and does so by uniting people from different countries and backgrounds, and who speak different languages. For English learners, the internet offers educational websites, but is not limited to that alone. It also has a huge selection of free authentic and non-authentic resources to cater for every need, and will continue to do so for years to come.

As has been shown, the availability of English learning resources is seemingly endless and ever-increasing. Knowing which type of material is most useful for which lesson is a matter of experience and unique to the individual, but by combining authentic, non-authentic and the internet together, any English student can succeed in their search for English learning resources.

Languages
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Languages
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles