A paradox of language teaching is that, in some ways, the easier a teacher or textbook is to understand, the less he, she, or it actually helps students. The reason? Carefully graded words and scripts and a sympathetic approach may not always prepare students to understand the language they will meet outside the ELT classroom, including in their academic classes. Luckily, using authentic content is a way to overcome this paradox. We will begin this workshop by looking at different kinds of authentic content and discussing their respective pros and cons. We will then discuss effective ways to introduce more authentic content into the classroom in ways that allow teachers to shine without causing students to feel like proverbial rabbits caught in headlights.
Christien Lee, who has dual Canadian and british citizenship, has worked in English Language Teaching since 1994. His roles have included teacher, teacher trainer, curriculum developer, materials writer, director of studies, consultant, and author. He has broad experience in different aspect of ELT, but specializes in academic English and, particularly, exam preparation. Currently, his focus is on writing books and materials and developing innovative e-learning resources. He is the author of several ELT books, including other titles for National Geographic Learning.