Exploring the Use of Written Authentic Materials in ESL Reading Classes: Benefits and Challenges

  •  Waheeb S. Albiladi    


The growing popularity of authentic materials provides English language teachers with more resources to practice the real language in language classrooms (Guo, 2012). However, integrating these types of reading materials can be difficult and time-consuming even though there are many benefits to using them to teach language learners how to read. Real-life based texts, which are not specifically designed for educational purposes have been recognized by many educators to be effective and interesting materials. The purpose of this study was to explore language learners’ perceptions about the benefits and challenges of using authentic materials in English reading classes. The study involved 16 adult English language learners enrolled in an intensive English program. Observations of reading classes and semi-structured interviews were used to collect the data. Results indicated that the use of authentic materials leads to many social and academic benefits, such as increasing students’ motivation and their cultural awareness. Findings also suggest that the use of authentic materials are encouraged as they bring the sense of authenticity and reality to the language classrooms.

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