Saturday, 22 March 2014

Using Authentic Materials in ELT - Igor Gavilan, TESOL Greece- March 2014


I had the great opportunity to attend Igor's presentation on Saturday after having met him at Friday's dinner for out-of-town speakers. He is warm, friendly and I could clearly recognise his Brasque origins. I was sure that his presentation would lead me to new, innovative paths of ELT.
First, he showed us an example of a Brain study- to break the ice, as he said. We were all proved to be strong minds. Then, he surprised us with a Flamengo move. It was so simple but then so impressive at the same time; hot to grab an apple from a tree, bring it to the moth, bite it, throw it to the ground and step on it! We are all Flamengo dancers now! 
Then he proceeded with samples and activities of using authentic materials. He had an information card from his hotel through which we could practise Passive Voice. Then we had to design our own movie ticket including the main points of Price, Row, Seat, Date to introduce new vocabulary. A very interesting speaking activity was how to make a flat story entertaining by using some prompt  sentences. I loved the activity of listening practice. He used lyricstraining.com and Robbie Williams' song 'Angel' to show us the levels of difficulty according to learners' needs.
He pointed out that it needs preparation and extra work on our part but it is worthwhile because we expose our students to authentic situations, which is not always achieved with coursebooks. He shared various links like ellloBreaking News EnglishStorybird that can be used and he ended with the phrase-I'll try to pass it as precisely as I can- the good teacher is the one with PASSION!
It was a real privilege to attend your talk, Igor!
Thank you for sharing all this information!

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