Modifying authentic resources which has received a lot of attention on Twitter over the past year in the #langchat community. The #TCI community taught me that modifying authentic resources or “semi authentic resources” are very useful to our students because it can then become comprehensible to our students. Kristy Placido is a master at modifying authentic resources! She explained how she does this in her iFLT session, “Sneaking in More CI”. She described the authentic resource as a decoration while she is providing the input through discussion.
Kristy suggests finding an authentic resource and setting goals for it. She told us to be intentional. You may have specific goals or words you want students to know before you get to your final destination. Having a master plan in the back allows you to use a certain structure you wants to target that will be needed later on.
These are some techniques Kristy shared to “comprehensify” and scaffold authentic resources:
-Movie Talk! Pull out the language that is comprehensible to your students to discuss. Expand upon it by making cultural comparisons.
-Create “graphic novel” style readings that match a Movie Talk.
-Create a new text that builds on an existing authentic resource. Kristy has taken a commercial from the target culture and then writes a short story about the commercial. After watching commercial, students read the story she has written.
-Draw attention to specific information in a text. You may decide to only use a tiny bit of text.
-Create embedded readings of authentic texts. Kristy Placido and Carrie Toth have some excellent examples of how they took an authentic resource of a short story and turned it into an embedded reading. They are Casa Tomada, Chac Mool and La noche boca arriba. Check out embeddedreading.com for more examples.
Some of the authentic resources that Kristy has modified are memes, tweets, film, commercials and news articles. An example of an authentic resource that Kristy modified is a film commercial. She did a Movie Talk with the authentic commercial with language that was comprehensible to her students. Next she made slides in PPT that looked like a graphic novel. This added another layer of Comprehensible Input. Her final layer was an expanded story that she created that was more in depth than what they had previously discussed. If you would like to see this lesson, check it out here for free! It can help spark ideas about how you can modify an authentic resource for your classroom.
Here are more examples of how Kristy modified a news story and film. If you look at these examples you will see samples of context reading and reading for scanning. When students have to answer some general comprehension questions in English to make sure they understand the reading, it encourages the skill for scanning for details. Reading for context are the activities she used in these samples where students need to match the definition to a word.
My major takeaway from Kristy is that an authentic resources by itself is somewhat interesting but it can get dull quickly due to lack of comprehension. However authentic resources which the teacher scaffolds and expands with CI make a big impact that delivers over time as the teacher discusses, repeats phrases and provides new contexts.
Blog post by official iFLT17 blogger Arianne Dowd