Using Authentic Vs Graded Text

Authentic

Pros

  • It will be authentic to its genre. This will mean that students who are familiar with that genre will be equipped to understand certain features within the text. For example, if its a newspaper, they will understand its about something that happened in real life.

  • It will have face value. Students will believe in the value of the text because it has already had value outside of the classroom.

  • Its in line with what the students will face in real life. This will ensure that students understand exactly what they may come across when dealing with English across cultures.

Cons

  • Some language may be inappropriate for the level of learner it is intended for. You cannot always guarantee the lexis and vocabulary will always be of the correct level.

  • Some features within the genre may get in the way of the TL. If the format of the text is not simple enough, or the font is unclear, or the layout is confusing, this may lead to interference from the text before any learning can be done.

  • Finding quality, authentic texts which are at the right level for a class is difficult and time consuming for the teacher.

Graded

Pros

  • The language is specifically targeted for the level of students. This means that we can ensure that there examples of the target language in the text.

  • The text is pre-prepared, and easy to find for teachers. This allows the teacher to have more time thinking about they are going to use the text, rather than finding the text in the first place.

  • Graded texts are generally presented in a flat neutral style. They will be free of any design, layout or font complications. There is will no interference from the text itself.

Cons

  • They may give a false impression of how authentic text is actually conveyed. In the rewriting of a text the original meaning may get compromised for the sake of the grading itself.

  • It very difficult to grade a text consistently for one particular level of learner, and can often be down to the quality of the author, and their understanding and generic competency levels of learners.

  • The recycling and re-writing of authentic texts by publishers will have copyright obstacles to overcome.
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