In the modern world, a huge number of people have the opportunity to travel abroad, cooperate with foreign companies, use Internet resources, and read literature in English. Therefore, at the present stage, English teachers have a goal that is to teach a foreign language culture, which includes the development of linguistic abilities, mental processes and personality traits of the student, as well as:
- culture knowledge of the countries of the language being studied;
- education of the student’s personality through the assimilation of universal values;
- mastering a foreign language as a means of communication and awareness of the system of the language being studied. Knowledge of the culture of the countries of the studied language and awareness of its system is possible only if authentic material is used.
Nowadays, the term “authenticity” is widely used. Authentic materials are used in the real life of those countries where this foreign language is spoken . The use of authentic materials, that are considered to be a natural speech but were created for methodological purposes, will provide more effective teaching of all types of speech activity, in particular, reading, to simulate immersion in the natural speech environment in a foreign language class. These include texts extracted from newspapers and magazines, various types of ads (ads, posters, advertising, signage, schedules, menus, etc.), letters, correspondence, radio and television news programs, air and railway tickets, and artistic texts.
By their nature they are usually divided into:
1) Pragmatic (signs, ads, menus, transport schedules, etc.);
2) Journalistic (newspaper and magazine articles), artistic, popular science.
The most effective formation of cultural competence is facilitated by the use of authentic visual clarity in lessons that are objects of everyday life that initially do not have a teaching and methodological orientation, but are created exclusively for the use of native speakers.
Teaching reading in a foreign language is designed to provide receptive mastery of language material and develop the cognitive competence of students, on the one hand, this is a type of speech activity, and on the other, the basis for the formation of information and academic skills. Based on these skills, a person is able to navigate modern information resources.
Reading is not only a goal, but also a means of teaching English. Mastering the ability to read in a foreign language is one of the practical goals of learning English. The practical aspect of teaching a foreign language in general reading involves mastering all forms of communication and all speech functions in order for the possession of a foreign language to be a means of interpersonal communication and intercultural communication, enriching the spiritual world, defending one’s beliefs, and economic and social progress. The specific goal in learning to read is to be able to read an article in a newspaper or magazine to you quickly, a work of medium complexity to meet all the functions of reading as a means of communication. The purpose of reading is to develop the ability of students to read an unfamiliar, original text without assistance, with appropriate speed and adequate understanding, depending on the purpose of reading.
Different authentic texts are used at different stages of training in accordance with the level of formation of communicative competence. The degree of preparation of students determines the use of an authentic text of varying degrees of complexity.
There are given some examples of methods of work with authentic newspaper text.
Stage 1. Work with a newspaper.
Students are asked to view the entire issue of the newspaper.
Task is to look at the newspaper and say:
— what categories does it contain
— which categories (articles) attracted your attention. In order to discuss it, we use reference schemes.
Stage 2. Introductory reading
At this stage, students view the newspaper article that:
— got their attention;
— offers the teacher;
— corresponds to the topic being studied.
1) Use the illustrations that accompany the article to determine what is described in it.
2) Read the title and subtitle and tell us what (who) will be discussed in this article.
3) Read the first paragraph and tell us what information the entire article gives.
4) Read the last paragraph and tell us what content can precede it.
5) Read the first sentences of the paragraphs and name the issues that will be considered in the text.
6) Find international words and use them to determine the subject of the text.
The task can be offered simultaneously to all students, differentiating them.
For example: the tasks 1 and 2 are for less prepared students; the 3rd and the 6th will be given more prepared students. In order to check the task completion, we use reference schemes.
Stage 3. Work with the article. Search reading.
We suggest the following tasks:
1) Find the answer to the question:
— When did the event happen?
«Where did it happen?»
«In what country…?»
— Who are the main participants?
2) Which paragraph contains the main idea of the text?
Authentic texts are used as a supplement to those available in the SMC in order to develop reading skills, as well as a basis for the development of written and oral speech . The use of authentic texts contributes to the formation of communicative competence, which is the main goal of teaching a foreign language. At the same time all its components are involved:
— Linguistic competence, as the study of different language units within different topics based on actual texts allows you to expand the active and passive vocabulary significantly, enriches the vocabulary of students, and introduces new grammatical structures.
— Sociolinguistic competence, i.e. the use of language forms depending on the specific communication situation and context. Reading in this case is used as a means of learning, and the authentic text is as close as possible to the real situation in which students may find themselves in everyday life.
— Discursive competence. It involves mastering the skills of speech organization, the ability to build it clearly, logically, consistently. Authentic text can help develop students ‘ ability to perceive, understand, and interpret a written source of information.
— Socio-cultural competence. The use of various authentic texts at different stages of learning allows children to expand their understanding of culture, traditions, and lifestyle, and sets them up for a dialogue of cultures.
— Social competence. This component of communicative competence is focused on the interpersonal nature of communication. The formation of this type of competence determines the organizational forms of work in the classroom. Working with authentic texts creates an atmosphere of shared interest, mutual support, joint overcoming of difficulties and joint achievement of goals.
The use of authentic texts in teaching various types of reading contributes to the formation of truly communicative skills. In the process of learning to read, you can use partially adapted authentic texts of various functional directions, including texts from newspapers and magazines, popular science and fiction. A specialist in any field requires the following types of reading: viewing, to find the necessary information in the text; familiarization, to get an idea of the text; studying, to study specific details and understand all the information.
- If to speak about viewing reading, the task is to get the most general idea about the subject of the text, the book, the range of issues discussed there; or to find some information. To achieve this goal, it can be enough to read headings, individual paragraphs, or sentences. Based on the information received, the reader decides whether this text is necessary for further study or not. Viewing reading requires the reader to have a fairly significant amount of language material.
- If to speak about general reading the degree of completeness of understanding is not less than 70%. Understanding the main information should be accurate. This type, as the most common in all areas of everyday life, is carried out on authentic materials that reflect the peculiarities of everyday life, culture of the countries of the studied language. In this kind of reading the following skills are formed: identifying topics of the text in the heading and highlighting the main idea; the main facts from the text, omitting minor things; establishing a logical sequence of the basic facts of the text.
- Studying reading (reading with a full understanding of the content). It is necessary to understand both the main and secondary information, using all possible means of revealing the meaning of unfamiliar language phenomena (analysis, selective translation, reference to the dictionary, etc.). In the process of studying reading, the reader strives to fully and accurately understanding of the information, critically comprehends it. This is a rather slow reading, it is accompanied by stops and rereading of individual places. The degree of completeness of understanding is 100%. This is an accurate understanding of all information. In this type of reading, the following skills are formed: fully and accurately understanding of the text content based on its information processing; evaluation of the information received, expression of your opinion; commenting on certain facts described in the text. Studying reading involves subsequent retelling and discussion.
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