Authentic Materials – A Natural Resource for Developing Academic English

Jana Bére-ová


The approach to language learning as a way of coming to understand target culture and its impact on target language is reflected in the concept of teaching and learning languages through the integration of intercultural capabilities. The concept will be supported by a number of examples taken from authentic materials language learners have encountered in target language contexts, predominantly gaining experience through reading authentic materials. The paper presents the ideas of university students who carried out their own projects within and after research run by Trnava University, the representatives of which actively participated in a three-year project, supported by the VEGA funding scheme under number 1/0106/15. Twenty-two students who participated in our experiment were asked to analyze formal English in its written mode, searching for characteristic features of formal writing, used in contemporary English. After the completion of the first task related to the selection of appropriate samples, the students were expected to compare the quality of authentic materials received through technologies and that achieved from reading contemporary literary prose, newspapers and academic texts. The idea behind this task was to help university students to be able to critically assess other people’s ideas and arguments, to apply critical thinking when reading, to evaluate authentic materials and to achieve the ability to construct effective arguments in formal writing.


Authentic materials, Critical thinking, Effective argumentation, Academic writing

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