Friday, March 15, 2013

ESP : Authentic Text Vs Non-Autentic Text

Which one is better for ESP students?
ESP : Authentic Text Vs Non-Autentic Text
ESP : Authentic Text Vs Non-Autentic Text
'Students need to be exposed to authentic texts and develop strategies for reading long, complex and unsimplWed texts U’ they are able to develop independence in their study ski/ls (Phillips & Shettles Worth; 1978)"
"lt is more important to ensure that the activities based on the text reject the learning process than to use genuine text from the target situation (Waters &Hutchinson; 1987)”

A. Introduction
The reason why I concern to this title is because the using of authentic text as a supporting material in classroom is one of trending topics in the development of ESP. It is a fruitful case to be discussed since it still becomes a controversy among pedagogical practitioners and scholars. Some said it is better; but some said other. The using of authentic one is based on the fundamental paradigm of ESP teaching, namely pragmatic and cognitive (Palmero, 2003) in Baghban (issue 31 vol. 10, 2011). The focus of pragmatic paradigm is on language in use and emphasis is put on contextualized teaching, using authentic materials, and attention to sociolinguistics aspects of interaction. Then, cognitive teaching paradigm puts emphasis on students' responsibility on their own progress and the insertion of creative tasks.

Problem Statement: 'Authentic materials seem to be better than the other one".

B. Discussion

Morrow (1977) in Baghban (issue 31 vol. 10, 2011) defined authentic text as the language produced by a real speaker or writer for a real audience which is expected to express a real message.  lt is not specifically produced for the purpose of language teaching, for example: newspapers and magazines, radio, television/video, internet. lt could be either for spoken materials; TV commercials, films, news items, weather forecasts, airport and station announcement, radio talks, interviews, and debates, or written materials; recipes, articles, train timetables, advertisements, brochures, poems, application forms, and instruction for use of equipment

Both views above seem to be contrary each other and still need further research to claim which one is better. However, according to the reality and my own experience, authentic text, for some extents, seems to give more signU‘icantly contribution to ESP students' competence especially in providing real exposure to be capable in using the target language in real life. The students seem to be more enthusiasts and more creative as they are asked to find a relevant material through magazine, newspaper, moreover films, rather than if the student is monotone to only use text book materials.

Actually, the advantages illustrated above might be recovered well so long as the teacher is creative and smart. The teachers should be tremendous in selecting or recommending such text. It should picture out students level. For lower level, it is better to use simple cartoon, simple film, etc. In the aspect of grammar teaching, teacher might also use such text but better be simplified to make it understandable. ln this case, teacher is better using semi-authentic text. lt is because the ESP teachers (or non-native speaker texts made) may in fact be misleading models of texts for students, or may misconstrue the carrier content or write in unnatural and inappropriate language. For me, using semi-authentic text is further able to enrich creative and critical thinking of both teachers and students. lt is because to simplify authentic text needs more knowledge about the target language, including its pragmatic aspects.

C. Conclusion

From the discussion above we can conclude that authentic text is better being used for ESP students. It is not only significant for students but also for teachers. Authentic text can enrich their creativity and critical thinking. The disadvantages of authentic text are not big problems so long as teachers are smart and initiative to minimize all.


Baghban Vahid Zohoorian Zahra. 2011. A review of the Effectiveness of Using Authentic Materials in ESP Courses. Journal. Issue 31 vol. 10
Dudley Tony, Evans, & St John Jo Maggie. 1998. Developments in English for Specmc Purposes; A Multi-disciplinary Approach. Cambridge University Press. UK
Martinez, G. Alejandro. February 2002. Authentic Materials: An Overview. Article From:

Written By : Maemana, Student of ELS Post Graduade UNHAS Makassar, Indonesia

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