Stop, look, listen and communicate

Branka Segvic's picture

The aim of this fantastic workshop was to share ways in which we can use authentic materials in the classroom. I suppose the opinion of most teachers is that authentic materials are only suitable for higher level groups. So was mine. But after having taken part in the workshop by Patricia Vonscheidt, I am starting to wonder...She convinced me authentic material can work just fine even with beginners and elementary level groups. 

What she suggests is PPP principle. First P means POSSIBILITIES and possibilities for using authentic materials are all around us. News, soap operas, game shows, commercials, interviews, videos, music, films, internet...Really, an indefinite list. Second P refers to PRACTICE. In other words, doing different activities..asking your students for explanations, reaction, asking them to role-play or develop the rest of the story. And the final P? I would say this is the most important part and it refers to PERSEVERANCE or PATIENCE. Don’t give up! Accept the fact that it takes time. Take small steps and give yourself credit for the progress you make. 

If you are still sceptical about it...Well, you should have seen the participants speaking Italian. At this point I should emphasise that there were no Italians in the room, nor those who previously learned Italian. It took us just 10 minutes and an Italian movie extract and we were already creating basic conversations in Italian.