Authentic source materials

Resources Research skills Authentic sources Concordance tools

The reading materials on this site are sourced from a wide range of ‘authentic’ sources (texts written for an English audience, not designed, per se, for English language students). There are several well documented benefits from using authentic materials when teaching and learning a second language:

Authentic materials, are real in the sense that they are not created for students as the target audience but for native speakers. By using authentic materials language learners are presented with actual everyday language, just as it appears in real life.
Authentic texts have been defined as, “Real-life texts, not written for pedagogic purposes” (Wallace 1992). They are therefore written for native speakers and contain ‘real’ language. They are, as Peacock (1997) points out, “Materials that have been produced to fulfil some social purpose in the language community.”

In contrast, non-authentic texts are especially designed for language learning purposes:

According to Brinton (1991), authentic materials and media can reinforce for students the direct relationship between the language classroom and the outside world. Gebhard (1996) sees authentic materials as a way to ‘contextualize’ language learning.
Authentic texts are, according to Brosnan et al. (1984), “Natural.” By simplifying language or altering it for teaching purposes (limiting structures, controlling vocabulary, etc.), there is in fact a risk of making the given task more difficult. As Brosnan et al. (1984) go on to state, language teachers may inadvertently, Remove clues to meaning”.
In particular for adults learning a second language, it has been argued that they will want to be able to see the immediate relevance of what they do in the classroom to what they need to do outside it, and real-life material treated realistically makes the connection more apparent.

Brinton, D.M. (2001). The use of media in language teaching. In Celce-Murcia, M. (Ed.). Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (3rd ed) (pp. 459-476). Boston: Heinle Publishers.

Brosnan, D., Brown, K. and Hood, S. (1984). Reading in Context. Adelaide: National Curriculum Resource Cente.

Peacock, M. (1997). The Effect of Authentic Materials on the Motivation of EFL Learners. English Language Teaching Journal, 51(2): 144-156.

Wallace, C. (1992). Reading Oxford. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sources used by Aquascript

New Zealand Herald
The New Zealand Herald is a daily broadsheet newspaper published in Auckland, New Zealand. It has the largest newspaper circulation in New Zealand. It is also delivered to much of the north of the North Island including Northland, Waikato and King Country. On domestic matters, it’s editorial opinion is ‘centre-right’ and, it often supports socially conservative values and self-reliance over social welfare.

The Australian
The Australian is a broadsheet newspaper published in Australia since 1964. It is the biggest-selling national newspaper in the country.

The The Calgary Herald is a daily newspaper published in the Canada.

Gulf News
Gulf News is a daily English language newspaper published in the Emirate of Dubai. It is the oldest English language daily in the UAE and has the highest circulation.

The National
The National is a government-owned, English language daily newspaper published in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi; currently the only one.

Khaleej Times
The Khaleej Times is a daily English language newspaper also published in Dubai, After Gulf News, it is the oldest English daily in the UAE (founded in 1978). It is part-owned by the Government of the UAE.

The Independent is a British newspaper. It is regarded as leaning to the left politically,although it has not affiliated itself to any political party and a range of views can be found on its editorial and comment pages. In 2010, the paper had a certified average daily circulation of 183,547 copies.
The Independent

The News Scientist magazine – a weekly international science magazine covering recent developments in science and technology – is an excellent source for science-related reading materials.
New Scientist

The Glasgow Herald is a daily newspaper published in Scotland. It is a broadsheet newspaper available throughout Scotland. As of July 2009 it had an audited circulation of 55,707, giving it a lead over Scotland’s other ‘quality’ national daily, The Scotsman published in Edinburgh.

The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper, published in New York City. It is the largest newspaper in the United States, by circulation (2.1 million copies as of March 2010). Its main focus is American economic and international business topics, and financial news and issues.

The Irish Times is an Irish daily broadsheet newspaper launched in 1859. It is generally perceived as being politically liberal and progressive yet is said to be centre-right on economic issues. It is also considered to be Ireland’s newspaper of record.

Emirates Business 24/7 is a English language business-orientated newspaper published in the Emirate of Dubai, UAE.

Businessweek is a weekly business magazine published by Bloomberg.