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Unit 13 examines course materials. There are two types of course materials, authentic materials and created materials. Authentic materials are materials that can be found in the every day: pamphlets, books, shows. Created content are texts produced specifically for learning English as a second language, such as textbooks. There are many disagreements within the teaching community on the helpfulness of different textbooks versus authentic and teacher made materials. Some of the advantages to textbooks are that they provide a guide for newer teachers with suggestions and content that should be taught, they often come with extra materials, such as, workbooks and CDs, and they also provide a sense of security for both students and teachers because their presence in a class is expected. There are disadvantages to textbooks, however. These include, lack of student interest in topics, predictable lessons, and lack of teacher creativity. Authentic materials, on the other hand, are great for student interest, they are texts that students are likely to encounter in their every day lives, and their use allows the teacher to be more creative and switch up structure in lessons. Authentic materials also have their down side. Some of these are that they are not tailored to grade level like created content, they do not provide the structure that a course book does, and they create far more prep for the teacher.
A good approach, the texts suggests, is to have a blend of the two in the classroom. Teachers should supplement created material with authentic material to address specific class needs as created materials are usually made for a broad audience. This also guarantees adequate speaking, writing, and practice time for students.