— [http://goo.gl/WmYGda] Write a note where you present a topic in the English subject curriculum which you in some way are unsure of how to deal with, or which you already find difficult to handle in your teaching._______________________Explain why.

:: RT: PGCE ▶ http://goo.gl/WmYGda ◀ , Postgraduate Certificate in Education: Pedagogy and Practice. Challenging Topics in the English School Subject in Norway. ↠ #English #Pedagogy #Education #UniversityStudies #StudyNotes

When dealing with the contentious issue of authentic materials –unsolicited, spontaneous, natural and covering a wide spectrum of styles from formal to very informal, in the EFL classroom, one cannot relegate the use of cultural context of the language in question to a sphere that do not impinge on students’ learning in a Norwegian lower-secondary-school class.

I am in some way unsure, not that I find it difficult to handle in my teaching, but rather how to deal with the fact that colleagues, parents and even some students, expect me to utilize the traditional, simplified reading comprehension tasks one finds in the traditional textbooks the school has always relied heavily on for the provision of teaching materials in the EFL classroom, which superficially touch the cultural context of the language in question.

The English subject curriculum in Norway (LK06) requires that students “listen to and understand variations of English from different authentic situations (p. 9).” Thus, the English presented in the classroom should be authentic (either written or spoken), not produced solely for instructional purposes. When answering on whether a text is authentic or modified, David Nunan defines authentic texts as being “any material which have not been specifically produced for the purpose of language teaching (1989, p. 54).”

However, using different authentic texts can create different pedagogical challenges unless the right tasks are created when working with the English learning. Then, the question to be answered is as follows: simplifying an authentic text so it results in a school-only way —or decontextualized—, or rather simplifying the task of an authentic text? Or is it not possible to ensure pure authenticity in the classroom? (Jacobson 2003, pp. 2-3). I argue with my co-workers that teaching English by providing students with authentic, non-modified, reading material in the EFL classroom —outside the traditional textbooks— facilitates critical thinking, improves language skills and enhances students’ cultural understanding.

Culture in English language teaching materials has been subject to discussion for many years. There is no doubt that authentic texts provide students with a culture context, which is a key to effective teaching and learning a language. Many English teachers remain reluctant and skeptical concerning the teaching of culture as part of foreign education (Phillipson, 1992, pp. 109-133); Ragnhild Lund found out that the main reason “has to do with issues of cultural domination and cultural imperialism (2006, p. 38).”

However, learning about a culture does not mean accepting that culture. Students' own culture should be discussed together with the target culture as they should “discuss and elaborate on the way people live and how they [socialize] in Great Britain, USA and other English-speaking countries and Norway (LK06, p. 9).”


"Challenging Topics in the English School Subject in Norway", by Benjamin Madeira, 2016, PDF ::

Challenging Topics in the English School Subject in Norway, PDF - Official Website - BenjaminMadeira

— "Flipped" learning is a teaching method that is becoming increasingly popular. A Norwegian maths teacher, Anne Cathrine Godaas, provides video lessons explaining the basics of a complex subject to the students. The students watch these videos as part of their homework. In school, they work on solving more complex problems.


Norway's flipped classes: homework at school ::

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• [1] Jacobson, Erik, Sophie Degener, and Victoria Purcell-Gates. "Creating Authentic Materials and Activities for the Adult Literacy Classroom: A Handbook for Practitioners." (2003). Harvard: NCSALL. Print.

• [2] LK06, ‘English subject curriculum,’ revised version (Aug. 2013) The Norwegian LK06, in English. Utdanningsdirektoratet (Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research). Web. http://goo.gl/gJlaH9

• [3] Lund, Ragnhild. Questions of Culture and Context in English Language Textbooks A Study of Textbooks for the Teaching of English in Norway. Doctoral thesis, The University of Bergen, 2006. Print.

• [4] Nunan, David. Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge University Press, 1989. Print.

• [5] Phillipson, Robert. Linguistic Imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. Print.

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