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12-1 1998

1.0 Introduction In this paper, I will discuss the benefits and problems when we use authentic texts in EFL classrooms. I will examine EFL coursebooks, short stories written by the native speakers of English, and a film and its scenario also produced in the target language. The latter three are considered as authentic written and spoken texts. 1.1 Authentic Texts Authentic texts can be defined as those texts that are naturally produced by the interaction between native speakers of the target language. It also can be paraphrased by Willis as 'genuine language use' or '[being] typical of real English' 1990:26,127 . Taking this viewpoint, it seems that the genre of authentic texts should be narrowly limited to spontaneous spoken discourse. However, as many recordings of spontaneous spoken discourse show, they are often ungrammatical. This is one of the most difficult points to deal with authentic texts. Advanced level students can recognise those ungrammticalities in authentic texts as aspects of real spontaneous spoken texts. Language forms that are sometimes rather different from those in school grammar books, in other words broken forms for the learners, actually do not bother interactions among the participants; they even facilitate interactions to go smoothly, as Willis skills 1990:126 explains. Yet students of lower than intermediate level may not be able to learn enough from them to develop their see sections 2.1 and 2.2 . Another big problem is that authentic texts which can be utilised in classrooms are harder to get than other usual course materials in places where English is not the official language. Considering these points, I will take stories and film scenarios written by English native speakers as examples of authentic language. Both of them are written texts, and written texts tend to show idealised forms of the language; however, they at least do not contain the strongly concocted flavour which EFL books do contain. Hence as a basis...
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