The following blog post was written by Greg Danowski, Andrea Ferron, Celia Logan, and Fiona Lucchini, faculty members at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement. This is the second story in our blog series on the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program at the Centre.
In the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program, we are trying to use as much unabridged content as possible. The use of up-to-date materials related to current events and issues facing the community links our classroom themes to the real world.
Examples of materials we use
- Maclean’s magazine
- The Calgary Herald
- CBC Radio - World Report, Spark, The Current, DNTO
- Various articles from journals such as Environment International, Journal of Counselling and Development, Refuge: Canada's Journal on Refugees
- Novels – classics such as Of Mice and Men which are suggested reading in Canadian High School curriculum
- TED Talks
- Websites – Policy Options, The Water Brothers, Calgary Journal
- Presentations hosted by the Intercultural Centre (i.e. Black History Month, Yoga and Meditation, Calgary Grows, etc.), Learner Success Services (Volunteering, Money Management, Exam Stress Management, etc.), Calgary Public Library (i.e. Forum on Human Rights), and other off-campus presentations when available (i.e. Chinook Country Historical Society)
The benefits of using authentic materials
Learners generally find they are more able to participate in conversations about current events in social situations or community events – much to their surprise! Use of authentic material has also led to interesting conversations at home with children reading the same material or even with people on the C-train rooting for Ponyboy and Sodapop from The Outsiders. In the long run, this newfound confidence in their ability to interact benefits learners in their new communities and in their post-secondary studies.
- “My listening has improved step by step by listening to CBC World Report.” Transition to Academic English learner
- “I have learned how to use and express myself better in English in the class and out of the class. I have also started to engage myself in politics and understand some political issues and facts, better than I used to.” Academic English 1 learner