Harmer states authentic material is the use of the normal, natural language used by native speakers of the language, where no concessions have been made for foreign speakers. (2007:273) It is the language that students encounter or will encounter in their every day lives, language that is not spoken slowly. Students may miss important aspects of the language that is presented by the teacher or text material as is "concocted texts exemplify the grammar not as it is but as the course writer believes it to be" (Willis, 1993:92) When choosing a listening activity it is important to consider why they might listen to this activity in real life and to make sure it is of genuine use to the students. Scrivener (2005:17).
I have chosen the authentic material the Henley-on-Todd Regatta interview as it is unique to Australia. It is a very quirky event and is typical of the types of event Australia runs. I thought the students would enjoy the activity as it might be an interesting tourist event they may consider attending. As the students are new arrivals I believe this is the type of language they are exposed to in real life when looking at tourist information. I also believe it is a good platform for future lesson i.e. vocabulary, and a practice speaking lesson. .
Harmer states it's important to start with a lead in activity that engages the students in the topic when teaching receptive skills such as reading. Students are more likely to remain motivated in their learning if they enjoy what they are doing and can see a point to it. Harmer (2007:102). To set the context I gave the students two photo's to a pair, one photo to one and a different one to the other. The photos were both of boat races. The first was of Henley-on-Todd Regatta in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, on a dry river bed with the crew holding what resembles a boat and bottomless so they can run the race.