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ISSN 2227-6017 (ONLINE), ISSN 2303-9868 (PRINT), DOI: 10.18454/IRJ.2227-6017
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18454/IRJ.2015.41.065

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Сеитова А. З. АДАПТАЦИЯ АУТЕНТИЧНЫХ ТЕКСТОВ / А. З. Сеитова // Международный научно-исследовательский журнал. — 2015. — №10 (41) Часть 5. — С. 57—59. — URL: https://research-journal.org/pedagogy/adapting-authentic-texts/ (дата обращения: 28.09.2021. ). doi: 10.18454/IRJ.2015.41.065
Сеитова А. З. АДАПТАЦИЯ АУТЕНТИЧНЫХ ТЕКСТОВ / А. З. Сеитова // Международный научно-исследовательский журнал. — 2015. — №10 (41) Часть 5. — С. 57—59. doi: 10.18454/IRJ.2015.41.065

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АДАПТАЦИЯ АУТЕНТИЧНЫХ ТЕКСТОВ

Сеитова А.З.

Магистр искусства, КИМЭП

АДАПТАЦИЯ АУТЕНТИЧНЫХ ТЕКСТОВ

Аннотация

Данная статья посвящена вопросам адаптации аутентичных текстов,  разработки модели адаптации и определения условий ее внедрения в учебный процесс.

Ключевые слова: адаптация, аутентичные тексты, методология и дидактика, система.

Seitova A.Z.

Master of art, KIMEP

ADAPTING AUTHENTIC TEXTS

Abstract

This article focuses on the adaptation of authentic texts, developing a model of adaptation and determination of the conditions of its implementation in the educational process.

Keywords:  adaptation, authentic texts, methodology and didactics, system

Introduction

Everybody knows that authentic text adaptation is a technique that is used to simplify the original text in order to make it more comprehensible for students. It involves many forms and options. There are three forms of text adaptation: 1) text modification, 2) text circumvention and 3) text supplementation materials. [1,1] There are also five options for text adaptations: (a) bypass reading, (b) decrease reading, (c) support reading, (d) organized reading, and (e) guide reading. [2,1] There are also some keys to successful adaptation of authentic texts. They are 1) converting texts into workshop activities, 2) adjusting the length of the texts, 3) simplifying or explaining key language elements, 4) converting authentic texts into a variety of exercise types and so on. [3,1] These practices of text adaptation involve the teacher’s modification of texts to make them more understandable for students at different reading levels. Teacher’s adaptations can include instructional adaptations, such as text summaries, vocabulary support (e.g., providing synonyms), translation and so on. [3,1] Some teachers use 1) semantic elements, 2) lexical elements, 3) syntactical elements, 4) discourse elements to adapt authentic texts. [4,1] Teachers can use all of them for assignments, grading criteria or changing presentation styles, group sizes, and feedback techniques which on the one hand, require less of teachers’ time and effort, and on the other hand help students to improve their reading skills. Nowadays, the modernization of an educational system within the frame of the Bologna process has led to adaption of professional authentic textbooks, and there is no consensus on the question of adaptation of professional texts in spite of the fact that many British publishing houses have already attempted to adapt texts that are supposedly “adapted to some national mentalities, cultures, and perception.” The essence of these texts is the simple use of a “regional component,” which amounts to “the development of communicative competence, as well as the reinvigoration of the content of foreign language training through mastery by the students of a certain degree of regional knowledge.”  Russian editions, on the other hand are mostly characterized by adaptation of cultural dialogue context; supplementary exercises for the solution of an educational communicative task; the development of an elementary-remedial phonetic course for beginners; development of materials for the teaching of reading techniques, and so on.

Due to these reasons, Fatima S. has assumed that the use of “Language Portfolio”, in her case – In Company Language Portfolio created specifically for business tutorial In Company, largely help to adapt the original texts to the existing education system. Technology In Company Language Portfolio was developed on the basis of the technology of the European Language Portfolio submitted by Council of Europe experts in the framework of the “European Language Portfolio”. [5, 199]

As a rule, authentic text adaptation requires a lot of time and effort and mostly cannot be done by general classroom teachers, but it is done by specialized teachers. These specialized teachers can make some changes, remove fragments or insert something in the existing texts. According to these specialized teachers, they try to make texts more accessible and useful. They try to use natural language in meaningful contexts to encourage students to talk about things they are interested in, discuss outside the classroom and to develop their reading skills.

Sue Kay says that teachers should think about the length and complexity of the authentic text, cultural references and useful language. She advises some ways of adapting authentic texts. Here are some examples of:

ORIGINAL TEXT

In years to come this will no doubt seem a quite extraordinary thought.  From the moment you leave Bilbao airport and wind past the desolation of contemporary highway construction, through the green hills of northern Spain towards the ochre-brown 19th-century jumble of Bilbao, the barely completed museum can be glimpsed in the distance, a shiny, modern toy, half Martian space-craft, half Californian Bacofoil fantasy, surrounded by hideous urban sprawl.  What on earth, you might not unreasonably ask, possessed the Guggenheim Museum to come to a place like Bilbao?  The answer goes something like this.

ADAPTED TEXT

In years to come this will no doubt seem a quite extraordinary thought.  From the moment you leave Bilbao airport and wind past the desolation of contemporary highway construction, through the green hills of northern Spain towards the ochre-brown 19th-century city of Bilbao, the barely completed museum can be glimpsed in the distance, like a shiny, modern toy, half Martian space-craft, half Californian Bacofoil fantasy, surrounded by hideous urban sprawl.

What on earth, you might not unreasonably ask, possessed the Guggenheim Museum to come to a place like Bilbao?  The answer goes something like this.  

ORIGINAL TEXT

If, as a native of Bilbao, you had happened to see a balding, middle-aged American in trainers and sweatpants jogging past the Jesuit  university along the banks of the Nervion early one morning in April 1991, you might, quite reasonably, have shrugged your Basque shoulders and said to yourself, “Crazy Yankee”.  And you would have been half right. We will never quantify exactly what jogging has done for western civilisation, but one thing is certain.  If Thomas Krens, the newly appointed director of the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation, had not gone jogging that April morning in 1991, his brainchild the Bilbao Guggenheim – a titanium-clad, post-modern, space-age museum that has the world’s architectural community in a tizzy of excitement – would almost certainly never have been built.

ADAPTED TEXT

If, as a native of Bilbao, you had happened to see a balding, middle-aged American in trainers and sweatpants jogging past the Jesuit  university along the banks of the Nervion one morning in April 1991, you might, quite reasonably, have shrugged your Basque shoulders and said to yourself, “Crazy Yankee”.  And you would have been half right. We will never quantify exactly what jogging has done for western civilisation, but one thing is certain.  If Thomas Krens, the newly appointed director of the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation, had not gone jogging one April morning in 1991, his brainchild the Bilbao Guggenheim – a metallic, post-modern, space-age museum that has the world’s architectural community in a tizzy of excitement – would almost certainly never have been built.

For length and complexity Sue Kay advises to cut out whole sections, or shorten over-long, and complex sentences (but check overall coherence).

For example: If Thomas Krens had not gone jogging that/one April morning and so on.

For cultural references she advises to cut out obscure cultural references.

For example, Jesuit university; banks of the Nervion; Basque shoulders; Crazy Yankee. Californian Bacofoil fantasy. Comparison with Glasgow and Belfast. Information about Thomas Krens, director of the Guggenheim Foundation and so on.

For useful language she advises to expose learners to useful, high frequency language, and most frequent uses of words.

 For example,.. jumble of Bilbao – city of Bilbao. A teeming riverside city  –  An overcrowded riverside city; to provide a glossary for difficult, low frequency words: brainchild: a clever plan that someone thinks of and develops, to focus on useful phrase: .. wind through the green hills ..The Guggenheim can be glimpsed in the distance …. surrounded by hideous urban sprawl. What on earth possessed the Guggenheim to ….The Guggenheim dominates the city. It’s worth a visit and so on.   

She also advises:

  • to cut out obscure cultural references: for example, I mean, I really like jellied eels;
  • to deal with low frequency words / expose learners to useful, high frequency language, and most frequent uses of words: for example, I’ve always loved trying new foods. – ….. new types of food.save for Saturday night. – … except for Saturday night. We’d go to my Nan’s on Sunday –  … to my grandmother’s …;
  • to provide a glossary: for example, digging in: eating enthusiastically; splurge: to spend a lot of money; to die for (informal): so good that you really want it;
  • to provide helpful images with captions: for example, prawns, shepherd’s pie, cherry pie;
  • to add more examples of target structure (provided it doesn’t sound unnatural): for example, We always tried new things and experimented with food. – We always used to try new things and experiment with food;
  • to simplify sentence structure for example, My favourite foods are those that I remember having a lot when I was younger. – My favourite food was the food my father used to cook when I was younger;
  • to involve expanding for example, We always ate around a table, save for Saturday night, which was a tray dinner in front of the TV – …. except for Saturday night when we would have dinner on a tray in front of the TV and so on.

Professor H.G. says:  “We might say that in the context of the classroom, appropriate language is language that learners can appropriate”. [6,1] According to Sue Kay this is a principle how to choose and adapt authentic texts. We agree with his point of view, but what is appropriate language for foreign students who want to deal with authentic texts without deep changes? We think that it would be better to combine the actions of general classroom teachers of different countries with native specialized teachers like Sue Kay to develop new methods of adapting authentic texts. There is no doubt that Sue Kay’s methods of authentic text adaptations are good, and these text adaptations can meet some students’ requirements, but in our opinion it is not necessary to change the expression jumble of Bilbao into city of Bilbao. If we do it our students may never meet the word jumble in their studies and they will not know what it is. In our opinion it would be better to give the explanation of the phrase jumble of Bilbao with Russian equivalent. For example, jumble of Bilbaoa city (Spanish) of Bilbao – Бильбао (город в Испании; главный город Страны Басков) or, a titanium-clad – a metallic – металл, or to give the definition of the word, for example, teeming – containing or consisting of an extremely large number of people, animals, or objects that are all moving around; save for – keep something for the future or stop point being scored. In our opinion, if students know all of these words and their definitions they can improve their vocabulary, reading and speaking skills faster. Using authentic texts also helps students easily to involve in real-life situations, because most texts include talks like those in real life in any language.

Some specialized teachers, including Sue Kay, prepare authentic interaction exercises. For example, exercises to the text about Bilbao:

1   Replace the underlined words and phrases in the sentences a-g with words and phrases from the article.

  1. a) To get from the airport to Bilbao you meander through the green hills of northern Spain.
  2. b) As you approach Bilbao, the Guggenheim is just visible in the distance.
  3. c) In some parts of the city you can find examples of nasty, unplanned development.
  4. d) Recently some famous architects were paid to design important new buildings.
  5. e) The semi-derelict waterfront zone is the perfect place for a big new building.
  6. f) The Guggenheim museum is impossible to miss in It can be seen from everywhere.
  7. g) The Bilbao Guggenheim is an incredible art museum and deserves a visit.
  8. Work with your partner. Adapt each sentence to describe your own city or a city you know well.

      There is no doubt that these exercises can help students to understand the main idea and the content of authentic texts; moreover, teachers can also include another types of exercises such as: a) using the title to brainstorm students (they should say what the story or essay might be about); b) read to a turning point modeling questions about what is happening thus far: “I wonder why the author said . . . ?”; c) summarize what was read so far, relating it to I wonder statements; and d) from the summary, develop a prediction or bet. “Oh, I know, I bet . . .” Teachers can also add their own interpretations; have students review previous predictions, then decide if they still want to keep all the predictions; students h) alternate between reading and discussing until the end of the text; j) use nonverbal cues from the students to check for understanding. When students seem confused, a teacher can stop to discuss the story line and how they arrived at their interpretations; k) teacher and students discuss the text as a whole, relating various interpretations and so on. [6,1] [7,1] There are many exercises which help teachers to improve students’ reading skills, make them active and also capture their interest in the reading.

Teachers should answer the question, “Can this student read and understand this text with sufficient speed and accuracy?” If the answer is “Yes, the student can adequately read the text,” no adaptation is needed. If the answer is “No, the student is struggling with the printed word,” text adaptation should include synonyms or definitions of unknown words, sometimes with translation. A teacher, when he or she is uncertain about a student’s ability to read and understand a particular text, may also use the visual cloze (Bormuth, 1968) procedure or some other appropriate informal assessment to determine how well a text “matches” the reading ability of the student (Dyck, 1999). [4,1]

As we mentioned above, there are many ways to adapt authentic texts, but we are sure that the best way of adapting authentic texts is:

  • specialized teachers need to work closely with classroom teachers to assist in the adaptations.
  • use authentic materials that have not been adapted
  • learners should start reading appropriate-level authentic texts
  • not to adapt any word of the original text, but give the definition or the synonym of the original word
  • give a Russian or other language translation of the original word or phrase for lower students’ level
  • try to use exercises which help a student to understand the main idea and the content of authentic texts to improve their reading skills. Authentic texts are “interest-raising, motivating, encouraging texts. They show language as it is really used in all its richness and complexity, prepare students for the real world, increase the chances of eliciting genuine responses”. (Sue Kay)

It is true that adapting authentic texts can be time-consuming, but it is also true that once a teacher has done the work, he or she can reuse the materials over and over again. Teachers can use the adapted texts with other groups, private students, next year or next institution. If they build their personal teaching library of adapted authentic texts their workload will ultimately decrease. Many texts never go “out-of-date” so they could use them virtually forever.

References

  1. Thomas Jefferson St., Text Adaptation. http://www.emstac.org/registered/topics/reading/models/text_adaptation.htm (дата обращения 11.10.2015).
  2. Jane B. Pemberton. A Model for Making Decisions About Text Adaptations. http://isc.sagepub.com/content/38/1/28.abstract (дата обращения 11.10.2015).
  3. Burstein, Jill; Shore, Jane R.; Sabatini, John P.; Lee, Yong-Won;Ventura, Matthew.Text Adaptation Technology according to Ilya Frank’s reading. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1614166.  (дата обращения 10.10.2015).
  4. Burstein, Jill; Shore, Jane R.; Sabatini, John P.; Lee, Yong-Won;Ventura, Matthew. The Automated Text Adaptation Tool http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-90982451.html (дата обращения 12.10.2015).
  5. Seitova F., Aukhadiyeva Z.Zh., Nizamova M.N., Tairova N.A., Tastankulova K.T. An Innovative Approach to the Adaptation of Professional Foreign Language Textbooks in Training of Textile Industry Specialists № 3 (357) Технология Текстильной промышленности, Известия высших учебных заведений, 2015. С. 199.
  6. Frank Ilya. Text adaptation technology according to Ilya Frank’s reading method http://english.franklang.ru/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3:text-adaptation-technology-according-to-ilya-franks-reading-method&catid=3:2011-04-22-11-56-11&Itemid=2  (дата обращения 13.10.2015).
  7. Bienvenu Sylvia. Adaptation Strategies http://www.louisianavoices.org/edu_adapt_strategies.html (дата обращения 11.10.2015).

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