Using Authentic Materials for EAP Students

Have you ever considered how you might conduct effective and enjoyable EAP sessions? Despite the limited duration and high-stakes nature of EAP classes, the emphasis on learner autonomy, critical thinking, and authentic academic situations renders the teaching process potentially more engaging than that of a standard English course, provided appropriate delivery methods are employed. 

As per Tomlinson’s (2013) perspective, classroom material ought to offer an array of authentic input in the target language, encompassing diverse styles, forms and functions. Based on this notion, I developed a lesson plan aimed at introducing my EAP students to academic research reports, facilitating their exposure to an authentic lecture and enabling them to independently explore the subject matter. To achieve this objective, I selected a TED talk and a pertinent research article as the primary resources for this lesson. 

The talk is called, “Want to be more creative? Go for a walk.” by Marily Oppezzo, a behavioural and learning scientist. The research article is titled, “Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking” by Marily Oppezzo and Daniel L. Schwartz from Stanford University. 

The Lesson

Course: University Pathway  

Level: C1 

Material: TED video/ Question sheet /Research report

Discussion Warm-up Questions (Group Work)

What does creativity mean to you? How do you define it? 

Do you think creativity is an innate talent, or can it be developed through practice and experience? 

Can you think of an example of a creative idea that has had a significant impact on society or the world? 

In what ways can creativity and innovative thinking be beneficial in the workplace? Can you provide an example? 

Can you recall an instance in which you devised an inventive resolution to a problem? If so, what was the nature of the problem, and by what means did you generate your solution? 

Do you believe that constraints or limitations can help or hinder creative thinking? Why or why not? 

What steps can individuals take to develop their own creativity and innovative thinking skills? 

Phase 1

Research report (Oppezzo, 2017) 

Ask Students to look at the first page and imagine they want to use this article as a source for their essays. They now write down the bibliography entry for the article in APA format. 

In pairs, ask them to skim the article and find the following information. 

  • The main thesis statement (main point)  
  • The method used in the research 
  • The result 

Phase 2

  1. Watch a 5-minute video on the topic. 
  2. Who is the presenter? 
  3. Guess the meaning of the words that were new to you in the context of the talk. 

Phase 3

Reflect on the talk

  1. What is the main idea presented in the TED talk? 
  2. How does the speaker support their argument? Are their points convincing? Why or why not?
  3. What questions do you have for the speaker or about the topic discussed in the talk?
  4. How can you integrate the concepts discussed in the talk into your own academic or professional life? 
  5. How can you critically evaluate the information presented in the talk and determine its credibility and validity? 


Oppezzo, M. (2017, April). Want to be more creative? Go for a walk [Video]. TED Conferences. 

Oppezzo, M., & Schwartz, D. L. (2014). Give your ideas some legs: The positive effect of walking on creative thinking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 40(4), 1142–1152.  

Tomlinson, B. (2013). Developing materials for language teaching. Bloomsbury.

Shadi Khosravi is an educator with a Master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). With a 17-year teaching career, she has passionately taught both General English and Academic English, equipping students with the language skills they need to excel in their academic and professional pursuits. Shadi’s commitment to teaching goes beyond the classroom, as she strives to inspire and empower her students to reach their fullest potential by creating engaging and effective learning environments that foster language acquisition and cultural understanding.



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