Importance of using Realia in ESP classes | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»


Рубрика: Педагогика

Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №8 (112) апрель-2 2016 г.

Дата публикации: 18.04.2016

Статья просмотрена: 7673 раза

Библиографическое описание:

Рузиева Н. З. Importance of using Realia in ESP classes // Молодой ученый. — 2016. — №8. — С. 1019-1022. — URL (дата обращения: 28.05.2018).

As the English language has become a universal language in Uzbekistan as well as throughout the world the educational system of Uzbekistan got the responsibility of enhancing the system of teaching English as a foreign language in Uzbek schools. The Presidential decree № 1875-“On Measures of Improvement of Learning Foreign Languages” makes contribution to a noteworthy development of teaching ESL and EFL in the educational establishments of Uzbekistan. (Presidential Decree № 1875, December 12, 2012).

The theme shows a certain interest for the usage of Realia in ESP classes. We have full basis to state that some scholars have contributed the study of Realia in teaching a foreign language. The reason of choosing this theme is that we are interested in methods of teaching English focusing on the real object in the classroom for developing of language skills.

If you’re thinking the word ‘realia’ sounds vaguely Latin, then you’d be correct. In the ESP classroom, the word realia means using real items found in everyday life as an aid to teaching English. Using realia helps to make English lessons memorable by creating a link between the objects and the word or phrase they represent. Realia are physical objects that are related to the target culture. Realia refers to objects or items from real life, which are used in the classroom to illustrate and teach vocabulary or to serve as an aid to facilitate language acquisition and production. Realia are objects from real life used in classroom instruction by educators to improve students' understanding of other cultures and real life situations. [1]

Realia is real life object that enable students to make connections to their own lives. Students understand and retain the meaning of a word better when they have seen or touched some object associated with it. In language teaching Realia are actual object, which have the purpose outside the classroom and can be used in the classroom. Meanwhile in the ESP classes, the word Realia means using real items found in everyday life as an aid to teaching English.

Realia are also used to connect learners with the key focal point of a lesson by allowing tactile and multidimensional connection between learned material and the object of the lesson. They are best utilized for simple objects lending themselves to classroom settings and ease of control with minimum risk of accident throughout the student object interaction.

Realia is consisting of actual objects or items facsimiles therefore which are used in the classroom as aid to facilitate language acquisition and production. Realia is an objects or activities used by teacher to demonstrate real life (particularly of peoples studied), objects that educators use to help students understand other cultures and real life circumstance, real things. [2] Realia or real items are useful for teaching and learning in the classroom. Objects that are intrinsically interesting can provide a good starting point for a variety of language work and communication activities. Realia also make learning process more enjoyable.

Realia is a term for any real, concrete object used in the classroom to create connections with vocabulary words, stimulate conversation, and build background knowledge. Realia gives students the opportunity to use all of their sense to learn about a given subject, and it is appropriate for any grade or skill level. When the real object is not available or impractical, teacher can use models or semi-concrete objects, such as photograph, illustrations, and artwork. Based on the explanation above, the writer concluded that Realia is one of media in teaching learning process, it is a real thing that can see, hear or touch directly. It makes students more interesting and easy to understand the lesson. [3]

Realia, authentic documents, and mass media are living daily proof of the value of language. Their authenticity, specialized vocabulary, reinforced grammatical structures, and topics of interest can help encourage interest in the target language and culture. They contain current language on all imaginable topics, and are not artificial or contrived. One of the most compelling reasons for using them is the teacher's involvement in selecting and adapting materials for classroom use. Mass media can help to dispel stereotypes. Realia such as maps and schedules often contain a minimum of language and reduce potential frustration: other kinds of Realia lend themselves well to demonstration. Educators differ on whether the materials should be used in their original in an adapted form. The instructor can prepare written materials to accompany the Realia, and can easily prepare audiovisual aids with it. One of the key advantages in using Realia is its direct link to culture, allowing attention to subtle and not-so-subtle differences between the target culture and our own. Newspapers, magazines, movie aids, mail-order catalogs, television commercials, the Yellow Pages, and souvenirs and other printed materials gathered in travel abroad or requested from other sources are examples of useful Realia.

Realia refer to real objects. Indeed authentic materials such as newspapers, magazines, catalogs, timetables, films designed for use in real life situations not for use as instructional tools. Realia and other authentic materials, including non-print mass media provide with range of printed and spoken messages that can be used as primary or secondary material in a foreign language classroom)

Realia is actual objects and items which are brought into the classroom as examples or as aids to be talked or written about and used in teaching. [4]

Based on the definition above we can say that Realia is one of visual authentic material which can be touched and seen to serve to facilitate for teaching to understand real life situations. Bringing Realia into English lessons is great icebreaker and serves as a useful tool to prompt conversation. It also takes some of the attention and pressure off you by concentrating the students’ mind on the object and word in question.

Many students have had bad experiences learning English at school, often remember their English lessons as being dull and repetitive. Using Realia and other visual aids will generate interest and help create an atmosphere conductive to learning.

To bring real life into the classroom we may teach a subject with flashcards or picture. However, if we bring realia students will be surprised and thrilled and will never forget this lesson. This is what the use of realia in the classroom is all about: the use of real life objects that students can touch, feel, and even smell to effectively teach ESL components.. [1] Using Realia in the ESP classroom serves to foster a more creative and active teaching-learning environment and promotes cultural understanding. Realia refers to the practice of using real, tangible things in the classroom to help our students connect with English on a different level. It involves visual, tactile and functional methods for teaching ideas, concepts, vocabulary or grammar. There are many ways to use Realia in teaching learning. In education, Realia include objects used by teacher to improve students' understanding of other cultures and real life situations. A teacher of a foreign language often employs Realia to strengthen students' associations between words for everyday objects and the objects themselves. There are many ways to use Realia, because it is useful for any topic of English lesson, however teachers can improve their creativity in teaching their students using Realia.

Actually, Realia is appropriate for any level of students, for beginner until advanced. This might be attributed to the fact that at this level, most students master a wide range of vocabulary in the target language and all of the structures. They also note that at lower levels, the use of authentic materials may cause students to feel de-motivated and frustrated since they lack many lexical items and structures used in the target language. Matsuata (n.d.) states that the use of authentic materials is a burden for the instructors teaching beginning students as they have to spend a lot of time to prepare for authentic materials regarding the ability level of the students. [5] Do all these mean we are not able to use authentic materials in lower-level classes apart from post-intermediate and advanced levels?

According to the findings of the survey carried out by Chavez (1998), learners enjoy dealing with authentic materials since they enable them to interact with the real language and its use. Also they do not consider authentic situations or materials innately difficult. However, learners state that they need pedagogical support especially in listening situations and when reading literary texts such as the provision of a full range of cues (auditory and visual including written language). There were many teachers have used Realia in teaching learning process. Here some examples the use of Realia in the classroom:

1) to illustrate and teach young learners vocabulary for animals, clothing, and fruit for example, using actual objects or facsimiles there of (pieces of clothing, toy animals, and plastic fruit). For transition period, it’s a very useful tool in making the abstract concrete.

2) bring in a number of objects from everyday life, such as fruit, utensils or articles of clothing. Sitting in a circle, pass one of the objects to the student on your left, saying the name of the object (for example: «tomato» or «sock») and then have the student pass on the object to the next one, speaking the word as well. Have students keep passing on the object, repeating its name, until it comes full circle back to teacher. Teacher may use photos of the objects instead of the actual objects themselves.

3) use an object, such as a ball, to teach prepositions of place like “on, under, above.” Place the ball on the table, and ask where it is. Elicit the reply “It’s on the table,” and so on.

4) write or print out recipes for work on the imperative. Read out the step by step recipe instructions and have the students mime them as you read them out.

5) this is suggested by television program hosts, who control conversations by the use of the microphone. Put students in groups, and give one student the microphone (imaginary, or a real microphone, disconnected, or something to represent a microphone). Say a group of six students are talking about 'holidays', the person with the microphone can move around the group giving different people the chance to speak, ensuring everyone gets an equal chance to contribute. [6]

From the explanation above, we analyzed that the implementation of Realia is useful for students; it makes them enjoy to learn. Realia is one of authentic material that can be used to teach students in any topic of lesson, from some examples above, it can use to teach vocabulary, grammar like preposition and imperative sentence and Realia also can be used to teach all four abilities. It is appropriate with this final project, because we concern on realia to improve students’ speaking, listening, writing, reading ability in the procedure of the lesson. The steps of implementation of Realia in improving ESP classes are: first, teacher prepares some material that needed to reach the goal. Second, the teacher shows the material to the students, and then asks them to mention the name of the material. Third, teacher explains the definition of procedure text, after that the teacher gives an example about a certain procedure text, then the teacher gives an example by demonstrating every steps using Realia.

By presenting information through authentic materials, realia helps to make English language input as comprehensible as possible and to build “an associative bridge between the classroom and the world”. [7] Realia can be used to teach specific grammar points, drills and speaking.There are several uses of real objects, as follows:

  1. Uses for presenting vocabulary.
  2. Uses for presenting new structures.
  3. To the students get into character when acting out dialogue doing role play.
  4. As props for dialogues and role play.
  5. Aids for various games.

Using realia stimulates the mind, and is one way of encouraging creativity by involving the senses. Realia saves time, as recognition of an object is immediate and so cuts out the need for lengthy explanations and drawing funny pictures on the board. That is why the students’ elicitation becomes much easier

Realia is a term for real things, concrete objects that are used in the classroom to built background knowledge and vocabulary. Realia is used to provide experiences on which to build and provide students with opportunities to use all the senses in learning. While using realia in the classroom is not always possible, it is usually the best choice if the student is to learn all they can about the topic. Realia allows the students to see, feel, hear and smell the object being explored.


  1. Jean-Pierre Berwald. 1987. Teaching Foreign Languages with Realia and other Authentic Materials. Eric. Center for applied linguistics. Washington. Autumn 2004
  2. The use of Realia to improve students speaking ability in procedure text. Erny Rokhmawati. Semarang. 2010.
  3. Jeremy Harmer, The Practice of English Language Teaching, (UK. 2002), p.140.
  4. Platt Richard & Platt, “Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics”. Longman: 1992. Essex
  5. Ferit Kilickaya, Authentic Materials and Cultural Content in EFL Classrooms, ( Turkey: Middle East Technical University), accessed from AutenticMaterial.html
  6. “How to Use Realia in ESP Lessons” /language-assistant/teaching-tips/realia
Основные термины (генерируются автоматически): ESP, EFL, ESL.


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