Authenticity in the Teaching of ESP: An Evaluation Proposal

María Luisa Pérez Cañado, Ana Almagro Esteban


Although authentic materials are a very rich source for the selection of teaching materials in the field of ESP (English for Specific Purposes) in general and of Business English in particular, the ultimate purpose should be authentic communication between the text (oral or written) and its recipient as a result of the interpretation brought to the text by the latter. To speak of authenticity implies therefore a dual focus: that of “authentic material” and that of “authenticity”. The literature in the field is vast and deserves an in-depth analysis, as in many cases the previous terms are treated as synonyms. Thus, an original proposal for the evaluation of authenticity is called for, an aspect rarely considered in the evaluation of teaching materials. This proposal will build upon a review of the literature on authenticity, as well as on the most important proposals for the evaluation of teaching materials. The proposal set forth in this paper is completed with a checklist which integrates the consideration of the inherent characteristics in the material being evaluated, together with the teacher’s view on this score.

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