Before leaving on my trip back to the States I was really looking forward to getting away from it all. I never expected that I would suddenly be obsessed with the search for authentic materials. However, in planning the trip I started to consider what I wanted to bring back to Japan. The list of things for the classroom started getting longer than the personal items. So, before leaving I listed all the materials I would try to look for. Nothing big, nothing heavy and nothing expensive became the rule.
Where to look
First, I had to categorize what I wanted based on what I knew I could probably find easily. The airport and plane of course are an excellent source of such material. Among others on my ‘shopping list’ were; airport information guides (San Francisco International Airport was a great resource, while my final destination, Boston was not), menus (small shops inside shopping malls were an excellent source of simple one page menus that you could take home and could be easily used in the classroom). Not only were the proprietors willing to have you take them, they also turned out be useful for in-class activities. Information desks around the city offered a wide variety of information that was free and could be used in classroom activities. Continue reading