USING VINTAGE POP CULTURE IN THE ESL CLASSROOM

S. Roney1, J. Allan2

1Jubail Industrial College (SAUDI ARABIA)
2HSBC (CANADA)
This paper makes the case for using vintage popular culture multimedia use in the ESL classroom, and suggests some practical guidelines for doing so. It suggests specific criteria for selecting such materials, offers a list of useful sites on the Internet for finding suitable media, and suggests how these materials might be presented in the classroom.

Besides the value of multimedia in engaging all senses in the learning and remembering process, popular culture materials are intrinsically motivational. They promote L2 cultural literacy, hence reading and listening fluency. They are expressions of the emerging world culture of which English has become the lingua franca, and good models of real usage. We argue, however, for using vintage or classic materials rather than the most current and “relevant” pop artifacts, for a variety of reasons. Only one of these is the issue of copyright: as we will demonstrate, with vintage materials, the materials designer has a vast array of free multimedia material available at his or her fingertips.