Considerations when using unedited Wikipedia articles in class because:
- They are often unevenly edited. The fact that different paragraphs, sentences or even words have been added by people from all walks of life and of different nationalities will mean they are not always good examples of correct English usage and, even when edited by native English speakers, several spelling or grammar errors may arise. This may, of course, make for useful authentic material when teaching higher-level students or ESP courses for translators, with activities such as copyediting and/or correcting mistakes, etc.
- Even when they are well written, they are encyclopedia articles. While this is acceptable written English, it might not be a register that you would want your students to emulate under "normal" circumstances.
- Simple Wikipedia (http://simple.wikipedia.org) is written in simple English, similar to Plain English, which may be useful in some classes.
- See here for suggestions for using Wikipedia as part of a topical class.