Number one for English language teachers

Using the news: reading 2

Type: Reference material

A news-based reading activity where the students do all the work.


Step 1

Distribute newspapers to pairs of students. Together they must look through them and find an article that is of interest to both of them and cut it out of the newspaper.

Aims

  • skimming and scanning

  • fostering cooperation

  • allowing for students to independently choose what they want to read (prepare to be surprised by their choices!)

Step 2

Students must read the article carefully (dictionaries are a great help at this stage, also teacher is on hand to explain any tricky vocabulary) and then write 5 – 10 questions about the article

Aims

  • intensive reading

  • vocabulary building

  • question writing

Step 3

Each pair of students teams up with another pair and swap articles and questions, students read and answer asking for help form the question setters where necessary, then the setters correct the answers to their questions.

Aims

  • peer teaching

  • reading for specific information

  • FUN

Create a class newspaper – a project

Having explored the theme of newspapers, students now get a chance to create their own.

With the class decide:

  • How long the project will take – a time limit and how much class time will be used must be decided in advance to avoid the activity dragging on and getting boring

  • How the newspaper will be presented – a wall display, in newspaper form or maybe even a videoed news programme

  • Who will do what – students choose who to work with, what kind of article to write, who will supply art work etc

  • The role of the teacher – provider of scissors and glue or editor in chief?

  • The readership – parents? Fellow students?

In my experience students have tended to create a spoof newspaper about the class – articled like ‘Jorge eats twenty burgers’ (about a student who likes fast food), ‘Maria dating Brad Pitt’ including a picture created with a picture of the star from a magazine and a photo of the student. Students who like to work alone have a chance to.

Aims

  • Consolidating language about the news

  • Creativity

  • Students with different skills and knowledge areas get a chance to use them

  • Team work

  • Writing and proof-reading

  • Art work / design

  • Producing a piece of work to be proud of

  • Cooperative learning

  • Fun

  • Allowing students to take responsibility for language learning  

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