Thursday, 16 April 2015

Current Events - Reading the News

We always try to make learning relevant and up to date. One way to achieve this, alongside to reading and writing, is reading the news. However, the regular English and American news websites are too challenging for many pupils.

The websites I present bring the news in an easier language that our students can deal with. The stories are up to date and the students enjoy reading them, because they feel that unlike textbooks, the texts are relevant and new. 

You can use the computers room, smartphones or give that task as homework. 

A very simple activity in my classroom looks like this:
  1. Go to the website
  2. Choose one of the level 2 articles and read it. 
  3. write
  • What is the article about? 
  • What are the most important details? 
  • Why is this "news"? 
  • Write 3 questions that have no answers in the article. 
  • Copy 3 new words and translate them. 
The work can be done in teams, so that every member has to contribute one question. They can present the article in front of the class as a summary activity. 

A daily updating website with stories in three levels. You can choose a subject and a level, There are also exercises to practice after reading. The exercises can be downloaded and printed. Some of the news stories are written and some are on video. 

This website offers current texts in 7 different levels. The texts can be read and listened to. There are also handouts (work pages) and mini lessons with pre- and post- reading activities. The activities can be downloaded and printed.

BBC Learning English - Words in the News - 2015
BBC Learning English - Words in the News - up to 2014
These two pages in the "BBC Learning English" website present video stories as well as written articles and audio texts. The texts are marded with different levels of reading. You can download both the audio and the pdf version of the texts to your computers or mobile devices. Each text is accompanied by exercises and explanation of difficult vocabulary. 

Here is an example of an audio report:press the picture.

You may comment on this post, make further suggestions for using the news in our classrooms, and offer more websites that you know and like. 

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