Teaching with the news

Want to make your English learning teaching more exciting and versatile? Teaching and learning English with the news can be fun and engaging. This article will tell you how you can adopt the practice of learning English from the daily news articles we come across in newspapers and online forums.

Are you on the lookout for new teaching techniques to impart good quality English language skills? I bet it is tough to keep your classes engaging and entertaining without some unique and innovative teaching methods. English is somewhat a natural language to learn. However, it would help if you make it exciting and interactive to help students grasp the language faster by adopting innovative techniques. 

Teaching English from the news is a tried and tested technique of imparting the various facets of the English language like vocabulary, grammar, context, etc. In this post, we will explore all the benefits and effective ways you can adopt to teach language using the daily news write-ups and articles. You will learn different means of engaging and promoting the participation of students to make sure your students get the most from this learning technique.


learn with the news

Selecting the right articles (lol)

Choosing the correct articles is of prime importance, consider the following points while choosing the content for language classes.

Relevant topics – Always choose topics that will serve as areas of interest to the students. Now, this can vary based on the age, learning level, and overall interest of a particular batch. This will need some experience in teaching the batch you are dealing with. For instance, a beginner level candidate should not be given an article with a lot of technical jargon and complex sentences. Also, make sure you avoid sensitive or controversial topics. The students should be able to connect to the topic easily.

Length of the article – Keep in mind not to select articles that are quite lengthy. For many beginners, it might be challenging to read lengthy articles in a second language. You are at liberty to edit the articles before you assign it to your students for reading. Keep the content you feel has the necessary attributes to help students get the basics of the language. 

Content should contain good lexical content – Make sure the content has the right mix of the verbal set, grammar, etc. This will help students to learn most aspects of the language from these articles.

Design realistic tasks based on the articles – select the content based on its viability for tasks. Specific articles may be such that they are ideal for reading; some can be good for grammar practice. Set the tasks after knowing the suitability of the content.

Scope of the content – understand if the content provides any scope for practicing the language. Can the content be used for debates, discussions among the students? Is there room for a role play?

learning with the news

What tasks can you design with the news articles?

There is ample room for coming up with interesting and innovative tasks for the students to help them nail the language nuances in a more fun and entertaining way. While designing the tasks, it is also important to make sure the activities are kept simple and achievable. You do not want students to lose interest in the tasks owing to its complexity.

Predicting content from the headlines – This is the most common task that most teachers come up with to help students understand and interpret the language. Choosing the most current headlines will make it easy for the students to comprehend it. You can give them the headlines and ask them to write the story behind it. This will not only help in improving their language but also promote their thinking in English.

Reading out the article – This is yet another task that is usually given to improve the pronunciation and develop speaking skills of the languages. Try and include those headlines that have new words that can help improve the vocabulary.

Summarizing articles – Students can come up with short descriptions or notes of the articles. This promotes sentence formation, simplifying complex sentences, and also tests the grammatical skills in forming sentences. 

Role plays of interviews – Students can come up with role plays of interviews. Role-plays can be effective ways of promoting question formation, developing speaking skills, and instilling confidence in the students. 

Grammar tasks – Identifying the voice, tense, use of complex sentences, identifying the parts of speech from the articles can be considered for the basic level of learning. 

Vocabulary – Many tasks can be designed by using vocabulary as the main theme. For instance, the students can come up with words that fit a certain headline. You can also give them a list of words and ask them to choose the ones that fit into the content of a certain headline.

Story prediction from the picture – this can be at the advanced levels of learning. Students will get a picture from the news and be asked to caption the picture and come up with a short description of the content.

Read the story and come up with questions – to promote the question formation, teachers can give students an entire storyline and ask them to come up with open end and closed end questions for the content in the article.

Finding the meanings of difficult words – You can ask students to guess the meanings of the difficult words in the article. Towards the end of the session, they can check the meanings of the words with the dictionary. 

Writing with the news

  • Conclusion

Students and teachers often love this teaching approach due to its simplicity and usability. You do not have to own expensive literature or big books to help you reach an ideal proficiency level with the language. Using the current affairs in the language exercises also keeps them updated on the current happenings around them. News articles often use simple and easy to comprehend language, which is an excellent way to learn and practice speaking English. It also offers a lot of scopes to design n number of learning and activities around the content.

Here are some sites you can use to find the perfect news articles for your classroom;