One way to incorporate authentic text in the EFL classroom is to use Newspapers with students. Furthermore, should teachers be located in a country where English newspapers are limited, then the internet is also available to access newspaper articles. However, the issue for many teachers is how they should use newspaper articles in the classroom so that it is accessible and comprehensible for learners. In this post, we look at Five Ways to Use Newspapers in the EFL Classroom.
I made a video based upon the five ideas and you can watch it below but I have also written up explanatory notes to accompany the video. I hope this helps and do not forget to Subscribe and Like the video.
1. What’s The Story
- Before the start of the lesson, find images from newspapers or popular news websites. Print them out and laminate them if you wish.
- Stick them up around the classroom and get turner to wander around, looking at the images for a few minutes.
- Once students have finished walking around the classroom, students then are paired up or placed into small groups. They discuss what they already know about the news stories from the images and share their ideas together.
- Elicit possible news stories from the learners and then once you have boarded up their ideas, tell them that you will give them the news articles. They must match the images to the article that they read.
- Once all students have matched their article to the image, they could share something new that they had learnt from it.
- You could extend the activity with idea number five below.
2. Guess The Article
- Select an interesting or odd news article for this activity, preferably an article which is engaging.
- Write up eight key words from the article and tell learners that they need to predict the story.
- Put students into small groups of three or four.
- Monitor learners and help them complete their story.
- Student present to the class and then you provide feedback and correction where necessary.
- Once finished, students compare their own stories to the original news article.
3. Matching Headlines, Images & Articles
- Newspaper articles, particularly those online, have an image included with it. To combine all elements of a news article, teachers could use the headline, image and article to make an engaging and rewarding activity.
- Choose between three and four news articles. Cut up the headlines, images and text and laminate them.
- Place students into small groups: one group with just the headlines, one group with images and the other group with just the main text.
- For students with headlines, they must think about the story and a possible image that they could draw. The group with an image of the article should think of a headline and a possible story for it. The final group of students with the article could think of a headline or a corresponding image to go with it.
- Each group of learners spend a bit of time brainstorming possible corresponding headlines, images or articles depending on what they have.
- Once students have finished and you have helped where necessary, tell students that they must check their ideas by matching headlines, images and articles together.
- Monitor and assist where necessary.
4. Headline Extensions
- Tell students that you are going to distribute different headlines to each small group of learners and they must work together to expand the news article just from the headline.
- You could give an example as a demonstration of a headline and mention that important people are referred to as their surname and articles are dropped and the rule of tenses is different.
- Write up “Trump Meets Queen” and elicit possible meanings, asking learners to write a full sentence. Board up something along the lines of “Donald Trump met the Queen”.
- Now write up “Trump To Meet Queen” and ask what the difference is. Elicit that the tense refers to the future in this form. Ask students to write up the whole sentence on the whiteboard: “Donald Trump is going to meet the Queen”.
- Hand out different headlines and ask students to write up full sentences from the headlines.
- Once you have elicited possible examples, and provided support where necessary, get students to complete the story as much as possible in small groups.
- Review the original story to the students’ examples and ask them to check to see how close their predictions were.
5. Student Questions
- Now this activity is best combined with some of the ideas suggested above and offers an excellent opportunity to review articles.
- Give students a newspaper article to read in small groups or pairs.
- Tell students that they are going to read the article in greater detail and create comprehension questions based upon the article.
- Students could have different articles or the same article – it is up to you.
- The small groups or pairs of students work together for a short period of time and they must make some comprehension questions. Normally, I set a minimum of 10 questions but you may increase or decrease this depending upon the size of the article.
- Once students have made their corresponding questions, and have written them on a piece of paper, redistribute the questions and article to another group.
- The other group must then answer the corresponding questions.
What are your favourite newspaper activities? What other activities would you recommend with newspapers? Do you think that you could use newspaper articles with teenagers? Why or why not?