12 Lessons based on the Newspapers
Carolyn Hunter and Janice McNearney (1988) has framed a series of 12 lessons based on the newspapers for their foundation course.
Bill Graham’s “The Tutor’s Toolbox” (1996) contains twenty-five useful techniques for teaching literacy. One of those techniques uses the newspaper for minor reading practices.
In some cases, individual newspapers have their own programs and activities for English learners.
According to Chandler (1988), newspapers like “The Tulsa World” introduced a program called ‘Read up’ that combined the use of daily newspaper with the telephone hotline to help the students to develop their reading skills.
The Palm Beach Post newspaper provided a workplace literacy program that conducted six classes under three different programs, namely, Adult Basic Foundation, English as a Second Language, and High School Equivalency in preparation for the diploma programs.
Aiex, Nola Kortner in his article “Newspapers as a Teaching Resource for Adult Learners”, discusses the various methods of using newspapers to make the students learn:
Ø Using words from the newspaper headlines, ads, sports news or comics as elements to
Ø Supplement the teaching.
Ø Using new stories to teach them grammar.
Ø Asking the students to frame a report on events and happening in class or in school.
The Use of Newspapers Remains Stable
According to the research was done by the leading provider of English sources, Kaplan International College has reported that 75% of ESL classrooms support the students in improving their language skills using newspapers.
Surprisingly, it is good to see that newspapers are still in use to supplement the lecture method in spite of having technically equipped classrooms with electronic gadgets such as laptops, i-pads, E-books, etc.
The report adds that the use of the newspaper is still a success because it is cost-effective and portable.
Kaplan has undertaken a survey from teachers belonging to 40 different countries and the result reveals that “The New York Times” was the leading newspaper (17%) followed by the British dailies such as The Times (16%), The Guardian (12%), The Metro (1%) and The Daily Mail (6%).
Newspapers as an Effective Teaching Tool
Grundy (1993), in his book “Newspapers” points out that most of our conversation or discussion are based on the knowledge we get through by reading newspapers.
Hence, he suggests that “newspapers ought to be seen to some degree as the incidental stimulus to a wide range of communicative, integrated activities” (Grundy 8).
The use of newspaper on a daily basis will help the students to develop their habit of intensive and extensive reading.
In the Indian context newspapers like “The Hindu”, “The Indian Express” and “The Times of India” are very popular among the English learners as they have individual columns which help them to sharpen their skills.
The students in both urban and semi-metro areas show interest in reading English newspapers.
The urban students show more interest in reading English newspapers when compared to students from rural areas.
The circulation of English newspapers in rural parts is not widespread.
Even though English newspapers may arrive one day later after its date of publication in big cities, newspapers are still the best prop for learning English as these carry valuable information and content in a standard style that can be used in ESL education.
The main advantages of using newspapers as a prop in the ESL classroom are:
Ø Newspapers offer students materials to read and discuss in English.
Ø Newspapers improve students’ interest to use the English language.
Ø Newspapers appeal to all grade levels.
Ø Newspapers promote a better understanding of words.
Ø Newspapers offer less expensive learning materials.
Ø Newspapers help the teachers to introduce innovative and interesting methods in teaching.