Dealing with Different Levels
The students of all levels can make use of English Newspapers. For beginners, the bold print headlines, advertisement captions, symbols and graphic pictures which are comprehensible can communicate information.
At the intermediate level, newspapers expose the students to even more challenging exercises and more complex sentences and content.
The students at an advanced level can make use of newspapers by skimming some articles, reading the story part and special columns.
Newspapers offer help for the targeted age group to improve their vocabulary skills.
Different kinds of columns in the newspapers such as advertisements, classified sections, stories, editorial section, and reports serve as good examples for writing skill. These items help also to improve social accountability, critical thinking, etc.
Ingenious Activities with Newspapers
With the recent developments in technology, the information that newspapers cover has also become broader and richer.
At the same time, the language used in the newspaper has become more trendy and appealing.
The teachers can frame exercises to enhance reading comprehension, creativity skills, writing skills, grammar skills, vocabulary skills, etc.
In addition to the above-said methods that were followed so far in ESL education, I would like to add my suggestions to make teaching-learning through newspapers even more interesting.
Fun with Parts of Speech
When taking classes on parts of speech, teach the students the definitions of all parts of speech and give them newspapers and point out a particular article and ask them to underline the different parts of speech used in the passage using different colors.
Taking a part of the news piece from the newspaper and reading it aloud in the classroom makes students familiar with the new words and their pronunciation.
Writing Skill/Flow of Language
Ask your students to turn to the sports section in the newspaper and ask them to write a brief summary of a sports activity of their interest.
The details given below will help the students in their writing skill and improve their language fluency.
Ø TITLE OF THE ARTICLE
Ø NAME OF THE SPORT
Ø FAVORITE PLAYER NAME
Ø TEAM NAMES AND THEIR SCORES
Matching the Headlines and the Story
Give the students a few headlines from the newspapers and a list of short lines taken from the articles and ask them to match the headlines with the short lines (sentences) given.
Fill in the Blanks
Give the students a photocopy of the article they have just read, leaving some blanks for selected words and ask them to fill in the words in the given text.
This will improve vocabulary skills:
Choose a comic section from the newspaper allotting the students a role related to that and ask them to perform.
This will improve the speaking skill of the learners.
Give the students an article from the newspaper and ask them to write a report on that piece.
This will definitely hone their writing skills.
Ask the students to imagine that they are movie advertisers who are in charge of promoting a new movie.
Give the example of a movie from the entertainment column from the newspaper and ask them to design an advertisement that will be apt for promoting the movie.
Even with the availability of the Internet, making use of physical newspapers in ESL classroom is quite interesting to witness.
Involvement makes the student learn and this is proved when newspapers are used.
The teachers should encourage the students to read newspapers daily in order to hone their language skills.
We need to remember that newspapers have always been a valuable resource for language teachers and learners alike.