Using Newspapers To Reinforce The Four Language Skills
Using Newspapers to Reinforce
‘ the Four Language Skills
By William M. Balsamo
Kenmei Women's Junior College
‘ Why the newspaper? :
I Current issues are discussed
I Many photos to motivate discussion
I Varied format and featured articles
I Easy to access
I Material is not expensive
Types of features in
a. Letters to the editor
b. Crossword puzzles
c. Weather grids
e. Sports articles
f. Advice columns
j. Home Entertainment (TV and radio schedules)
k. Theater reviews
I. want Ads
Types of features in
m. Music articles
n. Science Articles
o. Movie reviews
p. Interviews of famous people
Other public printed sources
‘ sources for teaching Materials:
a. Weekly news magazines. (e. g. Time, Newsweek, etc. )
b. In-Flight Magazines
c. Travel Brochures
f. Signs found in the street
I Cut out articles and pictures from newspapers of the last
week (15 pictures are sufﬁcient for a 90 minute class)
I Separate pictures from articles, headlines and captions
I Make a collage of onlythe pictures
I Makes a second collage of only the headlines and
I Created a worksheet for notes and student response
I NOTE: This takes time. It usually takes me about 3 hours
to prepare these sheets
Divide the class into groups of two or three.
(Students can also work independently)
” Distribute the prepared sheets of picture
collages and headlines.
Silent work: Have students match the
headlines with the pictures. (20 minutes)
Have the students discuss the material with
the other members of the group.
I After students have joined headlines to pictures
distribute an evaluation sheet to each group and have
them judge the news.
a. which was the most important International news?
b. which was the least important International news?
c. Which was the most important domestic news?
d. which was the least important domestic news?
e. which news stories were optimistic?
f. which news stories were pessimistic?
e. which new idioms and vocabulary words did you learn
from the headlines?
‘ Additional activities (1)
I Use Headlines and eliminate the main verb.
Have students guess the missing verb from the
I Use the headlines and ask students to rewrite
them into full sentences.
I Cut out quotes from the news and match them
with the people who said them.
I Cut out headlines from a newspaper written in
their native language and ask the students to
translate then into English
‘ Additional Activities (2)
I Make a tape of a news story (either audio or
video) from TV and read about the same
incident in the newspaper. Compare them.
How are they similar? How are they different?
What's the difference between TV news and
I Have students read an article written in their
native language from their local newspaper.
Then ﬁnd the same article in an English
Language newspaper and compare.
/-iclcli'tiona / -c'tivi'ties (3)
Make a list of acronyms which appear in a newspaper and
discover their meanings. Note: An acronym is a short
word which is made from the ﬁrst letters of a roup of
words: 1'l'EFL is an acronym for Teaching Eng Ish as a
E. g. BOJ, HQ, NATO, UNESCO, NASA etc. ,
Take a cartoon strip (about four ictures) and white out
the bubbles. Have the students ill in their own story OR
give them the words of the bubbles in non-sequenced
order and have them ﬁll in the cartoon.
/ /el: )si'tes for the news
1 1. National Public Radio
wvvw. npr. org
2. Voice of America
www. voa news. com
3. AJR Newslinks
www. ajrnews. com
4. The Drudge Report
www. drudgereport. com