How to Use Newspapers in an ESL Classroom
Posted by UNI-Prep Institute - 11 Sep. 2017 - Teaching Articles

There are many free resources that ESL teachers can use in the classroom. Using newspapers is one of the easiest ways to engage your students. Newspapers deal in what's happening now, providing motivation for reading and discussion. The activities are extremely flexible and adaptable. They also contain practical vocabulary and the best models of clear, concise writing.

1. Give students an article and ask them to look for something. 

Using newspapers can help students learn how to read and look for information. They can read an article and look for the meaning or main idea. Student can skim read the articles as well looking for specific vocabulary, phrases or grammar topics that have been covered in class. They can also look at the article and find new vocabulary. 

2. Arranging in sequence 

This is a great activity to get students thinking about the structure of an article and how to put things in order when writing. You give the students and article but you mix up the paragraphs. You then ask the students to put the article in the correct sequence. Student might struggle with this at first however eventually with practice they will be able to understand different writing structures. 

3. Read and summarize 

Asking students to read a short article and then summarize it in their own words is a great way to check and see if student can read as well as understand what they have read. Students can present their articles to the class in their own words. It also teacher students how to paraphrase or summarize things they have read. This activity works well with reported speech. 

4. Students choose articles that interest them 

You can give your students newspapers and ask them to look through them. Then ask students to find articles on topics that interest them. They can choose a couple of articles. What they will do with the articles is read them and get to understand what they are all about. Then you can choose a student each day or once or twice a week to present their article to the class. Ask the student to bring the article and give each person in the class a copy. They are to explain the article and why they chose it. They can also explain any vocabulary or phrases. 

5. Scavenger hunt 

This is a fun game that you can play with your class using newspapers. You give each group of students a newspaper and a list of things to find. You can ask students to find various words, certain tenses and punctuation. The first group to finish or the group that has found the most things in the allotted time wins. 

Newspapers are an inexpensive and interesting way to make an ESL classroom fun. They can really engage students. Newspapers are a great tool to help student find new vocabulary. Using them can be fun but remember it does take some planning. 

Beginner, Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper-intermediate, Advanced,
Primary school (ages 5-10), Middle school (ages 11-14), High school (ages 15-18), Adult (18+),
General English, Business English,

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