Using News-Basics with ESL Students
Intermediate and advanced ESL students should be able to read the articles on News-Basics, and may find the content very engaging. Here are some ideas for using this site with your ESL students:
• Before assigning them to read an article, provide them with a list of vocabulary words. You can include the definitions, or ask them to look up the words themselves.
• Before they read an article, have a class discussion about the topic. What do the students know about it already? Do they have questions they’d like to learn the answers to?
• After reading the article, have a follow-up discussion. What did they learn that interested them most? Did they learn anything that surprised them, or contradicted what they thought?
• Assign them to read one or two of the opinion pieces (each article includes links under “Opinions”), and respond with a short, informal essay. Do they agree with the writer? Why, or why not?
• Test the students on the vocabulary words, for both spelling and meaning. Test them on spelling by reciting the words and having them write them on paper; and test their knowledge of the words’ meaning by letting them match a list of words with a list of definitions.
• As a writing exercise, have the students create a 10-question quiz about the article, including the correct answers. (Sample quizzes are provided on this website: see the page entitled “News Quizzes.”)
• Advanced students should be able to take the News Quizzes on articles they have read. They can refer to the article as they take the quiz. (For the correct answers, send an email here; we’ll send back a full set of quizzes with answers provided.)
• For more lesson ideas, see the other pages listed under “For Teachers.”
If you can suggest other ways to use News-Basics with ESL students, please share them by sending an email here. We’ll post the best ideas, and credit you by name, if you like.