Teach 4 English Skills with Listen to News
EnglishClub's weekly Listen to News has been designed both for use in the classroom and for use by individual learners. It's posted every Wednesday and features a short news story in easy English from the week before. Each lesson includes:
- pre-listening vocabulary list
- audio feed (downloadable)
- gap-fill exercise
- comprehension questions
- discussion question
Below you'll find ideas on how to use this resource as a whole-language tool on a weekly basis in your classroom. Whether you want to fill a one-hour class or a five-minute warm up, this is a useful teaching tool that will save you time and add variety to your lessons.
One way of using the weekly news in the classroom is to introduce a new story each week. If you don't have computers in the classroom, you can print out the page and download the audio. Alternatively, you can send a few students to a computer lab as a time-filler if they have finished a classroom task ahead of others. You can also assign the weekly news as a self-study exercise or homework for learners who need extra listening practice. Below you'll see a breakdown of how to test the four major language skills using this resource. At the start of each month you may want to use the published quiz to test your class on vocabulary and comprehension from the four or five stories that were covered the month before.
- Preread transcript blanks.
- Review any challenging vocabulary.
- Assign further research on the story by having students do an online news search on the topic.
- Pre-listening: Have students guess what words might fit in the blanks.
- Listen to the audio three times. (First to get the gist. Second to fill in the gaps. Third to check answers.)
- Put students in pairs and have them practise acting like newscasters.
- Encourage students to use expressive voices when reading news reports out loud.
- Practise pronunciation with any words students are collectively having difficulty with.
- Have a class debate or discussion based on the discussion question.
- After further online news research (see reading ideas), have students share other details they learned about the story. Discuss any conflicting reports.
- Have students write full sentences (on the board or in a notebook) answering the comprehension questions. Teach students how to paraphrase the information rather than write word-for-word answers.
- Use student mistakes to teach grammar points.
- Have students write an essay or written response based on the discussion question.
- Create a short weekly quiz that tests vocabulary and comprehension of each story.
- Create an end-of-month quiz that tests vocabulary and comprehension from all of the stories.
- If your students have a MyEnglishClub page, invite them to post a blog about the news story that was most interesting during the month.