About ESL News Stories
ESL News Stories is a site for learners of English and their teachers. Students of English can benefit from making connections to real-world events through the language they are learning. We take interesting stories from around the world and reproduce them here in our own words and with fewer English language challenges. Additionally, we create activities to help students learn the vocabulary, appreciate the meaning of the text better, and practice speaking.
Each article is followed by links to a printable PDF. It includes warm-up and pre-reading or pre-listening activities, the article, and then activities to help with comprehension, retention, and to encourage discussion. Alternatively, the page could be printed via the browser function if all you want is the article, vocabulary, and discussion questions.
There are several ways this material can be used. Motivated students may use the lessons in solo fashion by focusing on the reading, vocabulary, and comprehension activities. Regular reading at a comprehensible level is a great way for students to improve. The levels that the articles are suitable for will vary from low-intermediate to high-intermediate. Students may also use the material in groups. Whether with a discussion focus or by using the other activities, most of the material accompanying each article has a communicative component. Finally, teachers can also use the website or printable PDF and guide students through the lessons.
Abbreviations are used in the vocabulary sections. In case you're not familiar with them, their meanings are as follows: n = noun, v = verb, adj = adjective, prep = preposition, phr. v = phrasal verb, adv = adverb, pl = plural, sb = somebody, sth = something.
One of these articles should easily provide enough material for a fifty-minute class, especially if enough time is taken at each stage. For a talkative class, the webpage content might suffice. Other groups, especially weaker ones, could benefit from the more robust worksheet and its extra activities. Some or all of the following would fill a lesson:
- Have students predict the article's content based on the given vocabulary or the title
- Make sure students have some form of warm-up discussion, preferably in pairs
- You might have students read the article silently first and highlight challenging vocabulary to be worked through as a group
- Reading aloud can be a chance to find difficult pronunciation or to guide students on how sounds flow together in English
- After the article, there are activities to re-enforce new vocabulary or comprehension
- Finally, there will always be a discussion for which students should be encouraged to have natural conversations and follow those conversations wherever they may lead
- At the end of the lesson, a teacher might offer correction, go over newly acquired information, or suggest related homework such as writing on the topic or with the new vocabulary