Using the newspaper in the classroomHada Shamma
It has been called the living textbook and has been the most widely used medium as a teaching instrument
- At the beginning of each class, the local headlines can be opened for students to see and a quick 10 minutes can be spent skimming and scanning through major news stories. Reading the newspaper with the students affords them the opportunity to practice not only their reading skills but to review vocabulary and familiarize themselves with repetitive grammatical structures and practice speaking. Additionally and ultimately, the purpose is to expose students to current events and enrich their world background knowledge which is required to be able to answer many of the writing and speaking questions tested in the IELTS exam. Many students clam that they have few ideas with which to write or speak. Those students who have been exposed to newspaper headlines on a daily basis have a larger pool of world knowledge than those who don’t.
- The information available in newspapers covers:
- Current events
- The launch of new products,
- The launch of new initiatives / laws
- The openings of tourist attractions / projects
- Latest happenings in the economy
- Social Issues
- Health / lifestyle trends
- Entertainment news
- Awareness campaigns
They can be up to date on the latest occurrences, devices, laws, initiatives in the country and world. The instructor can ask why this new initiative has taken place or why this educational campaign is launched, thus prompting conversation on problems and solutions that deal with the economy, social and health issues. This in turn promotes critical thinking. They learn more about their own country and the world revealing information that otherwise would not have known. When an article is opened, it is an opportune time to show the connecting words they need to know and the punctuation after such words and sentence construction in general, as newspapers offer a clear, concise model of writing. Ask students to find the parallel items, i.e, nouns, verbs, adjectives before and after (and) and (as well as). Much of the vocabulary they need to know appears in newspaper articles. Additionally, they offer opportunity for students to learn the meaning of words in context.
Newspapers can bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world, are extremely flexible and adaptable to different levels and the instructors can target those structures and vocabulary that need to be brought to students’ attention. Overall, it can be used as a backdrop for further learning activities.