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Breaking News: Newspapers
Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will explore several elements of newspapers through vocabulary introduction, comprehension practice, reading, and speaking about national publications as well as personal newspaper-reading habits and opinions. The lesson begins with an introduction to the newspaper, using several visual examples, followed by a brief discussion in pairs about students' newspaper-reading habits. A short reading about News Corporation leads to students to true or false questions (completed individually) with peer checking and group feedback. Terminology is first presented through a mind map with elicitation of further related vocabulary from students, who also provide explanations to peers as necessary. A three-part controlled practice exercise consists of a vocabulary list discussed in pairs/groups with peer explanations, a brief reading to answer two content questions, and one fill-in-the-blank with new vocabulary and peer checking. A final semi-controlled pairs/group discussion centers on six questions about newspapers in the students' home country and their own opinions of their content. Finally, there is a freer speaking practice where students, in groups or pairs, discuss one of two issues about current newspaper production (these groups are self-selecting by discussion topic and the performance of this exercise is dependent on the timing of the session).


Abc News Corp. short text
Abc Photographs of newspapers

Main Aims

  • Vocabulary: introduction to and practice of real-world terms and meanings

Subsidiary Aims

  • Reading: for gist and specific information (in two different exercises) Speaking: freer practice for fluency and personal expression


Warm-up/Lead-in (12-14 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

WELCOME and re-introductions (names) SEATING into horseshoe WARM-UP / LEAD-IN: * Show in horseshoe and post on WB photographic montage of British newspapers (printed from internet). Elicit topic of the lesson by asking, while showing the image, "What is today's topic?" * Show in horseshoe and post on WB front pages from three newspapers (printed from the internet). Brief discussion elicited from Qs on handout to w/c: - "Do you like to read newspapers? - Do you read one EVERY day? Why or why not? - Can you believe what you read in newspapers? - Do you think it's hard for a journalist to write the truth? What pressures or influences get in the way? - When you see the words "Breaking News" or "News Flash" in the middle of a TV program are you interested? - What news is more interesting to you: a) a scandal about a famous person, or b) a report on anti-government protests in Turkey?" Instruction: "In pairs [which T indicates], discuss the issues above. You have 3 minutes." W/c: "What was different about your answers from your partner's?" As w/c, a final Q to lead into reading exercise: "What do you know about newspapers in other countries?" * "Did You Know?" reading and True/False questions, mainly about Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and its ownership of media worldwide. Check answers in pairs/3s. Instruction: "Working alone, read the short passage under the photograph and answer the true/false questions." (When finished) "Check your answers in your same pair or group." * FB: any surprises? * W/c discussion of two questions following "Did You Know?": Who owns the newspapers and TV stations in Turkey? Which TV station do you think gives the best news coverage?

Exposure (9-10 minutes) • To provide context for the target language through a text or situation

FOCUS ON VOCABULARY * Teacher draws mind map on WB with "newspaper" in the middle. Spokes lead to subheadings in circles: "people who work on newspapers," "things in a newspaper," "sections of a newspaper," and "words to describe newspapers." * Assign categories to pairs or 3s. Students brainstorm words in one or two categories, one student acting as secretary. Instructions: "Each pair/3 will have one/two categories. Brainstorm some words that fit into the categories. Pick someone to be secretary. You have three minutes." * Secretary writes words on mind map on WB. * Checking of word placement and meaning (with peer-to-peer explanations as necessary)

Controlled Practice (10-12 minutes) • To provide extend the target language through vocabulary and reading practice

FOCUS ON VOCABULARY—MEANING * Distribute vocabulary list for pair/3s discussion of meaning and peer-to-peer explanations Instructions: "Discuss these vocabulary words in your group. If someone does not understand a term, explain it to them." W/c: "Are any words giving you trouble?" "Can someone come up and show me the headline in the examples on the board?" * T puts two reading Qs on WB: "Which two newspapers is this text about? What the main differences between these these two newspapers?" * Distribute short text and read (2 minutes) for two general items of information only (Qs on WB). Follow with peer check. Instructions: "Read this text quickly to find the answers to the two questions on the WB. You have one minute." * ICQ: Are you going to fill in the gaps?" * W/c FB * In pairs/3s students work to fill in the gaps with words from vocabulary list. T posts three answers keys on walls. As a pair or group finishes, they can check their answers against the answer keys, which have been posted on the walls of the classroom. This group then checks with other pairs/groups as timing of each group finishing the task dictates. Instructions: "Now pairs/3s fill in the gaps with the words from the vocabulary list. If someone in your pair or group does not understand a term, explain it to them." * W/c FB: are there any words that are not clear? * CCQ: [Student name], what does circulation mean? [Different student name], What is a quality newspaper?

Semi-Controlled Practice (5-6 minutes) • To concept check further and prepare students for free practice

DISCUSSION * Students in pairs/3s will discuss six questions about newspapers in their home country (in all cases in this group, Turkey) on a handout. The questions are: 1) Which are the most popular quality newspapers in your country? 2) Which paper do you think has the best international news coverage? What about local news? 3) Are there any daily newspapers like The Sun? 4) Which newspapers are considered right wing or left wing? 5) Which newspaper do you read? How often? 6) What kinds of articles do you find most interesting? Instructions: "In pairs/3s, discuss the six questions." ICQ: "Are you going to write anything down?" * W/c FB: what did you or your partner *disagree* about?

Freer Practice (3-4 minutes) • To provide students with free practice of the target language

CONVERSATION (if time allows) * Students will select one of two questions from the WB and work in these self-selecting groups to discuss an issue related to newspaper/media. The two questions: - Many newspapers are now available to read on the internet. Do you think print newspapers are still necessary? Why or why not? - Some owners of multiple media outlets have great influence in government. One example is Rupert Murdoch, who we read about today. Do you think media owners should have such power? Why or why not? Instructions: "Choose the question on the WB that interests you most and stand next to it." Once grouped, "You have three minutes to discuss this issue with your group." * W/c FB: what did you learn about your partner(s)?

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