Teachers today use various methods and ways to teach their students. Different technologies are also being used in the classrooms to make the teaching learning process more effective. Moreover, various media mediums are also used among which newspaper is used by teachers to teach English.
You must be wondering that why newspapers as they are the oldest medium of communication and children might get bored by reading and studying through newspapers.
Though newspapers are old, boring, and textual but they are one of the best method a teacher can use to teach English to her students. Teachers can enhance the reading, writing, speaking and vocabulary skills of the children.
How can newspapers enhance the four basic skills?
Newspapers work as the best strategy used by teachers to develop the four basic skills in the students i.e. listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. Teachers prefer to use newspapers are they are filled with update and current information. This practice also helps students to read newspapers outside the classroom. Reading newspapers enable students to learn new words and search their meanings for better vocabulary, it helps students in intonation and pronunciation of challenging and big words. Moreover, the students also learn to create creative articles and content.
Let us put some light on each skill that are enhance by the use of newspapers in the class.
For Listening Skills:
The teachers can enhance the listening skills of the students by engaging them in activities such as, the teacher can distribute some newspaper articles and ask the students to read and emphasize on all the content words in the passage. The teacher and read the passage aloud focusing on these words and telling the children the correct pronunciation and intonation of the words. Next, the teacher may ask the students to do individual silent reading of the same passage and try to read the sentences concentrating on using correct intonation of the sentence and on content words. Once the students finish reading the teacher to indulge them in another group activity. The students can read to one another and ask simple questions for comprehension. This practice will help students develop their comprehension skills too. For further activities, the teacher can also use news story that has transcript and ask the students to carefully listen while she or other students read, and later ask questions based on the gist of the story or about the type of sentences used, what tense, etc.
For Speaking Skills:
The teachers can improve the speaking skills of the students by dividing them into small groups and provide them with brief articles. Ask the students to study the articles and prepare a summary or draft a short story of it. Once the students are done, they can come over to share their work with other students. You may wondering how this activity influences their speaking skills. Well, when students are given the task in groups, they communicate with one another, discuss and share their ideas. Each one of them gets to read the text and share their reviews. This activity can be helpful to enhance the speaking skills of the students. Moreover, the teacher can also ask the students to focus on the different types of ads in the newspaper. And create an ad on their own as a group and present it in the class aiming on what message the ad is trying to send, what type of product they offer, what you find attractive in it, etc.
For Reading Skills:
Reading is involved in everything. The students cannot listen, speak or write unless they do not have a proper reading practice. Hence, reading plays an important role to develop other skills of the students. Newspapers indeed are considered the best content text for reading purposes. A newspaper has formal and informal text. Almost all types of sentences are used. The students learn new words and better formation of sentences. The teacher can either read aloud, or ask students randomly to read loud in the class. If the text is not so difficult to read, the students can also be asked to do silent reading for better understanding of the text. Once the students are done reading they can discuss it with their peers and search for similar stories in the newspaper. The teacher can also test the memory of the students by asking them questions related to the text and rewarding them with incentives on giving correct answers.
For Writing Skills:
Every activity a teacher starts with ends up in a written form. Once the students go through all procedures of listening, reading, speaking, they are ready to bring their ideas and sharing on the paper. This is the last stage when the students are given the opportunity to develop their writing skills. The teacher can ask the students to write down summaries, draft stories, create attractive ad posters, can write a personal review on any particular article, etc. The teacher here must guide the students and assist them when they require the teacher’s help, especially when the kids are of young age.
For Grammar Skills:
Grammar is where mostly students struggle. Speaking fluent English doesn’t make you perfect in grammar. Hence, teacher can use newspapers along with other material resources to teach grammar to students. Focusing on types of sentences, tenses, Active and Passive voices, gerunds, punctuations, verbs, etc. the teacher can give out short articles to students and ask them to highlight verbs or gerunds in the text. The teacher can also ask the students to convert active voice sentences to passive voice in their copies from the newspaper articles.
Technology has replaced various old traditional teaching resources. Students are more interested towards working and learning through their electronic devices. Using newspapers in the class can be a new change for them and they will eager to learn too. Students always look for something new in their class that keeps them active and attentive. The teacher must bring in new resources to teach her kids and make the teaching – learning process more effective.