With the News Article ESL Activity, you can improve your students reading skills using an authentic text or news article. You can adapt the lesson for how you want and customize it depending on the needs of your students.
Age Group: Adults
News Article ESL Activity Preparation:
Browse the internet for a news story that is relatively recent and based on a topic that they would find interesting. If they like sports, find an article on ESPN. If they enjoy talking about current events, you could browse newspaper headlines on reputable news sites. Select something to match their level.
Once you have found the article, you may need to edit it if you think the vocabulary is too advanced for their level. Otherwise, you will have to spend a lot of time pre-teaching words.
However, since the aim of the activity is to read for general understanding, you could always tell them to skip over the difficult words and use context cues to get the gist of what they are reading.
News Article ESL Activity Guidelines:
To start the activity, you can activate schemata by showing them a photo that is related to the topic of the article and have them discuss it. Alternatively, you could have them read only the title of the article and make predictions about what the article is about.
Have them discuss for a few minutes then get feedback.
After hearing some of their opinions about the photo or predictions based on the title, read the first few paragraphs aloud to the class. Try to read with some enthusiasm to engage them more so they can follow along.
Next, briefly summarize what you have just read in one sentence. Do a clear and simple example so they know what to do for the other sections of the article.
For the next step, have the students read a few more paragraphs silently by themselves. Silent reading encourages better comprehension since. If they read aloud, they have to worry about other factors like pronunciation and intonation.
When they have finished reading, they can practice forming summary sentences with a partner. Get some feedback from some of the pairs and make any necessary corrections that interfere with meaning. You could focus on accuracy and specific grammar if you notice a recurring problem with any specific points like subject-verb agreement or verb tense issues etc.
By repeating these task cycles to the end of the news article, they should have had plenty of practice forming one-sentence summaries.
To conclude the activity, you can have them form a sentence summary of the entire article as a whole. Lead feedback and offer suggestions if there are any difficulties.
Follow-Up ESL Activities:
As an extension to the reading activity, you could try a fun activity to get students interacting more. For instance, you could pick a few difficult words from the text and play the Hot Seat ESL Vocabulary Game or classic ESL Hangman.