Teaching ESL

ESL Lesson Plans Based Around News Articles
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Author:  mesmark [ Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  ESL Lesson Plans Based Around News Articles

Listen to the show.

Using news articles in classes provides interesting and useful content, but how should we go about it? This show Chris Cotter from www.headsupenglish.com visits with us. HeadsUpEnglish.com offers ESL lesson plans based around current news articles with matching activities and worksheets for ESL teachers and audio for students. In our first segment, Resource Talk, Chris explains a little about himself and his website www.headsupenglish.com.

The second segment, Pro Talk, Mark, Ron, and Chris discuss how to create your own lesson plan based around news articles and how they execute lessons based around news articles, covering reading strategies, warm-up activities, vocabulary introduction, and follow-up exercises.

To get your hands on free ready-to-go news articles lessons and free audio downloads visit www.headsupenglish.com

One other good site with news articles and accompanying activities is www.breakingnewsenglish.com.

Game of the Week: Steal the Conversation

This week's guest Chris Cotter brings the game of the week. It's a simple fluency activity designed to encourage speaking and taking control of the conversation. Preparation is simple and there's a bonus activity included called "Anti-Steal the Conversation," but listen to the show and see if you can come up with a better name.

Author:  markothaler [ Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:40 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi there!

First of all I'd like to say that I enjoy your podcast a lot. It's really informative and entertaining at the same time.
I'm a teacher of English in Austria (no native speaker) and I'm always looking for ways to enhance my language- and teaching skills.

I liked the games you presented this time and I'd like to make a minor contribution to the "anti-stealing the conversation"-game (I can't come up with a better name either :wink: ):
I think it could be very funny to show a flashcard to the students with, let's say, the picture of a fly on it. Their task could be to speak (as long as possible) about the topic "Can flies be in love?" - Absurd as this may sound, I guess it might be exactly this absurdity that could take away the tension from the students. Moreover, you could adjust the "level of absurdity", if the example above sounds too absurd to you. - it just depends on the topic you choose. You could, for instance, show them a flashcard with a smile on it and the topic could be "a thousand ways why smiling makes your life easier/better."
Most importantly, the topics should provoke creativity in the students, make them laugh and forget about their anxieties concerning language.

OK, so that was my little contribution to your podcast and so you are not the only ones anymore who post in this forum. :wink:
Just carry on producing this fabulous podcast, I will be listening. (And I'm trying to get others do so as well).

C U,


Author:  mesmark [ Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:19 pm ]
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Marko - Thanks for the addition to the game. I also like to use humor or absurdity to break the ice. It really does help promote conversation in my classes.

I'm glad you like the podcasts and it's great to hear from a listener.

Thanks for listening (and posting :D )

Author:  eikaiwa no sensei [ Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:01 pm ]
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Hi Mark!

I unfortunately can't get the podcast. It takes ages to load and when it does there's an error. The screen is divided into blocks of varying shades of green. But nothing else happens after that. Can you suggest what might be wrong? I'd really like to have a listen to this one. It may have some useful stuff for classes with my Brazillian exchange students.


Author:  mesmark [ Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

Try right clicking and saving the file to your computer. It should download faster for you that way, and you can open it with any program, like Media Player or Quick Time.

Let me know if it works or doesn't.

Author:  eikaiwa no sensei [ Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yep! That worked! Thanks Mark. Sorry I'm so computer baka!! :oops:

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