Saturday, December 10, 2005

Online News Services - For EFL/ESL students

Hi, Geoff here.

This post is about some online news services that could be useful for English language learners.
Some of these news services are intended for English language learners; some are intended for native speakers of English.

Online news services intended for English language students:

BBC World Service - Learning English - News English
Vocabulary from BBC international news broadcasts, and discussion topics about Britain. This service is updated regularly and features:
* Words in the News - Listen to and learn vocabulary from recent international news stories
* News about Britain - Learn about UK news and current affairs

The New York Times Learning Network
This has three interesting sections: News Summaries, Daily News Quiz and the Word of the Day

News Summaries
Read today's news, learn new words and see new places. This section has two very useful optional easy-to-use knowledge tools. Firstly, f you turn on the "Vocabulary" feature, more difficult-to-understand words are explained in Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary links. Secondly, if you turn on the "Geography" feature, information about countries and states is provided in links to the Merriam-Webster Atlas.

Daily News Quiz
See what you know about each week's news with this quiz. Each question and image relates to an article published on The New York Times on the Web. Links are provided to the articles if you need to research your answers.

Breaking News
Ready-to-use current events lesson plans for EFL/ESL classes by Sean Banville.
- All of these current events and business English lesson plans contain a news article, listening (MP3 file), podcast, communication activities, pair work, discussion, reading and vocabulary exercises.
- There is a new lesson each day at two different levels.
- All lessons are based on stories currently in the news.
- Classroom handouts are reproducible in Word and PDF.
- The materials use American English spelling.

CNN Student News
"CNN Student News is a 10-minute, commercial-free news program... Created by a team of journalists and educators, the program provides the top stories of the day, segments that encourage student participation, and in-depth special reports."
Transcripts of the webcast are available.

Voice of America Special News
Daily 30-Minute Radio Broadcasts intended to help people "learn American English while they learn about American life and stay informed about world news and developments in science"
VOA Special English:
- uses a simplified vocabulary of 1500 words, and some more difficult words "for reporting world events and describing discoveries in medicine and science
- is read at a slower pace, about two-thirds the speed of standard English
Each half-hour broadcast begins with:
• The latest news from around the world
• A different short feature every day about development, agriculture, health, education, economics, news events and American idioms.
• 15-minute in-depth features about life in the United States, news about science and space, American history, popular culture, influential Americans and short stories.

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