the News in class by Katie Riley
Lesson plan 1
This lesson is the second part of day 9 in a 15 day course
on course planning.
This lesson continues with the theme of news and the media.
Throughout the course, students will be looking at listening
exercises of various natures. Today the focus is on planned
monologues in order to extract information, but previously
the focus has been on dialogues. (both planned and unplanned)
with the role of the listener as eavesdropper.
focus on authentic listening?
In an initial needs analysis, listening was an activity that
all students expressed an interest in practising. As we looked
at in part 1, authentic listening is extremely motivating
and being of an advanced level, this class should have no
problems in understanding this.
Compared to living in countries such as Germany/Poland, in
Spain students have very little exposure to authentic listening
experiences (Films are generally dubbed, very few of my students
have satellite TV etc) so therefore it is an intention to
expose students to as much of it as possible.
Why focus on listening to news bulletins?
In the same needs analysis most students expressed a lot of
interest in the following areas;
1. Current affairs and interests
2. Listening to the radio/TV
3. Small group discussions.
By listening to the news in class I hope to cover all these
areas and at the same time look at an area which actively
engages my students.
are students' needs?
From the needs analysis and from generally talking to students
we discovered that students need to listen to English in the
Possibly listening to the news/weather (frequent travelling
Talking on the telephone
Talking to friends
students attend class to improve their general level of English.
Sts need to listen in various situations. We have therefore
tried to include a variety of different listening situations
on the course
are the students' learning styles?
The students have a variety of learning styles, although most
of them could be classified under self instruction type or
social reaction type (as described by Rost 1990)
Hopefully, listening to the news in this way will encourage
them to listen in authentic ways outside of class, and to
exploit the few opportunities that they have.
As we can see from the description of the class, some students
might not fit into these categories. Hopefully this class
will help them see the benefits of different strategies for
What is the rationale behind the activities carried out in
In part 1 we talked about the importance of carrying out authentic
activities in the classroom. In this next part I will explain
the rationale for doing them in relation to this.
We normally have a purpose and some sort of expectations about
what we're going to hear. In terms of the news, this is probably
some preconceived idea about the items/people that are going
to appear. I have therefore tried to replicate this in the
lesson (see stage 1 and 2).
The vocabulary exercise is an attempt to reduce the amount
of noise(as defined in part 1) and help students to understand
the text better.
The while listening task was also carried out in an attempt
to replicate what we do in real life situations. As in the
activity in the lesson, when we're listening to the news we
often listen to see what the main headlines are and then listen
to a second bulletin shortly afterwards to find out about
a story that interests us.
Although the concept of listening in different ways had come
up earlier in the course, some of the students in my class
still thought that they should be able to understand everything.
Therefore an explanation of why we were doing the activity
proved to be useful
The post listening activity also represents an authentic listening
activity i.e. Chatting about a topic of interest to the students.
To practise listening out for the main items in the news without
any visual support.
To practise selective listening of planned monologues/ listening
for more specific information.
To decipher the meaning of vocabulary items from context
Most of the vocabulary presented in this lesson will be new
to the students.
With the vocabulary taught, sts will know enough to be able
to do the tasks.
problems and solutions:
The news broadcast I will be dealing with is recorded from
the world service, which has a difference bias to news in
Spain, especially this weekend where the dominant story was
the ETA attack in the North of Spain. I will therefore provide
some background information on the people/situations involved.
As a result of the events in the news this weekend it is possible
that talking the news will provoke a lot of discussion. The
length of some activities can therefore be shortened/ lengthened
may not see the point of the listening task. Therefore I will
explain why we are listeing in this particular way.
2 recordings of the World Service news separated by the space
of one hour - not included here!
Sentences for vocabulary exercise.
the lesson procedure
to the articles index