Using News in the EFL Classroom
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We all know the best way to teach English as a Foreign Language is through a topic. There are not many teachers left who would teach a language structure ice-cold, without any content to relate to it – well, hopefully! This isn’t always as easy as it sounds, though. In fact, coming up with topics to be used in the EFL classroom can be tricky. This is why it’s such a good idea to use authentic texts in the classroom. Authentic texts are varied and by their very nature interesting. Provided they are chosen well, they are relevant and appropriate. Plus they are widely and freely available. The news in the EFL classroom and current events are particularly useful authentic texts which can be used.
Where to find news materials for the EFL classroom
The first step to using news in the EFL classroom is to find a news article or story. The obvious place to look is in local newspapers or newspaper websites. There are also a number of websites dedicated to news materials which can be used in the EFL classroom so you should also look there.
Some good websites to check out are: www.newsenglishlessons.com, www.englishclub.com and www.learningenglish.voanews.com.
Things to consider before using news in the EFL classroom
As with any authentic materials, there are a few things to keep in mind before bringing them into the classroom.
- Is it the right level for my students, or do I need to adjust in some way?
- Is it culturally and age-appropriate?
- Is it not offensive or too controversial?
- Will my students find the topic interesting?
- Do I find it interesting?
These are important considerations because if your chosen text is inappropriate or irrelevant, your students may not be engaged and your entire lesson could fall flat. Once you have considered these questions, though, and deem your material useful and appropriate for your class, you will need to think how to use it in in your lessons.
How to use the news in the EFL classroom
You can use a newspaper article for a traditional reading lesson. In other words:
- Introduce the topic
- Pre-reading tasks
- Post-reading tasks (usually involving language)
- Discussion and response to the text
If you choose to utilise a video rather than a written article you can follow the same procedure as you would for a listening lesson.
The benefits of using the news in the EFL classroom
Using the news is an easy way to relate the classroom to the outside world. This helps to show your students the link between the language they focus on in your lessons and the language they are exposed to outside the classroom. This is essential to ensure your students connect to English in the real world. In this way they are able to appreciate English as a way to relate to the rest of the world.
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- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.