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Dear Auntie Lucy,
I've been teaching for about a year and want to try using newspapers with low levels. Any ideas?
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I think it’s a great idea that you want to use newspapers with low level classes. It helps them see that they don’t need to understand every word in order to get the gist of the text. It could also encourage them to go on reading newspapers outside the classroom.
You could ask students to go through the paper picking out country or nationality words. They can then build up a table like the following:
They can also go through the paper and identify past tense verbs. Then build up another table like this:
Simple past Forgot
Past participle Forgotten
For regular past tense verbs, the can organise them according to the pronunciation of the ending. /t/ /d/ or /Id/
You can do similar work on any tenses.
For speaking practice, they can use pictures to ask the following:
Do you know this person? What’s his/her name? What does (s)he do? Etc etc
The weather forecast can also be used. They can ask:
What’s the weather like in Munich?
Which is the hottest city?
Is it raining in Tokyo?
Some newspapers have a puzzle page and this can include a jumble of 9 letters to be used for making up words. Students can have a go at this. There are often rules such as: use each letter only once, or words of 2 letters are not allowed. You can bend these rules for the low level classes. Students can get a real sense of achievement from this task.
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