B2 Lesson Plan

Reading Between the Headlines: News Literacy

Created by ALULA | March 22, 2024

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- Reading, Vocabulary -

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Learning to understand English news articles is an essential skill for ESL adult learners, providing insight into current events and exposure to practical and advanced language usage. This lesson plan aims to equip students with the tools to navigate the diverse world of English journalism confidently.


In this lesson plan, students will engage with English news articles, diving into different journalistic styles and content. They will sharpen their comprehension skills by identifying key points, summarizing information, and delving into journalism-specific vocabulary. Whether you’re educating future journalists or providing students with the language tools to stay informed, this lesson lays the foundation for a greater understanding and engagement with English-language media.

Lesson Focus

The students will gain invaluable reading comprehension strategies, enhance their vocabulary with journalism-specific terms, and develop confidence in discussing and sharing opinions on news topics. All these skills contribute not just to language learning but also to their broader educational and personal development.

Lesson Content

Leveraging interactive and informative activities, students will undertake a journey through English news media. Here's an outline of the lesson content:

Activity 1: News Article Scavenger Hunt

  • Approximate Time Needed: 30 minutes
  • Objective: To familiarize learners with the structure and elements of news articles
  • Materials: A selection of news articles (online or print), scavenger hunt worksheet (which can be created with questions about the articles’ main points, authors, dates, etc.). Articles can be found on free news websites or in library databases.
  1. Provide a brief introduction to the structure of news articles.
  2. Distribute the selection of news articles and scavenger hunt worksheets to students.
  3. Ask students to work in pairs to find the information requested on their worksheets within the articles.
  4. Have each pair share their findings with the class, discussing any challenges or interesting facts they discovered.

Activity 2: Vocabulary in Context

  • Approximate Time Needed: 20 minutes
  • Objective: To extract and understand journalism-specific vocabulary within the context of an article
  • Materials: Copies of a news article with highlighted journalism-specific vocabulary, vocabulary list handouts (can be created from the article). Accessible dictionaries or online vocabulary resources are recommended.
  1. Hand out copies of the news article with the highlighted vocabulary.
  2. Discuss the highlighted terms and phrases as a class, using context clues to infer meaning.
  3. Provide the vocabulary list handout for additional context and definitions.
  4. Encourage students to create sentences using the new vocabulary to enhance retention.

Activity 3: Main Point Identification and Summary

  • Approximate Time Needed: 40 minutes
  • Objective: To identify the main points of an article and summarize the content succinctly
  • Materials: A selection of concise news articles, summarizing worksheets (questions prompting students to identify who, what, where, when, why, how). Found at news outlets or library databases.
  1. Divide the class into small groups and assign a different article to each group.
  2. Guide students through the identification of the article's main points using the 5Ws and H.
  3. Ask each group to create a brief summary of their article based on these points.
  4. Allow groups to present their summaries to the class and provide constructive feedback.

Activity 4: Discussion Circle

  • Approximate Time Needed: 30 minutes
  • Objective: To encourage critical thinking and sharing opinions on news topics
  • Materials: Discussion prompts based on articles read (can be prepared beforehand), a comfortable space for a circle discussion.
  1. Form a discussion circle with all the students.
  2. Introduce a discussion prompt related to one of the news articles.
  3. Encourage students to share their thoughts and opinions, drawing from the article's content and vocabulary.
  4. Facilitate the discussion to ensure equal participation and respectful exchange of ideas.

Wrap Up

This lesson plan offers a structured approach to navigating English news articles, blending vocabulary learning with practical reading comprehension and discussion skills. Adult ESL learners will emerge more informed and equipped to tackle real-world English reading challenges, engaging with current events while enhancing their language proficiency.

For further practice outside the classroom, consider introducing students to ALULA, an AI-powered ESL app tailored for both self-study and supplemental learning. ALULA provides interactive conversation and speaking exercises on various topics, alongside comprehensive grammar lessons. This tool can help reinforce the reading comprehension and vocabulary covered in this lesson plan. By working with an AI English Tutor and completing targeted practice questions, students can solidify their understanding and ensure continuous language development outside the classroom settings.

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AI English Tutor offers engaging conversation practice opportunities for your students. They will also gain access to over 150 grammar lessons, more than 150 targeted speaking exercises, and a vast collection of over 5,000 practice questions.

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