All the News that's Free to Read—A Resource for ELL Students

Do you have students whose first language is not English? Have they recently come from another country and are learning English? Are you looking for meaningful, inclusive learning activities?

One highly-engaging way to include every student is to take advantage of free online newspapers. You can easily find a newspaper written in your student’s first language on the website, Free Online Newspapers. This comprehensive site provides a list and links to free online newspapers and magazines from around the world. 

There are so many creative activities you can use with these free resources.  Below are a few ideas to start the brainstorming:

  1. Reading Comprehension. Choose an internationally critical current events topic that is motivating to your students.  Have them read about it in their first language and then in English to build reading comprehension. Follow up with discussion, written questions, drawing, or audio summaries—in first language and English.

  2. Vocabulary.  Choose a timely article that is likely to appear across newspapers.  Identify conceptually-rich words in English.  Have students find words in their newspaper article with the same meaning.

  3. Science:  When there are international science breakthroughs that are likely to be reported in newspapers around the world, have students read about the science in their own newspaper and the English version.  Have students discuss, summarize, or draw about what they learned.

  4. Math.  When there are international sports events, such as the World Cup, have students read about it and then do math calculations related to the scores, standings, player statistics, etc.

With this beginning list of newspaper-related activities, you can probably generate many more teaching ideas that would be relevant to your students based on grade, content area, interests, and abilities. Within PowerUp What Works, you will find 20 Instructional Strategies Guides for English Language Arts and Math. These include evidence-based strategies and technology suggestions that can easily enhance your use of online newspapers to build student skills.

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