So… half way through a Master’s in TEFL/TESL with Birmingham University, I was reading a wonderful book called "Appropriate Methodology and Social Context"*. This got me thinking about what would really interest students on a daily basis, which got me thinking about daily news, which got me thinking about having a cup of tea and a sit down, which then got me thinking about a website offering news English lessons the same day the news breaks.
Eighteen months and one dissertation later, I started my new project. I called it "Breaking News English.com".
Why did I start this? Well… years of producing news materials for my language school in Japan; too many teachers to mention telling me to write a textbook; dozens of other teachers telling me my news materials worked well for them; my experience as a teacher-trainer; a lovely iMac computer; a stupendously supportive and wonderful wife; and a horribly loud alarm clock delicately balanced on the top stair outside my bedroom. What better recipe for success?
And so onto successes… and many have there so far been. Just getting everything online was a huge one; each pre-toast-and-marmalade lesson upload; wonderful E-mails of encouragement - fuel for fingertips at keyboard; lots of support and encouragement from other ESL sites; seeing my site in #1 position for many searches on various search engines; and lots, lots more. Small though these successes may be, I hope my materials will in some way contribute to the world of ELT and help students learn more about English and their world.
*Adrian Holliday, 1994, Cambridge University Press.
Breaking News English.com
Free ready-to-use EFL / ESL lesson plans. 26-page handout, graded news articles at pre-intermediate and intermediate-plus, listenings, online quizzes, podcast and communicative activities.
The whole thing in HTML (to open in a new window):
<a href="http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/" target="a"> Breaking News English.com</a> - Free ready-to-use EFL / ESL lesson plans. 26-page handout, graded news articles at pre-intermediate and intermediate-plus, listenings, online quizzes, podcast and communicative activities.