(NOTE: This is now my regularly updated “regular” list of current events sites. I no longer publish an annual list)
One way to encourage our ESL/EFL students and others to become active citizens in the world is to help them become aware of important news events. Current news can also be a source of high-interest reading, speaking, listening, and writing material, and provide opportunities to stimulate higher-order thinking.
A first step in this process is to provide them with accessible information. This list offers my choices for the top News/Current Events Websites for English Language Learners
Here are my choices:
English Club provides a monthly text and audio summary of four news stories, including online cloze (fill-in-the-gap) exercises.
Breaking News English has been providing text and audio of the top news stories a few times each week for quite awhile. In addition, it has excellent lesson plans and follow-up activities that can be printed-out.
News English Lessons, a sister site of of Breaking News English that appears to have even more accessible resources for ELL’s.
Number six is the CBBC Newsround. This is sort of a version of BBC News designed for younger people. The lay-out, writing, and choice of stories is very inviting.
The BBC Learning English site is attractively designed and has images and audio support for text.
News in Levels provides several different “levels” of the same news article and provides audio support for the text. The site is clearly focused on ELLs, with the “lowest” level an image annotated with vocabulary words, which also has audio support. Unfortunately, the site doesn’t have interactive activities that students can do, but I guess you can’t have everything…
The New York Times has begun a new feature called the Times Minute. It’s a one minute video regularly updated during the day highlighting news stories. You can find its archive here. Happily, unlike other similar videos, they don’t try to speak very fast so it can be accessible to ELLs. I’m adding it to The Best News/Current Events Websites For English Language Learners. Here’s a sample:
50 Ways to Teach With Current Events is from The New York Times Learning Network.
Three Teacher-Tested Ways to Encourage Your Students to Follow Current Events This School Year is from The New York Times Learning Network.