In just another sign of how “USA-centric” I am, no matter how differently I might like to believe, I just learned about Euronews from the excellent Free Tech For Teachers blog which, as I have before, I’d encourage people to read regularly.
It provides great, and short, online videos, which I’ll talk about in a minute. But first, let me tell you what I found out about the network from Wikipedia:
Euronews is a multilingual and pan-European television news channel launched on January 1, 1993 in Lyon. It covers world news from a European perspective,in many languages. In 2008 Euronews is distributed to 248 million households in 135 countries worldwide. The latest distribution report shows that Euronews is the leading international news channel in Europe. It reached more than 177 million European households by cable, satellite and terrestrial. This compared with 167 million European households for CNN International, 124 million for BBC World News and 65 million for CNBC Europe.
Boy, do I feel dumb…
As I mentioned, the site has excellent news videos. It also has the audio transcription but, unfortunately, it’s right below the video instead of being closed-captioned. That reduces its benefit to English Language Learners.
One great feature is it’s “No Comment” section. In it, it shows videos that it believes communicates its message without any commentary. Those could be interesting for ELL’s to describe.
Because I don’t think doing the transcription of the audio the way they do is particularly useful to ELL’s, I don’t feel like I can place the site on The Best news/current events websites for English Language Learners 2007.
However, because of it being able to provide a European perspective on the news, I believe it belongs on The Best Tools To Help Develop Global Media Literacy list.
Glad that you discovered Euronews. Was just thinking about how to use it yesterday. Intrigued to read that you don’t think the transcriptions are very useful for ELLs. Is it the fact that you can’t hide them? I wouldn’t use a transcription for every video, but I like the idea of multi-tasking activities where learners have to exercise several skills at once. Scripts can be good for highlighting specific language, or annotating for things like intonation etc. But it’s true that it’s a bit limiting if you can’t hide it when you need to.
With scripts at the bottom of the videos, I just don’t see student students reading it while at the same time they are watching the video. Scripts are great when it’s audio only — then the whole thing is designed to make sense without any visual clues and students can just read along. Closed captioning is great, because students can watch the video and the words at the same time without having to scroll down.
But it’s great if you’ve found a way to make it work. I just think there are a lot of better sites that deal with the issues I mentioned.