Do you like using textbooks in the ESL classroom? If so, you are not alone. Many new teachers like using ESL textbooks because they provide order when planning their lessons; however, textbooks are cost-prohivite in many parts of the world, so teachers need to use authentic material such as newspapers when planning their lessons.
Even when teachers face a class for which the Director of Studies has selected a textbook, the teacher needs to use authentic material to present topics in a meaningful way and activities in a real-life context. Many students find textbook material boring and drills repetitive, so teachers need to supplement the textbook with updated and interesting content.
Newspapers are a very valuable resource. They help spark debates with advanced levels and provide self-esteem to lower levels when they see for themselves that they can use such a common resource. Newspapers are cheap to obtain and photocopy. Since they come with many sections, you are sure to find something of interest for your students.
As with any reading material, newspapers are not just for teaching reading skills and TESOL certified teachers know how to integrate other skills within a lesson plan based on a newspaper article. This article by One Stop English shows the dos and don’ts as well as it provides some tips for using newspapers in an integrated skills classroom.
What other authentic material can you think of?