I teach occasional basic English classes on WiZiQ, helping students from all over the world to improve their English literacy (and meeting lots of interesting people along the way). The format I have used for these classes is simple – reading articles from the daily media together, with as many students as possible participating in the reading, and then discussing the pronunciation and meaning of various words.
I have experimented with various sources of media stories for these classes, with the only criteria being that the language must be reasonably simple and the stories must include perspectives that are not entirely European or North American.
For a while I was using the BBC “Simple English” site, which is designed for the purpose, but many of my students found the vocabulary too dofficult. So I am returning to the site I mainly used when I first had this idea, the News Ltd flagship national daily newspaper “The Australian”. My students have no difficulties with the vocabulary and comprehension of stories from this newspaper.
Which is good for my purpose, but says something a bit sad about the state of media in Australia.
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