Newspaper as Good Teaching Media

Do you know newspapers? Of course Yes. But only a creative teacher knows that it can be used as a teaching media. Newspapers are easy to be brought in the class in different subjects and courses, especially in literature, language classes, history etc. Some of them have valuable information for these subjects, but we should know how to find this information. Many libraries have systems of classification according to the topics and issues and we can easily find our way in searching this information. If not we would spend a lot of time to find something. It is often said that academic success starts at the library.
The variety of subjects and topics makes newspapers interesting and motivating for the students to work with. Newspapers report real-life events, and this arouses students’ curiosity. Newspaper-based activities in the classroom may engage students in enjoyable activities and encourage their further reading. Newspapers are an invaluable source of authentic materials. The more students read, the more they want to explore.
“People learn through reading, and reading about interesting new things in one’s interest subject, undoubtedly helps motivation”. (Paul Sanderson, 2002)
Newspapers are also a great source for ESP teachers. They can be used as teaching materials to develop students’ language skills. They can be used effectively with a wide range of levels from Elementary to Advanced, either interpreting them or using them as they are. Some newspapers are easy to read, easy to use. The committed teachers can design exercises to develop reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, writing skills, grammar skills, vocabulary, map/chart reading skills, geography skills, social study skills and more. Having a lot of newspapers and information the teachers should be careful with the way how to organize a certain activity using them. So, they are particularly suitable for mixed-ability classes, depending on the activity, questions, etc.
In planning a lesson using a newspaper, the teacher should take into consideration the length of the article, paragraph, the complexity of the language, the density of information, the subject-matter and content, the time available and the level of the students.
Another very important issue about newspaper use is materials collection. It is an on-going process and worth doing it. Choosing and collecting short articles, weather forecast, advertisements, headlines, etc. is a hard task, but we may use them at a later time and more than once for different students. So, it is necessary to be very careful in organizing newspaper materials. Once we start collecting them we should begin thinking to organize them, put under certain categories, systematize them, etc.
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