Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Google News Articles Presentations

Google News Articles Presentations

Task 6.4: Authentic News Articles Presentations

Name of activity:

Authentic News Articles Presentations


Google news feeds

Reviewed by:

Daniel Costello

Reviewed on:

February 27, 2011

Level the activity aimed at:

Elementary and Pre-intermediate

Anticipated student profile

e.g. age; business experience; nationality; position within company; line of business/other:

Age: 18-23

Business experience: Pre-experienced/part-time worker

Nationality: Korean

Position within company: Undergrad student/server

Line of business/other: Part-time in restaurant/coffee shop or convenience store, parking attendant or assistant manager of bakery, etc.

Language areas, if any, explicitly covered

e.g. grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation/other:

Grammar: article specific grammar usually reported speech and past simple.

Vocabulary: generally three paragraphs of international trade specific vocabulary with ranges relating to exports, currency exchange, trade pacts, product or company profiles, fair trade, commodities, oil prices.

Pronunciation/other: Presentation skills practiced with attention to: volume, pronunciation, speed, smiling and eye contact, giving opinions, summarizing reading materials, PPT design constraints.

Real-world focus and authenticity of topics, materials and activities:

Students are instructed in pairs to find two articles of short length (three to four paragraphs) on the same or similar topic through google news and write a 150 word presentation each on their articles answering the questions, “Why is this topic interesting to international trade students?” and/or ”What is your opinion about this topic?” In addition the students must design a five slide PPT (maximum 5 slides) with simple topic headings and/or simple graphs and/or related photographs. This activity is required twice a semester with different topics and partners each time as well as a week advance editing/check deadline to ensure students are generating their own writing and to assist individuals either in content or article selection. For example, if I believe students are challenged in finding an opinion I provide assistance.

Suitability of authentic materials for my present teaching situation*:

This activity never ceases to amaze me in gauging students personal interests in the wide area of international trade. While Koreans and Chinese often select national topics of interest they also often grasp significance of finance and banking abroad to local business. Midterms and finals always provide a window into seeing what international trade topics are “hot” with my students at that time.

Predicted student* opinion:

My students appear to apply regular business English lessons learning to this search and describe news and opinions significance task.

Strongest points:

Wide selection of constantly changing news available on google. Changing partners from midterm to final helps students practice working with strangers and making new friends in large class.

Weakest points:

Students might benefit from choosing a follow up report on the same topic at final with the same partner from midterm? Often class time constraints require some presentations be conducted in my office ratherthan in front of large class.

My emotional response to this authetic material:

Reminds me of news reading and discussion activities taken during elementary school in Canada. I like the level of engagement with real news and selection along with negotiating with a partner.

Extension: Two years ago I had a few students agree to upload and record their presentations online on However it was a test activity in my office because it requires knowledge of wav file conversions and collection of presentations. On occasion students’ presentations scripts are selected for English Department biennial newspaper publication.

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