Библиографическое описание:

Полванова Н. М., Бекчанова З. Ш., Шоназарова М. С., Абдуллаев Д. И. Using Internet News Web Sites in the Process of Teaching Foreign Languages for Non-Linguistic Majors // Молодой ученый. — 2016. — №12. — С. 909-911.



The youth nowadays, being under the influence of various visual information and their ample ability to utilize the information caused spending less time for education through reading texts. Availability of information in the forms of photo and video forming a type of students who are dependent exclusively on acquiring education via the means of visual information. This type of students are displaying a great lack of development on reading and writing skills, though they possess a high comprehension on image-based information. A rapid development of modern technologies is causing great changes in the world. One of the related changes in learning process is that the skills once considered of great importance is decreasing vacating their places to other skills. These changes of course trigger more changes, thus decreasing some of the abilities causes other abilities evolve. It, of course, needs a time to see the impacts of these changes on future generation.

Keeping the upper stated tendency in mind, the article emphasizes the advantages of teaching English using possible web based news sites. Amongst different materials used in teaching foreign languages, news has a number of particular features. I can say this out of my experience that using news throughout learning foreign languages could serve as an excellent tool for enhancing linguistic comprehension of non-linguistic major students. In the business world in particular, and generally in professional life, the internet has taken centre stage and allows, in an increasingly globalized world, fast and efficient communication, information generation, exchange, and management. The professional world today would in most cases not be possible without information technology. This method also provides continual uninterrupted class content. A teacher is able not only to find various new topics, but can find information, which tackles lexical and grammatical structure that is used in the content. This method makes the process of speaking short sentences, writing small texts easier, in other words improves students both written and verbal comprehension. Development of information technologies and rising popularity of the Internet made the usage of news in education lot easier than it used to be in the past.

Some of the news web sites has special exercises and useful resources specifically designed for students which saves teachers’ time. Identical structural content of news with repeated terms in most cases in various news content allow students to memorize these words and terms easily. For example: breaking news, reportedly, to take place, stocks, situation, however, correspondent, etc.

Despite having many special features of teaching foreign languages for non-linguistic students through news, this method is not quite popular among teachers. I would like to state several reasons of news being unpopular among teachers with the following.

Preparation and time. Due to the fact news is being updated on a daily basis teachers find it challenging to find and deliver this information to students on a constant basis which could be a time consuming process. As from my experience, to solve this issue a teacher can browse news web sites and download a specific lesson-planned news along with handouts. Most of the classes in educational institutes have an internet access, which enables them to show news on projectors during the classes. News media, including photo and video backed news could be shown online at lessons, which would save up teachers’ time. Involving modern technology into the process of education as stated above would certainly rise students’ interest to education.

Formal language. One of the challenges one might face during teaching foreign languages is news content written in a formal language. Thus, for a student of non-linguistic major this might seem difficult to understand. However, today’s news web sites have these special rubrics/modes where a reader can modify its difficulty including simple language. One more solution is a teacher can translate the news content and hand it out to students complement it with the original text afterwards.

Bad news. One of biggest challenges of teaching through news might be dealing with bad, malicious and soul-catching news content. However, filtering and special “find” features might serve as a good solution to this problem allowing them to find specific information content from the web site archive. Besides, most of the news sites in English have special rubrics for English learners and these pages usually hold a didactic character.

The following web sites may be used to teach foreign languages through news:

− www.bbc.co.uk

− www.learningenglish.voanews.com

− www.newsinlevels.com

− www.simpleenglishnews.com

− www.breakingnewsenglish.com.

One can find not only text-based news but media news as well in the news sites list above. Delivering news in this form of content can help students understand the content of news better. In addition, audio and video materials enables a good interest in students to the subject. Some of the web sites have features of downloading news in pdf and audio formats, which helps teachers use the news content several times without visiting the site multiple times. These sites also do have dictionary and exercise features where one can find word definitions and ready exercises related to the news. This surely reduces the time spent on lesson preparation for teachers.

Non-linguistic students might find it difficult understanding the content of news in foreign languages. However, some news web sites have found a perfect solution to this matter. For example, www.newsinlevels.com and www.breakingnewsenglish.com sites content is subject to alter the difficulty level (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3). This allows a teacher to choose difficulty level based on the classes’ comprehension level of foreign languages. Ready lesson plans and exercises based on a specific news content improves students’ language abilities. Using news content in the process of teaching foreign languages for non-linguistic majors will surely play a great deal of role in the improvement of listening, reading, writing and speaking comprehension of students.

Some suggestions how to carry out some activities while teaching foreign languages though news as follows.

Developing listening skills. Download three of four news stories from a news website that provides audio files as well. It would be better if the news stories are as short as possible. Hand out the following hand-outs before playing the news and ask them to choose the right answer after they finish listening.

This news is about __________.

a) business, b) politics, c) sports, d) entertainment.

This news is about __________.

a) politics, b) entertainment, c) science and technology, d) weather.

A teacher can also ask the students to write some key words they heard from the news that helped them find the answer.

This news is about __________.

a) business, b) politics, c) sports, d) entertainment.

because I heard the words __________.

Developing reading skills. Take one news story containing a couple paragraphs and ask the students to answer the questions in the hand-outs in their own words. After answering the questions, the students are asked to choose two important words from the news on their own and look up the meanings in a dictionary. They are also asked to find synonyms and antonyms for each word if possible. A teacher can also make a “gap fill” exercise leaving out some important words or phrases from the text and ask them fill it with the proper words.

Developing speaking and writing skills. Speaking activities are usually carried out after listening and reading activities. After reading the news thoroughly, students are asked to write summaries to the story in five or fewer sentences. Collect the summaries and check the students’ summaries. Then the students are asked to come to the front and act as people reporting the news.

To conclude, using news content in the process of teaching foreign languages will improve students’ listening, reading, writing and speaking abilities simultaneously. Carrying out this process through computer technologies will help to rise student’s interest to the subject and save a great deal of teacher’s time for lesson preparation.

References:

  1. Nergiz Kern. Technology-integrated English for Specific Purposes lessons: real-life language, tasks, and tools for professionals. Innovations in learning technologies for English language teaching. British Council, 2013. p. 92.

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