It was a day that changed the world forever, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on the World Trade Centre changed how we live or lives today and travel. Anyone old enough to have been around on that fateful day on September 1th 2001 will almost certainly remember where they were and how they felt when they heard the news that two passenger planes had purposely been flown into both towers of the World Trade Centre, New York, causing the deaths of thousands of innocent lives and billions of dollars in damage.


This ESL News lesson will be very interesting to English students and they'll certainly have opinions to share about this topic. 

There are a number of reading comprehension exercises to do in this class, perfect for intermediate and advanced students, those preparing for IELTS exams, or university / adult students. 

by Stuart Allen
Published in News lesson plans
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 08:15

ESL News English: The D-Day Landings (1944)

By 1944, the Second World War was on the turn after the German forces' disasterous campaign in Russia and with the Germans also being pushed back in North Africa. The time had come for a full allied landing in Europe which would eventually lead to the end of WWII.

The 6th June 1944 will be forever known as D-Day (which stood for 'Day' Day) - the day in which the allies stormed the beaches at Normandy, France, in a bid to make a foothold in Europe and to force the European campaign.


In this ESL News English lesson, students will discuss what they know about World War Two and any other conflicts they know. They'll then practice their reading skills to learn facts about D-Day and work in pairs to find and expand their vocabulary about war and conflict. Your students will love this war-themed News English worksheet about D-Day and the Second Worls War.

by Stuart Allen


 
Published in News lesson plans
In 1986, scientists were carrying out safety checks at the nuclear power station in Chernobyl, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union). There was an unforeseen power spike sending readings dangerously high. Minutes later, the heat inside the nuclear reactor had become so hot that the cooling rods designed to cool the reactor to safe levels had buckled and could not drop into place. From that moment, the reactor was doomed and there was a catastrophic explosion which blew off the roof of the reactor and caused radiation to be blown high into the air and the surrounding countryside. The Chernobyl Disaster is still the world's worst nuclear disaster.

The aims of this English News Lesson about Chernobyl are:

To read an authentic news article in English and improve their reading skills (e.g. reading for gist, reading for information) 

To acquire new vocabulary in a natural way (i.e. through reading a news article like we do in our native language) 
 
To have a discussion about peace in order for students to practice reasoning skills and to make them think

by Phil Senior
 
Published in News lesson plans
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 07:10

ESL News Lesson: The Peace Index

Each year, The Instutute of Economics and Peace publishes its Global Peace Index which measures how peaceful countries are around the world and the changes in peace between regions and countries. Many factors are taken into account when the peace rankings are made.

This News English lesson plan has a number of English teaching activities which centre around an article about the peace index. Students discuss which countries they think are the most and least peaceful and why they think this. Students should also match the countries which appear in the article to which continent they lie in.

There are also additional scanning and skimming activities, good for IELTS reading practice and finally a class brainstorming activity. The ability to discuss current affairs is an important element in getting a higher score in the IELTS speaking component.

Written by Phil Senior
Published in News lesson plans
Every year, millions of Chinese students face the biggest challenge of their young lives by taking on the Gaokao exam - China's be-and-end-all test to see which students can enter which university. Failure in this exam can be disaster for the dreams of many young Chinese people and they will endure many sleepless nights revising for the exam and worrying about if they will pass it.

This ESL News lesson looks at the exam in a slightly different way in that the pressure to succeed and do well in this exam is so great, that a few people will try to cheat their way to sucess in the exam.

This News English lesson will be very relevant and interesting to students, especially in China. 

There are a number of different activities for your students to do, including colloquation activites, debate and discussion activities and other comprehension excercises. This will also be good for students in later middle school, high school, university or in preparation for an IELTS or TOEFL exam.

by Phil Senior
Published in News lesson plans
Nelson Mandela was born in South Africa in 1918 and became a leader among his own people in the 1960's during the time of unjust oppression against blacks in South Africa. In the late 1940's, he helped form the ANC Youth League and during the 1950's increasingly became more involved in politics and advocating civil disobedience against the racist apartheid government. In 1963, he was imprisoned on Robben Island and spent the next 27 years in prison. 

Following growing international pressure against apartheid, the system of segregation because of colour, the South African government began to free political prisoners and Mandela was historically released from prison in 1990


In this ESL news lesson, students will learn about the life of Nelson Mandela, his release from prison watched by millions around the world, and read his history making speech.

There are three activities for your students to do. There is a vocabulary match exercise where students must match vocabulary with meanings. The second activity has reading comprehension questons for the reader and finally, there is a team quiz activity for larger English classes. 

by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen
Published in News lesson plans

The Summer of '69 is probably one of Bryan Adams' best loved and well-known hits. Its very good to use in ESL classes as it is catchy and has nice words. The song looks back at a nicer time and the singer reminisces about when he was younger and so talks about the past.
 


Regular and irregular verbs pose a real problem for English language students. I teach in China and the students have difficulty with this because they don't have this rule in their own language, Chinese Mandarin. What's makes this grammar point all the more difficult is that there is no rule to the grammar point; it's just something that you have to memorize over time. Hopefully, this lesson should help them with the basics.

There are a number of ways that you could approach this lesson. One way is to put the students into small teams and write down as many irregular verbs as they can (if they have had prior knowledge of this). If they haven't, then you can start with regular past verbs and slowly introduce a few irregular verbs, so they begin to get familiar with it.

If your students are slightly older/higher level, or if your L2 is good enough, you can ask them what they know about the year of 1969. What events happened? How was life different? How did music affect popular culture then? 1969 was a great and terrible year for many reasons; you can get a lot from this chat!

Download the Summer of '69 PDF for the full lesson plan below.

Published in Song lessons

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