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English with The Washington Post

October 2, 2020

Do your students enjoy studying English while also learning and talking about current events? Are you looking for content that you can use in your multi-level classes? Would your advanced learners benefit from using authentic materials to expand their vocabulary and speaking skills?

Try ESL Library's new pilot section, English with the Washington Post.

English with The Washington Post 

This pilot section currently houses three digital-only reading lessons and one video lesson. The reading lessons (low-intermediate, intermediate, and advanced) focus on the issue of the digital divide, a problem that has been highlighted by the closure of traditional schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

While the advanced version of The Digital Divide centers around an authentic article from The Washington Post, the low-intermediate and intermediate lessons feature graded versions of the reading (modified with permission). We also have a video lesson featuring a Washington Post documentary about a coronavirus experiment at a concert venue in Germany. 

Lessons

  1. The Digital Divide (Low Int)
  2. The Digital Divide (Int)
  3. The Digital Divide (Adv)
  4. Video: A Coronavirus Experiment

Task Types

Each lesson contains the following five digital tasks:

  • Vocabulary Preview A 
  • Vocabulary Preview B 
  • Reading or Video
  • Comprehension 
  • Discussion or Writing 

Assign and/or Broadcast

You can assign* these digital lessons to your students for homework and/or broadcast the content in an online or traditional class. You could also try a blended-learning approach: Assign the pre-tasks for homework, read/watch the articles/video in class, and use the follow-up tasks for review or assessment. We hope these relevant topics and interactive task types keep your students engaged at all levels.

*Note that the readings and video are currently assignable for both Standard and Plus subscribers. Additional tasks are assignable for Plus subscribers only. All subscribers have access to the Task Player to broadcast all lessons and tasks. Not a member? Learn more about our Pricing plans.

Survey

After you try a lesson from this pilot section, please take our mini-survey. Your feedback will help us understand the level of interest ESL Library teachers and students have in weekly current events lessons like these. 

Please note: As this is a pilot section, the lesson content in English with The Washington Post may be removed on short notice. 

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Comments (8)

Peg R.(Teacher)

I'm excited about this content. I can't wait to use it at our Conversation group on Monday! I'll take the survey after that.

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    Tara Benwell(Author)

    Great to hear, Peg! I hope the class goes well. Let us know!

    Regina S.(Teacher)

    This is a great addition to this site! I'm impressed! I only miss the printable version. When I'm teaching online and share my screen with students some complain it's too small. I'd also like to use it in my face-to-face lessons. Please consider providing the PDF files.

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    Tara Benwell(Author)

    Thanks for your feedback, Regina. Though we're piloting this as a digital-only section, we'll weigh the pros and cons of offering printable versions for some of the content if we decide to go ahead with this section. You can assign the articles (Reading task) or video to your students whether you're on the Standard or Plus plan so that they can read/view on their own screens. Let us know if you need help setting up your students on Digital.

    Rosie P.(Teacher)

    The Washington Post would be a great addition to your website, which is fantastic. I too would really like the printable version as we are back to teaching in the classroom. I would also like to have more content for advanced students. I tried the Coronavirus Experiment but was unable to access the video.
    When I clicked onto "Talking to the Traffic Police, the page that comes up is the National Hispanic Heritage Month.

    Reply to Comment

    Tara Benwell(Author)

    Hi, Rosie. Thanks for your feedback regarding The Washington Post content! We're sorry about the video. We've just realized it's not available in all countries for this pilot. There is a note posted on it now. We've fixed that broken link you mentioned from the What's New in 2020 post. Thanks for spotting that!

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    Joanna M.(Teacher)

    I like the article. I plan to use it with my students. As a teacher of newcomers in Canada, I would love to see material that includes Canada. I realize that the WP is an American paper, but having lived in the States for many years, I noticed that international news was in short supply in the US. Canada is rarely mentioned, but we are your neighbour and biggest trading partner. Perhaps articles about things that Canadians and Americans can relate to and are of concern to both countries, would be of use to teachers in both countries. Many people (like me), including immigrants, also have family and friends in both countries. However, I understand that you are not in control of WP's content.

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    Tara Benwell(Author)

    Hi Joanna! Yes, we agree. For the trial, we tried to pick a topic that many could relate to (coronavirus, the digital divide, back to school) even outside of the US, and we will definitely try to do international stories if we continue with this section. Stay tuned!

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