Television news

At the start of a news broadcast, there is usually a preview of what is to come, along with pictures of the first few news stories. Video this, and prepare the following worksheet:

News Item What Where When Who Why How

Now give the sheets out to the students. Give each student one of the question words.

They must watch the opening preview pictures with the sound turned down, and just write a few words to say what they think is happening. They can write in their own language if necessary.

So student one will answer the question 'what' four times, for the four different stories, student two will answer the question 'where' four times, student three 'when' and so on. Sometimes it may clear what's happening on the screen. So much the better! They must use their imaginations.

Play the preview as many times as they want to hear it, and ignore their protests about "It's too hard!" When they have finished writing their brief notes, you put them together in groups of six and ask them to share their knowledge and come up with the news story in less than 50 words. This is the fun part. They will probably have written about events completely different from each other. They must use use their imaginations, along with a healthy dose of arguing and persuading, to write out the news stories. What you have as a result is usually very funny and very different from what the story really is about.

After the groups have finished and read out the full previews, error correct and play the real previews, with the sound up, to see how close each group is to each story.

Category Listening

Angus Savory 18-08-2011

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