It is always a big plus to incorporate current daily living and current events into teaching in general. When teaching foreign languages, it is most useful to use current events to reach students. Students learning a foreign language can acquire colloquial, every day language, and through some sites, they can not only read about current events, but also listen to the news in the target language at normal speed.
Remember that current events are also essential for expanding the knowledge of students of their world, which may be even more appealing to their curiosity. For the students who are learning a foreign language, it is an excellent tool to listen or read the news to understand grammar and enrich their vocabulary.
EDSITEment has, among its many vetted sites, approved for use in the classrom the following excellent news outlets for learners of Spanish or for Spanish heritage speakers.
The BBC Mundo site contains the current events of the world in Spanish:
There is also a BBC Mundo page with podcasts, where students and teachers can listen to the news:
Many teachers have successfully incorporated the news and podcasts to the classroom with worksheets to test the students' comprehension.
What would you do to make the news and current events part of the learning experience in and outside the classroom?
Wow! I love the idea of bringing foreign media into a language classroom!
I would ask students to read brief articles in the foreign newspapers, so that they can expand their lexicon. I would also try to find news video sites which offer closed-captioning. I know TED and a few other video sites have CC available now, but I don't know of any news sites that offer CC with their video clips.
When I taught English one summer for a Korean language camp, we used a lot of childrens' English videos with the subtitles turned on. When kids see the word being spoken, then they can ask its meaning or look it up. And now with the emergence of Google Translate (http://translate.google.com/), it's never been easier to look up a word or entire sentence in a foreign language.
Learning a foreign language can be so much fun with these resources. And opening the window to what's going on in the rest of the world will enrich students' lives and make them citizens of the world.
Incorporating foreign language and foreign newspapers into a number of disciplines is not only exciting, but also effective learning. I would like to suggest that you keep this link very handy. It is Newseum. Read.Write.Think has several Lessons that are correlated with using the newspapers, but you can develop the concept to adapt to whatever your needs are for your classroom. Each day the Newseum provides the Front Pages of newspapers throughout our United Sates and other nations. You can access the inside of each of the papers also just by clicking on the Website link at the top of each page.
Thank you for sharing this great resource! I thought the Newseum was just a news museum. But these days museum websites provide so much great free content. I searched through the international front pages, and noticed some big name papers were missing. But having access to over 700 papers from 79 countries is a pretty impressive feat. This will definitely broaden the horizons of any classroom, and I'll pass on the site to my colleagues.