Sunday, 27 February 2011

Categorizing Newspapers

Original Idea: Barkovits Ágnes


LEVEL: Pre-Intermediate

TIME: 45 minutes


1. to get familiar with the topic of newspapers and its vocabulary (as part of the module Five minutes fame from Sulinova Adatbank)

2. to do exercises in groups in which students should improve their skills integratively

3. to advance cooperation

4. to encourage students to talk about this topic and try to express their opinion and attitude

ASSUMPTIONS: Students are not familiar with the vocabulary, therefore it is necessary to pre-teach some keywords.


1. Students may be inactive

2. I do not know them enough


1. Blackboard for the new vocabulary

2. Handouts with different exercises

3. Supplementary material from the internet: print screens and descriptions

4. Newspapers

5. Exercise book


  1. WARMER (5 minutes)

· The teacher asks warmer questions like:

Do you like reading newspapers? How often do you read newspapers or magazines? Which are your favourites and why? Do you read them printed or online? Is there anyone who reads newspapers in English? etc.

  1. PRESENTING VOCABULARY (20-22 minutes altogether)
  • the students should form 3 groups. Each gets Exercise 1 (matching) (5 minutes)

(meanwhile the teacher writes on the board the main categories to complete it together later)

Match the words with the right description. Group 1

Brochure A newspaper that has small pages, short articles and lots of photographs. They are often considered to be less serious than other newspapers.

Rag A newspaper that is printed on large sheets of paper measuring approximately 38 cm by 61 cm. They are generally considered to be more serious than other newspapers.

Tabloid A magazine or booklet with pictures that gives you information about a product or service.

Broadsheet People refer to a newspaper as a rag when they have a low opinion of it.

Match the words with the right description. Group 2

Review A piece of writing in a newspaper or magazine.

Front page One of the parts into which a newspaper is divided.

Section A front page article or picture appears on the front page of a newspaper because it is very important or interesting.

Headline The title of a newspaper story, printed in large letters at the top of it, especially on the front page. Headlines are the main points of the news which are read on radio or TV.

Article A report in a newspaper or magazine in which someone gives their opinion of a new book, film, TV programme, record, play or concert.

Feature A prominent or special article, story, or department in a newspaper or periodical.

Supplement An article in a publication expressing the opinion of its editors or publishers

Editorial A separate part of a magazine or newspaper often dealing with a particular topic.

Match the words with the right description. Group 3

Reporter A person whose job is to collect news or other information and write about it in newspapers or magazines or talk about it on TV or radio.

Editor A journalist who regularly writes particular kind of article in a newspaper or magazine.

Hack The person who is in charge of a newspaper and who decides what will be published in it. A journalist who is responsible for a particular section of a newspaper. A person who checks and corrects texts before they are published.

Journalist Someone who writes new articles or broadcasts new reports.

Columnist A journalist who writes for money without worrying very much about the quality of their writing.

Foreign correspondent A correspondent who sends news reports or commentary from a foreign country for broadcast or publication.

  • the groups now should be twisted so every new group must have at least one member from every former one. Their task is to describe the new words to each other. Everyone should take notes in their exercise book. Then they do Exercise 2 (Divide the words...) (10-15 minutes)

  • Divide the words below into the correct categories.

journalist tabloid editorial

columnist daily rag

feature foreign correspondent headline

broadsheet reporter quality supplement

article hack front page


1 people who work on a newspaper: …………………………………………………………………………………

2 types of newspaper: ………………………………………………………………………………….

3 what you find in a newspaper: ………………………………………………………………………………….

(The teacher goes round to check if they understand everything and helps if needed)

  • Then they complete together the chart on the board. (2 minutes)

3. TYPES OF NEWSPAPER (18-20 minutes altogether)

  • Exercise 3: the groups get the descriptions and pictures the following way:

group 1 daily newspapers (The Independent, The Daily Mirror)

group 2 weekly news magazine (Newsweek)

group 3 monthly magazine (National Geographic)

Their task is to come up with a short presentation (3-4 sentences) in which they explain the main characteristic features of the kind of newspaper. They should write it down.

(8-10 minutes)

  • Now everyone goes back to their original groups and students share their knowledge again.

(5 minutes)

When they finished the teacher asks a student from every group to present a type of newspaper to the class. (5 minutes)

4. EXERCISE IN HAND (6-8 minutes)

Which of these words collocate with news?

Example newsroom

room stand print conference

agency flash hound letter

worthy paper agent desk

Complete these sentences with some of the words above.

1 The ____________ is the place where journalists write their reports.

2 You can buy a ‘paper at a news__________ or at a news___________ in the street.

3 If it is a good story, it is news_________.

4 A good reporter is sometimes called a news___________.

5 Politicians often inform journalists about their actions at news____________s.

5. HOMEWORK (1-2 minutes)

Choose 2 or 3 questions and think them through.

Think of answers for these questions.

What is in the news in your country at the moment?

What type of newspaper do your read, and why do you read that type for?

What do you think of the press in your country? Is it sensationalist and exploitative?

Or is it serious and impartial?

What do you think the role of the press should be in society?

(You can add your own questions if you have something you would like to talk about next time.)

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