New Internationalist for EFL/ESOL
3 December 2012
‘We have seen a growing awareness among teachers of English that it is more effective to teach language through engaging, relevant content,’ says Linda.
‘As long-time subscribers of New Internationalist ourselves, we feel that the issues and topics covered in the magazine are perfect for this. However, they need to be easier to understand for people whose first language is not English.’ John added: ‘We also feel that teachers, particularly new ones, often need help planning lessons based on authentic texts about real world issues.’
The wiki site (http://eewiki.newint.org) currently features articles from the four latest issues of the magazine and will be regularly updated. It offers simplified versions of the magazine content as well as other teaching materials . Teachers can download the ready-lessons in Powerpoints and PDFs with interesting, staged tasks, and the New Internationalist visuals and podcasts.
‘The key idea here is to disseminate ideas, facts and information in simplified language. However, given that learners of English develop their language the more they read, and that English teachers need relevant, interesting materials to help develop their learners’ English, the texts can also be used to improve the language skills of the readers,’ says Linda. ‘The ready-lessons contain activities to engage the learners in reading and speaking. They also focus on vocabulary and grammar. Learners can work alone, or teachers can display the texts from the website to a Smartboard, and print articles out for use in class.’
About the authors: Linda Ruas and John Shepheard are very experienced teacher trainers and ESOL/EFL teachers. Both are keen on bringing real, topical issues such as those in the New Internationalist to English learners.
Linda spent ten years in Brazil, and has also taught in Japan and worked in several European countries. Linda is a member of the IATEFL Global Issues Special Interest Group
John has taught in Germany and trained in the US, Canada, and Italy. John has published a number of EFL teaching books, including The Anti-Grammar Grammar Book, He has written and presented radio programmes for English by Radio with the BBC World Service. Both now teach and train at Greenwich Community College, London.
New Internationalist Easier English is open to everyone. Please use it and let us know what you think. email: [email protected]