British Press: a lesson plan & learning English “by skype” for 2ndes

The British Press: a lesson plan for 2ndes BBCi

(extremely adaptable!) 3 lessons of 1h30 + Test

Culture: To introduce pupils to the British press, both paper and online versions.
Skills: Reading comprehension, acquiring the specific vocabulary of the press, searching for and handling information.
Test: Written and oral comprehension. Optional written production.

Preparation and best online teachers to practice english on skype
Russian speakers please first take at least 10 English skype lessons, before going any further:

. (The link leads to our partner’s website, Yulia Berkela who is a professional in German and English languages) Homework: Complete photocopies of either
Newspapers & Magazines” (very easy pre-intermediate level, with teachers’ notes ). Both from

Lesson 1
Introduction: What is “The Media“? – Plural of “medium” (of communication)
The media refers to the different channels we use to communicate information in the everyday world. What are these channels? (television, radio, films, newspapers, magazines, advertising, Internet web sites, pop songs…) If possible, give French and British/American examples of each one.

Documents and activities:

  • Correct homework
  • Various paper versions of British tabloid and broadsheet newspapers (observations and comments, list the different sections, note the elliptic headlines…)
  • News Headlines: PDF document from Teachit to study the specific vocabulary (make a transparency if you’re lucky enough to have an OHP)

Homework: “Useful vocabulary about the Press” by Yvan Baptiste (gap-filling text)


Lesson 2

Documents and activities:

  • Correct homework
  • Typical Tabloids: make a transparency from this Teachit PDF document to study the structure and main features (reading comprehension and specific vocabulary).
  • Online newspapers. An activity loosely based on Georges Thai’s “Travail sur la Presse Britannique”, using the newspaper links in the Reference Library.
  • Search for news articles about “Shipman” and “13th January 2004”. Answer the questions Who? What? How? Where? and compare how broadsheets and tabloids treat this subject.
  • Different types of newspapers in Britain. Worksheets Level One (or more advanced Level Two).
  • Together, the class must report back its findings, compare them and try to explain the differences (Note for teachers: a good summary of the main differences may be found on “Analysing Front Pages“)

Homework: Read “The Power of the Press” pages 6-7 in “Speakeasy” magazine Sept-Oct 2003

Lesson 3

Documents and activities:

  • Check understanding of homework by asking questions on the text. Comments, opinions.
  • Optional: use some of the “Speakeasy” student workouts pages 6-7 plus Robert Wiener interview on the “Live” cassette.
  • The BBC’s “Hot Off the Press” (12 units to work through).
  • A Newsquest based on this BBC activity (rather difficult, students may need help, and an online dictionary such as WordReference)

Homework: Revision for test


Test in 2 parts:

  • Vocabulary and written comprehension using abridged text “Newspapers in Britain” by Natalya Predtechenskaya (about 40 mins)
  • Oral comprehension with a worksheet using a short film from (less than 20 mins)
Follow up
Write two short articles in broadsheet style and tabloid style about a subject your teacher will give you.
Other useful documents
  • In the Reference Library: News & Current Affairs (Newspapers, Television, Radio)
  • Understanding newspaper headlines (40 min. lesson and worksheet from Handouts Online)
  • Another excellent activity by Yvan Baptiste based on New Flying Colours 1ère:
    Déchiffrer un Titre de Journal
  • Using Newspapers in the Classroom from the excellent Onestop Magazine
  • How to Study an Advert from Read the Press (Language Learning Resource Center)
  •’s Top 20 Newspaper & Journalism Words
  • Glossary Of Newspaper Terms from Newspapers In Education
  • Michelle Henry’s comprehensive list of links to News resources and activities
  • A lesson plan for 3ème, La Semaine de la Presse (Académie de Versailles site)
  • “Crossroads 2nde” textbook (Hatier 2003) Unit 7 + workbook.
  • What’s in a Newspaper? Newspapers in Education
  • Introducing Electronic Newspapers (e-paper) in the ESL Reading Classroom
    (an Educator’s Reference Desk Lesson Plan)
  • Ideas for Using Newspapers in the Classroom (for younger students)
  • TIME for Kids
  • Scholastic News
  • Science News for Kids
  • Life Magazine’s beautiful covers
Free resources
  • OneStopEnglish complete lessons:
    “Newspapers and Magazines” Pre-intermediate level with teachers notes
    “The Press” Upper-intermediate level with teachers notes

Here is a lovely video from one of our Partners 10 useful English expressions – English Vocabulary Lesson”

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