Article Of The Week
About this tutorial
“Article of the Week“ is a news presentation that integrates different skills like skimming through authentic English newspapers, reading a newspaper article, summarizing it, presenting it to your audience and leading a discussion of its topic.
You yourself gain the benefit of getting in touch with English-speaking news and of practising the skills mentioned above. Your audience stays up to date on current trends and topics and improves their vocabulary on a range of different topics throughout the year.
How to go about this task
I. Choosing the right article
First of all, you need an English-speaking, opinionated article that is no more than two weeks old at the time of your presentation.
This article needs to fulfil four criteria:
- It was published by a major newspaper in either the UK, the USA or any other English-speaking country.
- It was written by a known author (or authors), mentioned with their full name(s).
- The publication date is mentioned on the article or the website.
- It contains a controversial, current topic of which major events are not more than two weeks old at the time of the presentation.
Advice: Which newspapers should you consult?
In order to find the right newspaper, it helps to first get an overview of which newspapers are considered most prestigious in the respective countries. Every one of these sites has got an “Opinion” section with articles that fulfil the criteria above.
In the UK, the following newspapers come to mind:
- The Times (conservative)
- The Independent (liberal / social liberal)
- The Guardian (centre-left)
In the USA, the following newspapers and newssites are very popular:
- The Wall Street Journal (business focus; rather conservative)
- The New York Times (liberal leaning)
- USA Today (centre (moderate), rather left leaning)
- The Washington Post (rather liberal)
- Fox News (conservative right; partly criticized for disinformation)
II. Preparing your presentation
Summarize your topic
Your handout contains a summary of about 30 to 50 words concerning your topic. This summary is not read during the presentation, but helps your audience to better understand your topic and to have a point of reference in case you need to come back to this topic one day. Write this summary first so that you make sure you yourself have got a thorough understanding of the topic in question.
Collect important words
Every “Article of the Week” presentation is an opportunity for your audience to discover new words and to link them mentally with your given topic. This is why you are asked to collect ten words and their definitions and to include them in your handout. These words can either emerge from your summary, or they are any other words that you consider helpful in understanding the topic.
Structure your presentation
In this phase, try to get your listeners interested in your topic. Say what made you chose this topic, why you think it is relevant to speak about it, why everyone should know about this topic.
When I heard that..., I immediately thought that... / I've always been fascinated by ... and so ... / As we all know, ... is a topic of great importance... / ...
In your main part, explain and analyse your topic. Give the necessary background first in order to help your listeners "connect the dots". Then, explain what is currently happening regarding this topic and what the position of your article is concerning this topic. Here you might also tell your listeners why this topic is controversial, and present the conflicting views concerning this topic.
In a nutshell, ... is about ... doing ... / This is an example of X doing Y... / If we take a look at ..., we can clearly see that... / X suggests that... / ...
Conclusion, discussion, outlook
Lastly, this is about taking this controversy into the classroom. Here, you might give an outlook how this topic might probably develop, what a possible compromise or solution could look like, what your position is, and what your classmates could discuss about. In a possible discussion, serve as an expert and present alternative views in case the discussion becomes stale.
Having seen X, it might well be that... / The two parties are irreconcilably opposed. / A compromise might be possible if... / X could present a possible solution / What we also have to consider is that... / People might say that ...
III. Respect important deadlines
As your teacher might want to have a look at your handout before the lesson, please upload your article one day before the presentation in the corresponding folder of your school’s cloud storage, or mail it to your teacher. If you cannot make it for the presentation due to sickness or other reasons, please inform your teacher beforehand, so that he or she can restructure the lesson plan.
You can access a handout generator for this task in the corresponding memoForm! In order not to lose your data in case of a lost internet connection, collect all your information elsewhere, then paste them into the form and generate your handout.