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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Discussing Current Events with Students

Roller English
Current events is an interesting topic to explore with children or young adults. I don't think it is an adults-only topic especially when we are living in an era where information is easily accessible. The younger generation are perhaps much more well informed than we were, at their age. 

Discussing current events with children can be very fun for them and us, as teachers. Children have an entirely different way of viewing the world. They have wonderful imaginations and I've learnt the most unexpected perspectives from them.

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How to discuss current events with ESL children?
1. Choose a current event that is relevant to the child. 
You would want to pick a topic that the child can relate to in his or her daily life. Think about what the child's interests are, dreams, or what is trending among people in his or her age. For example, if the child wishes to become a firefighter when he or she grows older, you can talk about recent events related to the profession. 

2. Gather and summarize facts.
Facts are important to understand a particular topic of interest. You can either gather facts by doing research with the child together on the internet or find an article that covers the main facts. Below, I've made a simple framework and worksheet that will be useful for summarizing the current event either through speaking or writing (available for free). It's simply our 5W1H (Ie. what, who, where, when, why and how).These basic questions are based on facts and concrete information, which makes it a great starting point to discuss the event because information are the foundation of our opinions. I usually use the framework for speaking and the worksheet as a writing activity.

3. Discuss feelings.
After summarizing the facts, you can move on to discuss the child's feelings. Ask them how they feel about the particular event (Be mindful of their feelings if the topic is a sad one!). Encourage them to expand their answers by asking why they feel that way or what makes them feel that way.

4. Ask higher level questions. (Applicable only for older students)
For older students, you may ask higher level questions such as whether they agree or disagree with the author's opinion, what the key issue here is, or the roles of the parties' involved. 

5. End the discussion with solutions and dreams for the future! 
I like to end our discussions on a positive note by discussing possible solutions to solve the problem or what they hope the future would look like, on the particular issue. For instance, on the issue of using too many plastic bags, a child may respond with a solution from his or her personal standpoint which is to use less! An older student may suggest the government to impose taxes on plastic bags. 

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Leave comments below to let me know your ideas on discussing current events! 
For anything, leave comments or email me at rollerenglish@gmail.com.

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Download the free resource mentioned above here.


Roller English / Author & Editor

Has laoreet percipitur ad. Vide interesset in mei, no his legimus verterem. Et nostrum imperdiet appellantur usu, mnesarchum referrentur id vim.

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