TEACHING THE DIGITAL GENERATION: USING ONLINE NEWSPAPERS

T. Süral, A. Elmahi

Sabancı University (TURKEY)
The development of the Internet brought a revolution in the world of teaching. Students are now able to get news, sports scores, Twitter posts, friends’ Facebook updates, and other information of interest on their mobile phones. They can access hundreds of newspapers worldwide. With the rise of the digital media, many newspapers and periodicals have created online sites enabling readers to comment on articles, participate in discussion boards and listen to news podcasts. As a result, students and teachers have more language acquisition resources at their disposal today than ever before.

Reading is one of the best ways to help students improve their language proficiency. Studies have shown that students who use newspapers develop better reading comprehension skills and stronger critical thinking skills. Even though there is an abundance of reading materials available for the students, teachers often complain about their students’ poor reading habits, lack of motivation and interest. In this paper, I explore how working with on-line English language newspapers and magazines could be used as powerful tools in the language classroom to develop an aptitude to read and respond critically. Fostering positive attitudes and motivation for reading will also be discussed. Finally, practical ideas will be given on working with online newspapers in the classroom which engage and challenge students.