3.en.94 Media: headlines photos and captions. “Taliban kill head of Afghan girl’s school”

This last term, we are following current news  and reading newspaper articles. We have already worked on a piece of news taken from the digital edition of El País in English. and you  are currently working on headlines of your choice, taken from the same source.

Today, I have chosen a news story from The Guardian. I did so, in order to analyse the headline, the photo and its caption. My choice was also guided because this year, we went to several talks  at La Caixa where you learnt  about what to live in Afghanistan is like. I’m sure that now, when you read a piece of news about this country, you  surely remember Monica Bernabe and Ramon Lobo’s experiences and Skateistan skate park initiative, don’t you? We devoted several posts in this blog to them.  

Well, unfortunately gloomy news keep on making the headlines. Look at this one from the Guardian. You can read the same story covered by El País. By clicking on the links, you can read the whole story. 

  • What’s characteristic of headlines?
  • Which part of the sentence is omitted , if any?
  • does the sentence follow grammar conventions?
  • Is the headline catchy?
  • Where does the piece of news come from? an agency? a correspondant?
  • who signs the piece of news?
  • Does the headline anticiparte all the information you’ll find in the article?
  • Do the headline and caption answer most “WH” questions?
  • What about the photograph chosen?
  • who is the protagonist of the story?
  • Can you think of other photos other than the one chosen that would have changed our perception of the news story: The teacher killed, talibans holding guns, a classroom…?

What would have happened if you had looked up the word “head” in a dictionary and had read only the first meaning of the word?

How many different meanings do yo have to look at until you actually find one that fits ?

Look at  dictionary reference.com. We need to scroll down until we get to (5)

 Now, let’s analyse further information

Which section of the newspaper is the news from?

  • What is Reuters?
  • See what happens if you click on “Article history”
  • What kind of information appears in the new box? 
  • Is it a helpful tool? Why?
  • You have to print the whole article and bring it to class, as you did with the one about Lorca’s earthquake. We’ll analyse together. 
  • Digital editions usually give you the option of a printable version of the article. Click here to access the printable one
Now, compare the headlines in the Guadian with the headline from   El País coverage of the same piece of news. 

3.en.92 Unsolved mysteries: The flying calculator

After 3 days of hard work, our class reporters Guillem and Pepe, have sent me this report. I’m very dissapointed with the result. Well, the headline is not that bad, I guess it is about the only good part of their article that deserves to be published. It seems that the work done in class with headlines had some results.

Here follows Pepe and Guillem’s article. It really needs to be polished before it can be published in our class newspaper. Let’s see if you can contribute with your suggestions.  I will copy their article in blue and my objections in red.

In case you like it, I enclose a photograph to include in the front page. Claudia’s calculator is not  among the flying objects, but a good caption might put up for that.



Last Friday, before English class, Guillem found his pencil case in Angel’s table. Inside  his pencil case  he found a calculator. Nobody asked for the calculator, so Guillem asked Zandalie to borrow a black marker, and started to paint the calculator. When Judit saw Guillem painting the calculator, she said that the calculator was Claudia’s calculator, and she told Claudia that Guillem was painting her calculator. Claudia interrupted the class, saying that someone had robbed her calculator. Then, Maria decided to punish Guillem and Pepe on Monday and Guillem had to clean the calculator.

This was Guillem’s report. I’m afraid, Guillem has a long way to go until he becomes a good journalist. Anyway, I will publish his article and, hopefully,  with everybody’s help, next one will be better.

  • Does the reporter answer the “wh” questions? When, Who, Why…?
  • Who writes the article?
  • Is content interesting ?
  • Did the reporter  interview any of the witnesses?
  • Is the order of events clear?
  •  Are there any unanswered questions?
  •  What was Guillem doing in Angel’s desk?
  • Who was the owner of the marker? Zandalie? Guillem?
  • Can a calculator be robbed or rather be stolen?
  • When did the finding of the mysterious calculator take place? During break? During English class?
  • Why did Guillem decide to paint the calculador?
  • What is the role of Zandalie in this mess?
  • Why was Pepe punished?
  • Why did Maria punish Pepe?
  • What was the punishement?

Bearing in mind that Pepe and Guillem spent an hour making a report of what had happened, I have to say that their narration of events is very confusing and biased. I’m afraid, the only part  I like is the headline: flying calculator.

3.en.89 Lorca’s earthquake follow up

I sent everyone a document with  a newspaper article and some tasks dealing with Lorca’s earthquake. We shall be doing them together. This post is to remind you that tomorrow you must bring the document to class.  Print it and include it in your notebook. So far, I have not received any comments, so I wonder whether you’ve opened your mail. Anyway, see you tomorrow and remember that the  dead line for the first five chapters of The Phantom of the Opera is tomorrow too. 

By the way, nobody has found the hidden link between David Lozano and Ladyghost. The first one to find out will get an extra mark.

These are the tasks we started in our last session. Over half of the class forgot to print the document. I hope you will not forget to finish them for next week.

I) Here follow some problem words.

  1. Hazardous= peligroso
  2. Deem= estimar, considerar
  3. Debris= escombros
  4. Tear/tore/torn down= derribar, tirar abajo
  5. To estimate= calcular
  6. Damaged= dañados
  7. Claim= solicitar, reclamar
  8. Tax= impuestos

II) Structure:

A paragraph is a self contained unit. In this newspaper article there are 4 paragraphs. Match them with their content.

a) Government measures

b) Buildings

c) People affected

d) Politicians statements and quotes

III) Now, let’s see if the article answers all “wh” questions? When, Why? Where? What?

When did it appear?

Is it a follow up?

IV) What does the headline refer to?

a) The victims

b) The buildings

c) The government measures

d) Other

V) Who are the people quoted?

a) Politicians

b) Witnesses

c) Experts

d) Other 

VII) Are the sources mentioned?

VIII) Can you sumarize the piece of news in just one paragraph?

IX) Do you think is a good headline? What is missing in the headline?  Why? Why not?

X) You have to choose a headline from the digital edition of El País in English and post it to the blog