1.en.6 A piece of news: A new British expedition to the South Pole

We have been talking about newspapers for some time now, so it is (high) time we started looking at newspapers articles.

This year the 100th anniversary of Robert F. Scott expedition to the South Pole and although it was only partly successful a famous British adventurer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, has decided to organise a new expedition to the South Pole to commemorate the centenary.  This was disclosed to the public last month and the news appeared in newspapers all over the world (I learnt about it on Spanish TV).

Look at the two photos. Could you say who is who?

Here you are four articles that appeared in several online newspapers at the end of September:

1. Read the article that your teacher has given you and select the 10 pieces of information that you consider essential in order to retell the story. Copy a grid similar to the one below in your notebook and fill it with the 10 details:

                                                 Information Grid

2. Now, together with the people who has read the same article try to agree on what are the most relevant details. Then write a summary of the story in your notebook.

3. Sit in small groups with people who read articles from different newspapers. Compare the headlines: are they similar? Then, read your summary aloud to your group and listen to other people’s summaries: Are there any differences or similarities between your summary and the other summaries? What are these? Could you tell the reason why?

1.en.5 Newspapers: Past & Present

1.History of the Newspaper

Modern technologies allow people to inform themselves about current events in a faster way than in the past. However, for an extended and deeper approach to news we will still need newspapers, either in the old paper versions or the newest online ones.

We are going to learn a bit about the history of newspapers in order to start wondering what is all this fuss about being informed. Watch the following video and answer the questions below:


True or False?

1. Roman citizens could buy Acta Diurna at the nearest newsagent.

2. Kaiyuan Za Bao was the first newspaper printed on paper.

3. Gazetta was the name of an ancient coin.

4. The oldest European newspaper is the London Gazette.

5. The funeral of the hero of Trafalgar was the first newspaper illustration.

6. Cartoons were first published in the XIX century.

7. The first newspaper to include news in its front page was the Daily Mirror.

8. The first tabloid was published at the beginning of the XX century.

2.Who reads the newspapers ?

Watch the following video. It’s from a British comedy called Yes, Prime Minister.

Yes, Prime Minister is a comedy sitcom which was very popular in the 1980s. It is set in the PM’s office. There are three main characters, Jim Hacker, The Prime Minister; Sir Humphrey Appleby, his permanent secretary and Bernard Woolley, his private secretary.

In the scene the PM and his permanent secretary comment on some recent news and the PM  classifies British newspapers by the people who read them.

Do you know the name of Britain’s current PM? Where does the British PM live? What public office in Spain  is the equivalent of that of PM? Where does he live? Who is currently holding this office in Spain?

Well, now you can watch the video and answer the questions below:

Questions 2:

1. What news has hit the headlines recently?

2. What has the PM decided to do about it? For what reason?

3. Look at the list of British newspapers in the box. What people read each of them according to the PM? Match the names of the newspapers with the descriptions.

 The Daily Telegraph     The Daily Mail     The Times     The Guardian            The Morning Star     The Financial Times     The Daily Mirror

a) People who think they run the country: …………………………………………………………

b) People who think they ought to run the country: …………………………………………….

c) People who actually do run the country: ………………………………………………………..

d) The wives of the people who run the country: ………………………………………………….

e) People who own the country: ……………………………………………………………………….

f) People who think the country ought to be run by another country: …………………….

g) People who think the country is run by another country: ………………………………….

4. Now, what people read The Sun according to Bernard, the PM’s private secretary ?

5. Think about Spanish National newspapers. Would you be able yo say what people read them? Do these newspapers cater for people with different social, political or religious views? You might need to ask an adult about this. I suggest you ask at home or somebody you trust. Bring the result of your interview to class. We will see whether everybody agrees.

DEADLINE: 15 October 2012

3.en.95 Are newspapers on the wane? No way! Have a look at Àrta Herald, a newspaper created by a group of 2n ESO and their English teacher, Jose María Agustiño.

We have been working with newspapers for a while and some of you, (Guillem) have already published their first headline, here in our blog. Well, others have joined in,. Tatiana  decided to make a gossip paper and   this weekend she sent me her first article  for  Weekly Tati .

Though it needs some editing, I will upload it to the blog as a proof of her sudden interest in journalim. Can you suggest Tatiana some improvement for her headline.

  • What is the false friend that slipped in her article?
  • who will be the first one to discover it?

It seems there’s a journalism craze spreading among  2nd ESo students. The latest news come from Jose María Agustiño, an English teacher who was  at the Ramon Llull some years ago. Unfortunately, he had to leave us, but he left behing part of his work, which is extremely helpful and can still be used. You can visit  the web page he developed while he was with us, English Rules,  clicking here. In fact,  you can access English Rules directly from the Ramon Llull home page.  Sofía, an English teacher from our school, has added new links and sections to English Rules  for her Batxillerat students.

Jose María Agustiño is currently working in Àrta and sent me an online special edition of the Àrta Herald. I’m sure you’ll like it. I’ve told him we might decide to launch our own digital newspaper next year, what do you think? we could also collaborate with them. Well, let me know your opinion . I’ m sure they’ll love some feedback.  As usual, post your comments to the blog. Click here to go to Àrta Herald

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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.