IAWE 2006: Research Paper Abstract

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The English Press on the Web: Utilizing News Sites to

Familiarize EFL
Learners with Current Events, Global

Issues, and English as an International Language

Melvin R. Andrade, Ed.D.
Sophia Junior College and
Aoyama Gakuin University (IE Program)

For intermediate and advanced learners of English as a foreign language, news sites are sources of abundant high interest material. These sites make it possible to study the language and culture of countries around the world where English is the native language. In addition, there are many other countries where English is a second or foreign language that offer online newspapers, radio, and video in English for both local and international consumption. Moreover, an increasing number of news sites include study guides for students as well as lesson plans, notes, and other instructional aids for teachers.

With so much available, where do we start? As teachers of English, how can we use what we find? And how can our students use these resources on their own to further their study of English as well as use English as a tool to learn about topics they are interested in? The present study explores these questions, takes a critical look at number of online news sites, and describes courses in global issues and current events for EFL learners in Japan that integrate Web and classroom instruction. For example, the study looks at the similarities and differences in content and the presentation of content among the Web sites of countries where English is the native language, and then compares and contrasts them with the Web sites of countries where English is a second or foreign language. What national differences are there? Are they matters of degree or type? For learners studying on their own, which sites are the easiest to use? Which sites are the most interesting? Which sites provide the best support for autonomous learning? These and related issues will be approached with regard to the practical needs of the English as a foreign language teachers, especially those teaching in Japan.

Accepted March 2006

Selected References
A paper presented at the The 12th Annual Conference of the International Association for World Englishes, Nagoya, Japan, October 7-9.

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