How to learn English with current news articles

“Onestopenglish” helps you transform English news articles into valuable learning materials.

Chalk in different colors lying on table

Photo credit: Daniel Watson (photo reformatted)

Are you an English trainer who spends your coffee break browsing through informative articles on “The Guardian”? Did you also know you can use articles from this well-known newspaper in your classroom? The newspaper partners with the site onestopenglish to make its articles available for the English-language classroom. But what makes the materials from onestopenglish different to the dull worksheets we all remember from school?

Onestopenglish is an amazing tool by Macmillan Education for English trainers and students alike. For students, it offers vocabulary and grammar activities. For trainers, there are articles outlining great techniques for teaching their students business English in the classroom. Trainers are offered a multitude of approaches for various topics and it helps them implement these in the classroom. Whether it be a needs analysis lesson at the beginning of a course, role plays and simulations for real-life business situations or lessons on intercultural interactions – this website has everything a trainer and their students need.

One of my favourite tools (as well as that of many of our trainers) is the weekly topical worksheets from The Guardian that onestopenglish offers. At first sight, it seems to emulate that typical scenario in school when the teacher handed out a worksheet to be done in class while they sat at the front and acted as a surveillance camera and the only thing you could hear were pencils scribbling away. Well, that scenario is far from what these worksheets offer. Students aren’t only required to write, they also hold group discussions, read up-to-date articles (usually taken from The Guardian itself), quiz themselves on new and challenging vocabulary and play fun games to reinforce what they have learned. And yes, all of this is accomplished straight from a single worksheet.


Photo caption: Weekly topical worksheets from “The Guardian”

Each week, a different article is taken from current news and reproduced in three levels – 1) pre-intermediate/intermediate, 2) upper intermediate and 3) advanced. In addition, the activities on the worksheet are adapted to fit that topic and the appropriate level. One example is “superagers” and the secrets that scientists have unravelled about them. The worksheet included a “Warmer” at the beginning, a “Key words” section, a “Find the information” section, the news article itself, a “Comprehension check”, a “Word-building” activity and, at the end, a “Discussion” protocol. That’s pretty much everything that one needs for a well-rounded English lesson. If ever you’re in a pinch and in need of a good lesson, then look no further. Have fun!

By Laura B.


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