Why start lessons on newspaper articles with stories about accidents?There are several reasons for that.First, it is a well-known subject: everybody knows how accidents are caused and what their consequences are (world knowledge). Second, accidents are concrete phenomena and can be illustrated by photos, pictures, and sketches (driver’s handbook).Third, a number of words from the common language help students understand accident reports. The five unspoken Wh-questions what, who, when, where and why are answered with the vocabulary studied at level A1-A2 (European framework). What refers to the accidents, including the vehicles involved. Who concerns the persons who caused the accidents as well as the victims. Both groups belong to the semantic fields ‘family’ and ‘profession’. When indicates the weekday, the time of the day and the exact moment (date and time) when the accident happened. To describe the place where the accident occurred in the town the author of the article refers to the name of the street, the square or the park. To specify the scene of the accident the author often uses the name of a well-known building. Why refers to the causes of the accident (e.g. ‘bad weather conditions’) and the consequences (e.g. ‘injuries’). The former belongs to the semantic field ‘weather’, the latter to the ‘parts of the human body’. Very helpfull is the knowledge gained at level B1. The transformation exercise yields a wide variety of syntactic structures that are common to the spoken language, and it makes it easier for students to orally describe the accident.Fourth, newspaper stories have a rather standard structure (with slight differences). Besides already known lexical and grammatical elements they also contain unknown elements that are typical of the newspaper language and that stimulate formulation of hypotheses.Structure of the publication. In the introductory part the newspaper stories will be presented the way one would tell them to another person. That is why the narrative tense used is not the simple past, but the present perfect tense (highlighted in bold). The meaning of the short and complete sentences is rather easily understandable from the context. The above part will be followed by the results of a number of thematic mind maps. The lexis of the mind maps will be used continuously during different exercises that help students to memorise it.
|Number of pages||70|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|