Work with Newspapers...
Boston Spa Comprehensive and and Washington Irving High's activities encompass both English and American literature, and English language studies.

Newspapers provided a useful and convenient focus for language work:- each class selected newspaper stories, and faxed copies to each other. Written views about the layout, content and language were exchanged by electronic mail, and were later discussed / reviewed by videoconference.

Here is one example - of US tabloid journalism - reviewed by students at Boston Spa:


Article
STAR, March 31, 1998
US/UK similarities:
  • obsession with unproven accusations
  • emotive words used to make the article more sensational. (Examples: 'shocking claim', 'tearfully')
  • emotive phrasal verbs (Example: 'blurted out' for 'admitted')
US/UK differences:
  • Headline inside picture; use of shadow effect (looks more professional than UK tabloids)
  • Longer headline
  • Use of Question and Answer format
  • Article refutes itself - denied by the person said to be making the accusations
  • Based on second-hand accounts
  • Would a UK tabloid have made so much out of so little? Opinion was divided!


Another group (Osborne Middle School and Woodward Academy) wrote their own newspapers.

Osborne's newspaper (shown opposite), is all about Detroit, and is based on the pupils' own research, after finding out what their audience's interests were (from videoconference 'getting to know you' sessions). Newspapers were exchanged, and then discussed in another videoconference.
Osborne's Newspaper

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