The Internet TESL Journal

CNN Interactive: Reading, Discussing and Writing

Amy Ogasawara
Miyazaki International College (Miyazaki, Japan)


College freshmen in an EFL classroom with TOFEL scores ranging from 425 to 475.


Objective: To access the internet for current news articles; increase awareness of issues in world news; to read critically; and to write critical reactions.


CNN Interactive (; e-mail


Reading, writing, speaking


1 class period (two and a half hours)



1. Teacher introduces the topic of the lesson by asking students to discuss what they've read in Japanese newspapers or heard on Japanese news about the current event.

2. Teacher gives students a note-taking worksheet which asks for the title of the article they will be reading, and asks about photo(s) found on the article.

3. Teacher presents key vocabulary with brief explanation.

Read and Discuss

1. Students read the article directly from their computer screens. 2. Teacher leads students in a brief discussion of the article, mostly for purposes of clarity and comprehension. Students should take notes on the worksheet provided previously.

3. In pairs, students are asked to access the "You Said It" section of CNN Interactive. As they read (skim through) the comments made by readers, students are asked to discuss their thoughts, ideas, reactions with their partners. Students are also asked to make notes on their worksheet of their personal comments as they read.


1. Using the note-taking worksheet, students return to their own computers and write a discussion of the current event.

2. Students e-mail their written discussion to the teacher.

Follow up assignment

1. Students are asked to read relevant newsgroups and to post a comment. A selection of postings read by each student should be copied and sent to the teacher as well as a copy of the student's comments.

2. Students could also post their comments (or their written discussion) on the "Feedback" section of CNN Interactive.

Here's the worksheet

(It lost all the fancy box-work when I transfered it to e-mail.)

Editor's Note: The formatting is mine. I didn't see hers.
Save this page as text and edit it yourself to use with your students.

CNN Interactive: Reading, Discussing and Writing Note-taking Worksheet

What's the title of the article?


Who do you see?

What is happening?

What emotions would you associate with these photos?

Inference - What do these photos tell you about the current event?

Reading the article

Write key vocabulary here:

Write the main point(s) here:


Feedback and student reactions. As you read the "You Said It" comments, write down key concepts that you find particularly interesting. Also make notes of your reactions to these comments.

Comments: My reaction:

Comments: My reaction:

Comments: My reaction:

The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2, December 1995