News Program

In the News Program ESL project, students create a TV news program and present it to the class.

Students for News Program ESL Project:4+Time for News Program ESL Project:45-90+ mins
Resources for News Program ESL Project:

Students can either present their programs in class as oral presentations, or make videos as a (homework) project.

If you’re doing it as a class activity, why not prepare some generic TV news music and/or a background image of a studio to use during the presentations?

In class, divide the students into groups of four or five.

  1. Elicit some different news categories and write them on the board- e.g. Politics, Business, International News, Sports, Entertainment, Science and Technology, Weather (may use different grammar).
  2. Group members each choose a different topic to report on, and one member to be the anchor. The students then each prepare reports on one, two or three different stories (invented or real) within their topic, using the target language.
  3. The group defines the order of their topics, and combines their segments together with short links from the anchor (e.g. Thanks Erica, next we have Freddie with the sports…).
  4. The groups then take turns presenting their news program to the class, again using the target language.
  5. If your target language is reported speech, the audience should write down things they hear. They then convert these notes to reported speech and share with the class at the end (e.g. Freddie said that Real Madrid had won the Champions League Final).

Tip – Make the presentations more fun by getting groups to develop names and intros for their news channel, and encouraging the use of props (a table for the anchor, fake microphones etc.).

Target Language

Creating and presenting the News Program ESL project is a great way for students to practise producing the past simple and/or present perfect simple. Adapt the length and complexity you require from each news story to student level and age.

For the past simple, students simply report the news as a list of events. To add the present perfect simple, explain that news is often announced using this tense. Students can also incorporate it into their stories.

More advanced students should use a variety of narrative tenses as appropriate, including the passive voice.

Alternatively, if your target grammar is reported speech, direct students specifically to use a variety of grammar in their reports. Including a weather segment (using the future tenses) helps with this, plus dramatic events like natural disasters (advice using imperatives). The audience can then practise converting these multiple types of language into reported speech.

Got a picture or video of this activity in action? How about snapping one next time you use it? We'd love to showcase your submissions- find out more here.