>"Google Alerts" to alert you to interesting news

>Teachers are always looking for material to interest students. I’d like to say I’ve had great success using Google Alerts.

Alerts is a service that scans about 4000 news sources every day and sends you an Email of links to these sources that fit your criteria. For example, I’m teaching at an American company that works with McDonalds. I have alerts set for “mcdonalds” “kfc” and “logisitics china” (without the quotation marks).

I get lots of interesting news from these alerts. I found out about the death of McDonald’s CEO before my students did so they heard about it from me first. I have passed on to them detailed information about McDonalds new menu in the U.S. which, with all likelyhood, be coming to China in a couple years. I also passed on information about new technologies in logistics and warehousing.

This also helps you to tailor your class to your students need, as in English for Special Purposes.

The feedback from my students has been very enthusiastic. They said they are learning lots of interesting things about their industry and also how to explain things in English about their industry.

These students are managers or department heads and all use computers. Using features of Outlook I can put this news into messages and set the date for each message to go out. I usually gather up about 5-6 news stories and set them to go out one a day. Of course, if your students don’t have computers you can make printouts to work with.

Using highly interesting material you will see students make a greater effort to apply themselves to understanding and learning it than they would with generic material that is of little personal interest. Students will tackle material that would normally be over their head.

You can set the search criteria in exactly the same way you would a regular Google search. Have fun!

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Filed under english, innovative ideas, news, teach

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