News in Levels: A Differentiated Reading Resource for ELLs

Free! News in Levels is a website that provides current event stories at differing levels of reading complexity for English Language Learners. After launching the website, it presents users with several news headlines and dropdown menus at the top of a screen. To select an article, users can either click on a story directly located on the website’s main page or they can locate an article by hovering over a level at the top of the screen and choosing a category. Once a category is clicked, the website will load articles that users can access aligned to the category. After…

Review Overview

A. Instruction - 7.7
B. Design - 8.9
C. Engagement - 7.4

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News in Levels: A Differentiated Reading Resource for ELLs

Summary : Bringing the News to ELLs!

News in Levels is a website that provides current event stories at differing levels of reading complexity for English Language Learners. After launching the website, it presents users with several news headlines and dropdown menus at the top of a screen. To select an article, users can either click on a story directly located on the website’s main page or they can locate an article by hovering over a level at the top of the screen and choosing a category. Once a category is clicked, the website will load articles that users can access aligned to the category.

After a story is selected, users can modify the text by clicking the Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 buttons. Level 1 offers the news story in a more accessible language for ELLs who are starting to learn English, while levels 2 and 3 increase the complexity and sophistication of the language used in the news story. Also, each news story is accompanied with an audio recording of it being read, which is connected to the news story’s level.

In addition, users can click the “Jokes” and “Videos” options on the website’s top menu bar, and the jokes and videos are aligned to different levels for users to access. The Grammar, Learn, People, Book, and Skype options all connect to outside website.

Instructional Ideas for News in Levels

  1. Teachers can have students choose an article of interest from this website and then read it at a level that is appropriate for their English ability. Afterwards, teachers can have students summarize what they read, either orally or in writing. Next, teachers can have students locate the text from the article that serves as the basis for their summary.
  2. After reading an article, teachers can have students write 1-3 questions related to the article. Students can the share their questions with a classmate and the classmate can then read the article and respond to the questions. The student who wrote the questions can then give the other student feedback regarding the responses.
  3. After reading an article, teachers can have students draw a picture that represents the article’s main idea. Next, teachers can have students identify evidence from the article that connects the image drawn by the student back to the article’s main idea. Teachers can then ask students to explain the connection.
  4. Teachers can have students choose a joke included on this website and have students listen to the joke. Afterwards, teachers can ask students to explain the guffaw, or punchline, from the joke.
  5. Teachers can compare this website to Newsela and then choose which they think would work best for their students.
A1. Rigor
A2. 21st Century Skills
A3. Conn. to Future Learning
A4. Value of Errors
A5. Feedback to Teacher
A6. Level of Material
A7. Cooperative Learning
A8. Accom. of Individual Diff.
B1. Ability to Save Progress
B2. Platform Integration
B3. Screen Design
B4. Ease of Use
B5. Navigation
B6. Goal Orientation
B7. Information Presentation
B8. Media Integration
B9. Cultural Sensitivity
C1. Learner Control
C2. Interactivity
C3. Pace
C4. Flexibility
C5. Interest
C6. Aesthetics
C7. Utility
B8. Media Integration
B9. Cultural Sensitivity

Screenshots of News in Levels

News in Levels