English In The News – Sample Lesson

Want to get an idea of the English In The News Program? Here’s a sample lesson for you.

Your lesson is in 4 sections:

1. Recent News Story
2. Essential Vocabulary (with audio)
3. Summary suggestions (and sample)
4. Conversation phrases

1. Recent News Story

Read the recent news story from the BBC:

What3words: The app that can save your life

Then check out the essential vocabulary explanation below.

2. Essential Vocabulary (With Audio)

1. urge = strongly encourage
“Police have urged everyone to download an app”


2. randomly chosen = chosen “at random” (without any method – indiscriminately)
“The three words are randomly chosen.”

(Further on in the article you can see “randomly assigned”.

“Randomly chosen”

3. (circular) stroll = a walk in a large circle
“They went for a circular stroll through a wood.”


4. hopelessly lost = lost without any hope of finding the right way
“After three hours they were hopelessly lost.”

“Hopelessly lost”

5. absolutely horrendous = really terrible, awful
“It was absolutely horrendous.”

“Absolutely horrendous!

6. call-handler = the person who takes your call (emergency services / customer care department, etc)
“The call-handler told them to download the app.”

“Call handler”

7. soaked and freezing = completely wet (soaked) and very cold (freezing)
“When they were rescued, they were soaked and freezing.”

“Soaked and freezing!

8. get used to = when something becomes usual
“The founder got used to getting post for other people.”

“Used to”

9. flag down = make cars or people stop
“The founder had to flag down delivery drivers because they didn’t know where he lived.”

“Flag down”

10. fuelled his frustration = made him even more frustrated (fuel = something that you burn to get energy, like oil or petrol)
“His years in the music industry, when he had to organise people to meet at particular entrances of venues, also fuelled his frustration.”


3. Summary Suggestions

When you summarise the news story, you don’t need to include all the information. You only need the main ideas and a couple of details to make it interesting.

To keep your summary to less than one minute, limit your summary to these ideas:

Introduction sentence (this is what links your summary to the previous conversation topic – see below for some ideas)
What it is
How / why it started
An example
Your opinion / invite comment

Here’s an example summary of the news story, including some of the essential vocabulary.

Example Summary

I was reading something interesting about tech the other day. Basically, it’s this new app that the police are urging us to download. The app tells you your precise location but without using numbers. It gives you three, randomly chosen words.

It started because the founder of the app lived in a rural area and never got his post. He got tired of flagging down delivery drivers.

Anyway, it’s already saved lives! These people went for a stroll, got hopelessly lost and called emergency services. The call-handler told them to download the app, and then they were found straightaway. They were soaked and freezing – just as well they got the app!

It’s amazing what tech can do, don’t you think?

4. Conversation Phrases

Here are some ways you can introduce your news story and then also give an opinion or invite a comment.

(When you introduce your story, you can either link it to something the other person has said – OR start a new conversation topic.)

Introduce Story

That reminds me about something I just read. (Link to previous topic)

By the way, did you read that story about the new app? (Link to previous topic)

I was reading something interesting about tech the other day. (New topic)

You’ve got to hear about this new app! (New topic)

Give An Opinion / Invite Comment

It’s amazing what tech can do (don’t you think?)

Personally, I think that’s one of the most useful apps I’ve seen.

Did you read about that?

I reckon we all ought to download it.

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