Lesson Starters

News

You can listen to the news already with beginners. In a first step have your students tell you which words they have heard. Many students have already listened to the news in their own language, which makes it easier for them to identify e.g. place names. Later on write these words down and have the class guess what the news is about. Once your students have little difficulty understanding the news, have them take notes and then ask factual questions, followed by a discussion, if time permits.
For intermediate students
  Breaking News English
    All the features have transcripts. Each news treats one item. You can choose between easier and harder lessons. These include communication activities, pair work, discussion, reading, vocabulary exercises, and handouts. Excellent site.
To subscribe to the podcast copy and paste http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/bne.rss into the URL field of the podcast software you are using.
 
  VoA News in Special English.
    5 minute features, new every Saturday. This news is read at a slower speed and uses a simplified vocabulary of about 1,500 words. You may want to limit listening time to one or two news items.
 
  VoA In the News
    News features in special English with transcripts.
 
  Words in the News from the BBC
    News read at normal speed, but there is a transcript and special words are explained. You can select the items that interest you.
For advanced students
  NPR News: Hourly News Summary

Listen to NPR Worldwide. Click on NPR FM Berlin, which airs much of NPR's Worldwide stream.