Benefits of Using Newspapers, Magazines and Books in Classroom

By Zahra Ishaq

In this article, I am going to give you an overall view of the outstanding advantages that the usage of various mass media in the classroom can provide to students and teachers at the same time.  Newspapers, magazines, books, the Internet, records, radio and television, are all-powerful and continual sources of information that can be simply compared to a library or an encyclopedia. Access to media is an essential thing from a pedagogical point of view: the variety of subjects and topics that they cover make mass media interesting and motivating for the students to work with. Now I would like to tell how print media in particular help students and teachers to gather, contrast, analyze and classify information, concepts and perspectives. The main focus is on the use of newspapers, magazines and books in the classroom with the students and by the teachers.

The advantages of using print media in the classroom

Print Media Newspapers, magazines and books are included in the three most important representatives of the printed media. They are all extensively used by teachers and students altogether in their daily activities, but when it comes to using them within the classroom environment the situation becomes a bit complicated. This is mainly due to the number of time teachers need to prepare and adjust articles taken from newspapers and magazines into their classrooms. No television set is required, no electricity needed and the cost of purchase of items such as a newspaper or a magazine is rather low. What is more, newspapers, magazines and books are now easily accessed and as such students themselves can contribute to the collection of these materials that will, later on, be used in their teaching and learning environment?

Newspapers

1.     Newspaper-based activities engage students in interesting and enjoyable activities and they also encourage them to further reading. Generally they reproduce the culture of a certain community through the language they contain.

2.    Newspapers also `reflect the changes in the language as well, and in doing so, help students and teachers keep up the pace with such changes. Most newspapers are linguistically up-to-date and provide valuable linguistic data` said Tafani in 2004.

3.    The varieties of newspapers provide huge  opportunities to the teachers but in doing so the teachers should take into consideration many issues such as the length of the article, the complexity of the language, the subject matter and content, the time available as well as the level of the students. While selecting suitable newspaper materials to use in the classroom, the teacher uses some pre-activities and activities that can be used in combination with one another.

4.    Newspapers can be easily used not only in regard to linguistic aspects of the language, but they are also fruitful in regard to extra-linguistic elements such as critical thinking or world knowledge. As newspapers cover actual issues which are of great interest to our students, then this is a very good reason that should stimulate teachers to use them while teaching.

 Magazines

Magazines are another ambassador group of the printed media. Their purpose is exactly the same as that of newspapers, to inform, entertain and persuade the public as well as to offer a means for targeted advertising. As such they could very easily be used just like newspapers. Their advantage is that they are much more colourful than newspapers and they offer many opportunities for the teachers to organize photograph activities that could stimulate verbal or written stories. For instance, they could be used to introduce colours, means of transport, fables and short stories and other stimulating activities as well. Nowadays, there are magazines suitable for every age group which makes the decision making much easier. From the analysis of the questionnaire prepared in this regard, it resulted that children and teenagers were very attracted by magazines because they were child-friendly, full of pictures and colours. This high interest that this generation shows in reading magazines should be further on exploited by the educators to up-to-date their teaching materials and to break the monotony of the textbook-based lessons. Children and teenagers who have been turned off by textbooks may be motivated to read magazines. In general, the advantages of using magazines are as under:

 

 

  1. Magazines are child friendly as they are full of pictures and colors. Young children are easily fascinated by colorful magazines and this may serve as a tool to motivate the students’ reading skills.
  2.  Magazines offer to students a ‘real’ natural source of language comprised of words characterized by several connotational components pertaining to a wide variety of language styles, enriching this way the students’ passive and active vocabulary.
  3.  Magazines (similarly to newspapers) are the first to present to our students (and not only) the changes in which the language undergoes and they can do this much quicker than text-books as they are published daily, weekly or monthly.
  4. Magazines can also be used basically for the culture they transmit. Since they serve as a country’s mirror, students are able to be in contact with the culture of the language they are studying through magazines in particular and printed media in general.

Books

 Books are crucial in modern life as well, a driving force in education, business, law, science, medicine and entertainment as Tafani said in 2004. The students gain the legacy of knowledge earned through books without books (and textbooks are included here), no education could have been possible. They are the primary source of information used by all humanity. After the invention of the typewriter, the printing of the textbooks and books in general reached high peaks and expanded its readership. Unfortunately, despite the worldwide known value of books, we hear students complain each day and more about books assigned to be read by their instructors. This is a hotly debated topic in educational spheres.

Conclusion

Various researches have conducted numerous study researches about the advantages that the use of print media in the classroom can bring to students and teachers. There are numerous benefits but above all they make teaching and learning more exciting and fun. Generally society think that television has enticed some young people and keeps them away from school – Print media is a tool that brings them closer to education and of motivates them is by using interesting elements such as the print media.