Newswise is an English reading comprehension programme based on current events, with much emphasis on extending vocabulary. Newswise is a follow up on the successful Dutch reading programme Nieuwsbegrip, which is used in more than 6,000 Dutch schools. Newswise comes out once a fortnight and contains a news text plus assignments. The Newswise texts are based on authentic sources and are written at three CEF levels: A1, A2 and B1. The language used in Newswise is English.
The focus on current events motivates pupils to read the texts, which results in improved reading comprehension. The underlying idea is that the focus on current topics enhances vocabulary and general knowledge. Precisely these two elements are important prerequisites for reading comprehension.
The Newswise texts are accompanied by assignments, the aim of which is to teach pupils how to read strategically. In the assignments the following evidence-based reading strategies are used:
- making connections
- generating questions
While reading the text, pupils use the Step-by-Step Reading Guide in which the five reading strategies are incorporated.
How does it work?
Newswise comes out once a fortnight on Tuesday (end of the day). The lessons are written at three CEF levels: A1, A2 and B1. At the A1 and A2 level, pupils are able to read short, simple texts. They can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday texts. At the B1 level, pupils are able to understand texts that consist mainly of high frequency everyday or job-related language and they understand the description of events, feelings and wishes.
The language used in Newswise is English. Texts as well as assignments are presented in English. The materials can be downloaded from the website and can subsequently be printed and copied by the schools.
With a Newswise subscription a school location has free access to the Newswise website for the period of one year. This means that the school can make use of all the materials, at three levels.
Newswise is written for pupils in the upper grades of primary education, secondary education, vocational training and special education. Pupils need at least a basic English vocabulary knowledge.
Newswise guarantees an ongoing line from primary to secondary education and meets the requirements of the different levels with which pupils enter secondary education.
Newswise is based upon the successful Dutch reading programme Nieuwsbegrip, which is used in more than 6,000 Dutch schools. The idea behind this format is that the focus on current events enhances pupils involvment, enthusiasm and movation to read the texts. The way Nieuwsbegrip works not only yields good results in the field of reading comprehension, but also makes pupils more interested in the news and the world around them. Moreover, it increases their vocabulary and general knowledge. Precisely these two elements are important requirements for reading comprehension.