New research from the BreakingNewsEnglish.com website suggests that news is good for students. A researcher asked many teachers and students in an online class their opinions on using the news to learn English. Almost everyone said it was very important. One student said he enjoyed studying using news because the story is real. He said he remembered many times when the teacher put a headline on the whiteboard and he was surprised that it was that day's breaking news. Another student said she thought news was a lot more interesting than other types of topics in her lessons. She said she felt good when she understood the news in English. She also learnt a lot of useful "international vocabulary".
Teachers were also enthusiastic about using news in the classroom. Many said students had problems with listening, so they made the recording slower to help their students. Teachers also liked news stories because they encouraged conversation. Many teachers said their students talked non-stop about news of their own country or city. Teachers also said news was useful because students already had a lot of background knowledge from listening to or reading about a news item in their own language. Teachers also liked the fact that they could do many kinds of activities, such as role plays, debates, surveys, quizzes and language games. One teacher said he thought listening to news was "unhealthy for students".