A few further comments on an idea I tweeted earlier today…
— Tom Walton (@Tom_IHBCN) June 1, 2014
I've been doing this with classes since before the Internet (!!!), taking a radio (what?!) into class to play the BBC news bulletin to learners First Certificate (B2) and above.
A one-minute bulletin is great, especially great now that you can have it with video (and no static!) and the task involves learners (individually) first listening; then listening again and transcribing everything they can; then comparing notes with a partner; then listening again and attempting to fill in any gaps.
If you're lucky (and yes, it's a bit hit and miss!) there will be at least one news item that will then lead on to discussion and debate.
It works because it's topical; it's real and up-to-the-minute; it's materials and preparation "light" (I don't make a transcription) but language and interaction "rich"; and it satisfies the principal requirement of my one-man crusade against the photocopier: number of photocopies required — none.
Persuading your learners to listen and watch such things on their own every day (they don't have to transcribe, of course!) is also a good idea as it's such great, extra listening comprehension practice.
On Twitter (@Tom_IHBCN), I post only one thing a day (and quite frequently not even that), always and exclusively things I think will interest language teachers and/or their learners.