STUDY & TEACH "Analysing Non-factual Information from the Media" in Form Two - O Level English

STUDY & TEACH "Analysing Non-factual Information from the Media" in Form Two - O Level English

Welcome to UNIT 12.2

PREVIOUSLY: In Unit 12.1, we discussed how to teach the sub topic “Talking about occupations of family members” in Form One.                             

IN THIS UNIT 12.2, we will focus on the better ways of teaching the sub topic “Analysing non – factual information from the media” in Form Two.

Sub Topic: Analysing non-factual information from the media.
Periods per sub topic: 10.
Class: Form Two.

In the previous sub topic, we looked at identifying factual information. Now, in this sub topic, we are going to look at identifying non-factual information. The world we live is full of lies and truth or real things and probable things. All these aspects make is necessary or important for one to have all knowledge of identifying factual (real and measurable) information and non-factual (unreal and immeasurable) information.

The student should be able to identify non-factual information from the media. The student should be equipped with the knowledge of identifying factual and non-factual information in various contexts by using different media sources.

This stage is about the preparation of the teacher before undertaking the lessons of the particular sub topic. These are all activities, procedures, materials, teaching aids, and games prepared by the teacher for teaching a sub topic:

  1. Putting heads together. Introducing the topic/lesson properly. Organising how students will be able to get to know what is the topic/lesson about. It is where teacher makes sure that students are going to be in his/her train. It includes brainstorming and familiarisation of the topic/lesson with the students.
This makes students stay together with the teacher. It is at this stage students can understand what is going to be discussed in the particular topic.

  1. Preparation of Materials. A teacher has to decide on the teaching/learning materials he/she is going to use. A teacher should have prepared the teaching materials such as: newspapers (and other texts, of course), radio, and TV. These materials are the teaching media that should be carefully and efficiently applied to the students as they try to find out non-factual information from them.
  2. Target Practice. Show them/Guide them to the practice of the functions of the sub topic. A teacher has to show or guide students to the target practice of the grammatical functions of the sub topic. He/she has to prepare a text on both factual and non-factual information as his/her model.

Then the teacher provides his/her model text and guide students to study it and point out opinions.

TEXT (Patterns and structures)
A teacher should have prepared the sample examples of the sentences that show how statements with factual and non-factual information are formed and how do they look like, that's, the acceptable sentence structures and expressions such as:  Many Tanzanians might participate in the coming elections and All students will probably pass the exam next year.

  1. Context-Based Practice. A teacher leads students to the discussion on how the target grammatical functions practised earlier can be applied or integrated into the contexts and situations. The students are guided by the teacher to apply the learnt skills in relevant contexts and situations like school, home, in the news like newspapers, radio, and TV.

  1. Vocabulary Building Practice. At this time, teacher discusses with the students on the vocabularies and phrases to apply in the already mentioned contexts and situations. In this sub topic/lesson the most commonly applied vocabularies are: View, might, probably, may, possibly, opinion, and likely.

Guide the students to the full lesson procedures, activities and games for better understanding of the sub topic by following these activities:

Activity One: In this activity, the teacher introduces the topic and the words, phrases, and expressions that show non-factual information or opinions. These are the expressions that make it easy to identify non-factual information.

While a fact is a statement that can be proven true of false, untrue fact is a statement that cannot be proven or that can be proven untrue or false. Non-factual information is sometimes called opinion statement in which someone tries to convince someone else.
Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa (true fact - can be proven true by checking the reference books or maps)
Tanzania is probably the poorest country in East Africa (untrue fact - can be proven false, that's, no reference will show that fact)
Yams are possibly bad for breakfast (untrue fact- can be proven false. There's an opinion signal word 'possibly' to show that the information given is not factual but based on speaker's or writer's opinion)
In my opinion, Tanzania is the best country in Africa (untrue fact as it is introduced by an opinion signal 'in my opinion')

Discussion of the Opinion Signal Words. These are words that show the reader that the information conveyed is not factual or is just an opinion. They are:
My point of view
Always/never/ none
In my opinion

Other words are:
My impression is...
Should/should not
May/may not

Activity Two: This is an activity in which the teacher provides a text for the students to read. A teacher writes a text on the board that include factual and non-factual information with above opinion signal words included and at the end students should be asked to identify statements (with signal words) that convey non-factual information and those with factual information.

A Text:
My Country
Tanzania is the coolest country on African continent. In my point of view, all European tourists come to Tanzania to experience the best sceneries and other unbelievable tourist attractions. It's one of the countries in East African Community which has 5 member States including Tanzania. I believe no tourist can regret visiting Tanzania. Tanzanians should always feel proud of their best country on earth! The visitors are strongly advised to visit this country.

After the above teacher’s model, students in groups or pairs are required to identify non-factual information from the text studied.
This activity may depend on the choice of the teacher on how he/she is going to arrange and guide students to perform it. For example, one group can identify factual statements and the other identifies non-factual statements from the same text (the above text- a teacher’s model). Each group should discuss and list five statements.
A teacher can draw a table like this below to help students work properly:

Factual opinions
Non-factual opinions

After identifying factual and non-factual opinions from the text, students can finish up their works by checking their answers.

Activity Three: Presentation of factual and non-factual information found in the given text. The teacher now has to guide his/her students to present their group works (their findings and answers) for the class discussion. Here the tasks may be to underline or pick the words, phrases, expressions or statements that show that the information conveyed is factual or non-factual one.
The group works may be presented in two ways. One, the groups may present their works by putting them on the school/classroom noticeboard for others to see. Or they can present their works orally before the class for other students to contribute and comment on their works.

Activity Four: Identifying factual and non-factual information from the Audio-visual media. These teaching media are carefully selected by the teacher. These materials are like newspapers, recorded audio and video speeches, news broadcast from radio and TV, and video tapes. Then, students are assigned to point out factual and non-factual information from these particular media. It is a good idea if these media are not entirely texts so that they engage students in another media form apart from the text.

Factual information and non-factual information are available in our societies. Ask students how they find or experience factual and non-factual information at their home, neighbourhood or in the society in general. Ask them to tell when they came across factual information or non-factual information in their society, is it from their friends, classmates or parents?

A teacher uses or applies the various assessment tools such as oral questions and answers, assignments and exercises in order to check if the student is able to identify non-factual information from the media.

Assessment 1: Give students a text or audio-visual recorded tape
As a teacher, give students a short text or various texts and ask them to identify the words, phrases, or expressions that give out non-factual information in the text.
A teacher may also play an audio or video and ask students to respond to the questions asked by the teacher by using that particular media.

Assessment 2: Conduct a Debate-Like Discussion
Write a topic on the board. For example, a topic may be like this "Early marriages".
Guide students to form two groups. First group write the facts about the topic and the second group write the untrue facts about the topic. Allow them to discuss and share the opinions in groups. Draw a chart like this below. Allow then to contribute a debate.

Assessment 3: Let students Play a Game
Guide students to form groups and tell them that they are going to determine which statement is factual or non-factual (or opinion). Prepare 10 sentences; 5 sentences are about facts, and other 5 are about opinions. Mix these sentences. Throw a coin to get a starting group. Write the first statement on the board and allow the starting group to respond. There will be a winning group or draw.

Ask students how they get rid of non-factual information they encounter in their society. Guide them to discuss the ways to make sure the non-factual information they get is properly handled without misleading others. In short, a teacher can discuss with students on how to prove any information they receive and prove if they are either factual or non-factual one.

NOTE: These stages explained above are not necessarily covered in a single lesson of single or double period. Remember that this is the guide for teaching the whole sub topic which has periods ranging from 6 to 20. So, the teacher's task is to divide these stages according to the total number of periods for a particular sub topic.



Title: “Form Two English Language Notes with Grammar, Exercises and Key Answers”
 1st (2022)
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Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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