Site URL: NewsInLevels.com
Content: This is a news site designed specifically to help readers master the English language.
Design: “Simple” best describes News in Levels, and that is a compliment. Because the site’s purpose is help students master the English language, it eschews any overly distracting imagery or animations. Instead, users get a neatly produced, blog-type layout of news stories. Each entry features three buttons corresponding to the reading level in which a user would like to see the story.
Review: While News in Levels aims at those for whom English is not a first language, the site’s tiered presentation of news articles also makes it a handy general classroom tool for the elementary level. A given news article is offered in three versions. Version 1 is written in the most simplistic manner possible. The sentences are short, the words are simple and only the most important factual elements are covered.
Version 2 gives the user a slightly more complex version of the story. These articles feature more sophisticated sentences and offer more background on the story. Readers who are ready for Version 3 get a story that would not look out of place on any news site.
Another site benefit is the inclusion of news items from around the world. This gives students a glimpse at what is going on globally and a sense of how other cultures present the news.
Bottom Line: Both early readers and ELL students will get a lot of mileage out of News in Levels.