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General Information

The Learning Resources site offers web-delivered instruction using current and past CNN San Francisco bureau news stories. The Western/Pacific Literacy Network and the CNN San Francisco bureau have partnered to develop an online literacy site that benefits all learners and instructors. This material is intended for adult literacy and educational purposes.

Though the intended audience is adults, instructors and learners (of all ages) are encouraged to use this material to promote better literacy. Each module includes the full text of each story and interactive activities to test comprehension. The learner can choose to read the text, listen to the text, and view a short video clip of the story. Each module is designed for ease of use so the learner can use it independently. The instructor can also incorporate any story into class activities and lesson plans.

Story Modules

Story Buttons

Complete Story
Intended for adults with moderate reading and speaking comprehension skills including advanced ESL or non-native English speakers.  

Abridged Story
Modification of original story text by simplifying complex ideas and sentences, exchanging advanced words with less difficult ones, and change difficult concepts into precise terms. Intended for adults with low reading comprehension skills including beginning ESL or non-native English speakers.  
Story Outline
Outline summary of basic edited story elements.

Measuring Comprehension - Activities

The following modules are designed to interactively test learner comprehension of the story:

Activity Buttons

After answering a modules question, learners can check their responses by clicking the "Review Answers" button at the end of each lesson. A "report card" of correct and incorrect answers is quickly transmitted back. (Note: These activities were created using Half-Baked Software.)  

Your Turn
This module allows learners to respond to a question concerning the story they have just read. Learners use the email form below the question to submit their comments. All comments are collected and posted on the "Your Turn!" page. Learners are encouraged to respond to other learner's comments.  

Multimedia Features

Along with text, most story modules contain full streaming video of the broadcast, audio version of the story is a full streaming audio of the broadcast and Real video clips.



SAMPLE Student Guide

In this web-based activity you will read (listen) a story taken from San Francisco CNN collection. The name of the story is COMPUTERS AND GIRLS (from a news story by CNN San Francisco Reporter Don Knapp. October 13, 1998). Before you link to San Francisco CNN site, read carefully the instructions below.

  1. Click on Story Archives. Then choose the title COMPUTERS AND GIRLS in the list of archived stories.
  2. Click on Complete Story and read (listen to) the whole text.
  3. Complete all the activities in each section:
    • Vocabulary
    • Word Selection
    • Multiple Choice
    • Sequencing
    • Conclusions
    1. How much do you remember of the story?
      > Go back and open Story Outline.

      Are you able to reproduce the story using the outline?
      > Work with a partner.
    2. Your Turn
      What problems are raised by the story?
    • What's your opinion about girls' attitude towards computers?
    • Do you agree or disagree with the author?
    • Go to Your Turn section and leave a message about your attitude to the problem discussed. If you are short of ideas, read the messages of other students: they might be helpful.


    1. Go back to the Complete Story section.
    2. Study the problem more thoroughly, using the links provided below the article.
    3. Your homework will be one of the following at your preference:
    • To write a 1000-word summary of the material you have found under additional links.
    • To write a 1000-word essay about females' attitude towards the use of computers. Don't forget to include your own experience. The news story you have read (listened to) today is a model for your essay: start with the main thesis, back it up by evidence, and make a conclusion. The assignment is due by the beginning of our next class.


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