English for Journalism

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About this course: Welcome to English for Journalism, a course created by the University of Pennsylvania, and funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs. To enroll in this course for free, click on “Enroll now” and then select "Full Course. No certificate." This course is designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in developing the skills needed for a career in modern journalism. In this course, you will explore print and digital media through authentic readings and video lectures, while expanding your vocabulary and increasing your ability to read, research, and develop local and global news st…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Welcome to English for Journalism, a course created by the University of Pennsylvania, and funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs. To enroll in this course for free, click on “Enroll now” and then select "Full Course. No certificate." This course is designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in developing the skills needed for a career in modern journalism. In this course, you will explore print and digital media through authentic readings and video lectures, while expanding your vocabulary and increasing your ability to read, research, and develop local and global news stories. Unit 1 will provide an introduction to the history and principles of journalism. In unit 2, you will learn how to research, pitch, and interview. The next unit in the course will focus on the language needed to write newspaper and magazine articles, while unit 4 will cover the basics of broadcasting the news. In the final unit of the course, you will analyze the growth, impact, and challenges of digital news, while completing a reflection assignment that allows you to think about and discuss the recent changes to the field of journalism. There are two certificate options. The first is a Coursera Verified Certificate (CVC). This is the only system-wide certificate available for every Coursera course. If you cannot afford the fee, you may fill-in the financial aid form and complete the Verified Certificate track for free. You can apply for financial aid by clicking “Learn more and apply” in the financial aid section just below the ENROLL button on the course landing page. The second certificate option is a Statement of Accomplishment (SoA) available directly from Penn. Everyone who completes the course requirements is eligible for this Statement of Accomplishment and there is no charge associated with this type of certificate. A separate e-mail of congratulations from the course team will provide a link for participants to download the SOA. This is separate and different from the Coursera Verified Course Certificate. If you cannot locate this email – please check your Junk or Clutter folders. Unless otherwise noted, all course materials are available for re-use, repurposing and free distribution under a Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution license. Supplemental reading materials were provided by Newsela, which publishes daily news articles at a level that's just right for each English language learner.

Created by:  University of Pennsylvania
  • Taught by:  John Cotton, Manager of Instructional Staff Development

    English Language Programs
  • Taught by:  Eve Litt, Language Specialist

    English Language Programs
Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.8 stars Average User Rating 4.8See what learners said Coursework

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University of Pennsylvania The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn) is a private university, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. A member of the Ivy League, Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and considers itself to be the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Unit 1: Introduction and Principles of Journalism
In this unit, you will first learn about how the course works. Then we will explore the history of journalism, as well as important principles, or ideas, that make good journalism possible.


15 videos, 10 readings, 9 practice quizzes expand


  1. Reading: Overview of the Unit
  2. Video: Welcome to English for Journalism
  3. Video: Course Overview: Topics, Assessments & Activities
  4. Video: Course Overview: Games and Levels
  5. Video: Why Journalism? What Makes This Field Interesting?
  6. Video: Introduction to the History of Journalism – pre-1690
  7. Video: History of Journalism – 1690 – present day
  8. Practice Quiz: Game 1: Timeline Game
  9. Reading: American Editorial Cartoons
  10. Video: Language Focus – Simple Past and Past Progressive
  11. Practice Quiz: Game 2: Selecting tense – Simple Past versus Past Progressive
  12. Reading: Hearst and the Growth of US Journalism
  13. Video: Unlockable Achievement
  14. Video: Principles of Journalism 1: Gathering Sources
  15. Video: Principles of Journalism 2: Telling the Story
  16. Reading: BASIC: "Media freedom is important. Here's what you can do."
  17. Reading: ADVANCED: Media Freedom is important. Here’s what you can do.”
  18. Video: Language Focus – Word Families
  19. Practice Quiz: Game 3: Matching word forms in context
  20. Video: Principles of Journalism 3: Impacting People
  21. Practice Quiz: Game 4: Vocabulary Practice - Principles of Journalism
  22. Video: Language Focus – Phrases for Agreeing and Disagreeing
  23. Discussion Prompt: Assessment 2: Principles of Journalism
  24. Reading: Game: Unit 1 Vocabulary Flashcards
  25. Video: Supplemental Listening: "Young Journalists Report on Worldwide Landmine Problems"
  26. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: “Young Journalists Report on Worldwide Landmine Problem”
  27. Reading: Irregular Verb List
  28. Practice Quiz: Crossword with Irregular Past Tense
  29. Reading: Supplemental Reading: How Can Journalists Be Protected?
  30. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: "How Can Journalists Be Protected?"
  31. Reading: Supplemental Reading: "'Berlin Airlift' Airport Becomes Emergency Refugee Shelter"
  32. Video: Supplemental Listening: 'Berlin Airlift' Airport Becomes Emergency Refugee Shelter
  33. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: 'Berlin Airlift' Airport Becomes Emergency Refugee Shelter”
  34. Reading: Supplemental Reading: "Newspapers in America"
  35. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: "Newspapers in America"

Graded: Assessment 1: What do we expect from the media? (Survey)
Graded: Check Your Understanding: American Editorial Cartoons
Graded: Check Your Understanding: Hearst and the Growth of US Journalism
Graded: Check Your Understanding: “Media Freedom is Important. Here’s what you can do.”

WEEK 2


Unit 2: How to Research, Pitch, and Interview
This unit will show you how journalists choose their topics and stories. You will also learn how journalists research their stories and interview their sources.


16 videos, 9 readings, 8 practice quizzes expand


  1. Reading: Overview of the Unit
  2. Video: Choosing a Topic
  3. Practice Quiz: Game 1: Right-sizing Your Topic
  4. Video: Researching an Idea
  5. Reading: BASIC: "Want to be a good reporter? Follow these tips."
  6. Reading: ADVANCED: Want to be a good reporter? Follow these tips.
  7. Video: Unlockable Achievement
  8. Video: Pitching a Story – Newspapers/Magazines
  9. Video: Pitching a Story - Radio
  10. Practice Quiz: Game 2: Vocabulary Practice
  11. Reading: Sample News Story Pitch and Pitch Template
  12. Video: Unlockable Achievement
  13. Reading: BASIC: Times Are Changing in Havana, Cuba
  14. Reading: ADVANCED: Times are Changing in Havana, Cuba
  15. Video: Video Listening: Times are Changing in Havana, Cuba
  16. Video: Unlockable Achievement
  17. Video: Language Focus – Interviewing Sources – Wh- Questions
  18. Video: Interviewing Sources – Reliability, Facts & Opinion
  19. Practice Quiz: Game 3: Reliable Sources
  20. Video: Language Focus – Quoting Sources & Reporting Verbs
  21. Practice Quiz: Game 4: Choose the reporting verb
  22. Video: Video interview with a student journalist from The Daily Pennsylvanian
  23. Video: Unlockable Achievement
  24. Video: Interviewing Sources - Notetaking
  25. Video: Language Focus – Quoting Sources Directly or Using Reported Speech
  26. Practice Quiz: Game 5: Changing Direct Speech to Reported Speech
  27. Discussion Prompt: Assessment 2: Issues and Sources
  28. Reading: Game: Unit 2 Vocabulary Flashcards
  29. Reading: Supplemental Reading: Student newspapers shake things up
  30. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: Student newspapers shake things up
  31. Practice Quiz: Game: WH- question formation
  32. Reading: Supplemental Reading and Listening: "Story of Dr. Omalu Enlightens on Risks of High-impact Sports"
  33. Video: Supplemental Listening: "Story of Dr. Omalu Enlightens on Risks of High-impact Sports"
  34. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: Story of Dr. Omalu Enlightens on Risks of High-impact Sports

Graded: Check Your Understanding: "Want to be a good reporter? Follow these tips."
Graded: Unit 2 Assessment 1: Create a Pitch
Graded: Check Your Understanding: Times are Changing in Havana, Cuba
Graded: Check Your Understanding: Video interview with a student journalist from The Daily Pennsylvanian

WEEK 3


Unit 3: Words in Print
This unit will help you to write briefly and with emphasis, create a lead that makes the audience want to read more, and effectively edit and proofread article drafts. At the end of the unit, you will create a lead and write an article based on that lead.


13 videos, 10 readings, 8 practice quizzes expand


  1. Reading: Overview of the Unit
  2. Video: Print Media: From Topic to Article
  3. Practice Quiz: Game 1: Labeling - the Process and the Front Page
  4. Video: Types of Leads
  5. Video: Creating a Lead
  6. Practice Quiz: Game 2: Match Lead to Lead Type
  7. Reading: BASIC: Turning the Page on Homelessness
  8. Reading: ADVANCED: Turning the Page on Homelessness
  9. Video: Listening: Turning the Page on Homelessness
  10. Video: Unlockable Achievement
  11. Video: Language Focus – SV Agreement with Different Subjects
  12. Discussion Prompt: Assessment 1: Create a lead for your story.
  13. Reading: BASIC: Thai Health Policy as Model for Emerging Economies
  14. Reading: ADVANCED: Thai Health Policy as Model for Emerging Economies
  15. Video: Writing Using Associated Press Style
  16. Practice Quiz: Game 3: Applying AP Style
  17. Video: Language Focus – Structure of Active and Passive Voices
  18. Video: Language Focus – Use of Active and Passive Voices
  19. Practice Quiz: Game 4: When to Use Passive Voice
  20. Video: Reporting Accurately
  21. Reading: BASIC: With billions to feed, sustainable agriculture is not a luxury
  22. Reading: ADVANCED: With billions to feed, sustainable agriculture is not a luxury
  23. Video: Proofreading an Article
  24. Video: Unlockable Achievement
  25. Reading: Game: Unit 3 Vocabulary Flashcards
  26. Reading: Egyptian Journalists Call for Press Freedom
  27. Video: Listening: Egyptian Journalists Call for Press Freedom
  28. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: "Egyptian Journalists Call for Press Freedom"
  29. Reading: Old Age, Debt Threaten Vietnam Economy
  30. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: "Old Age, Debt Threaten Vietnam Economy"
  31. Practice Quiz: Game: Active/Passive Game
  32. Practice Quiz: Game: Subject/Verb Agreement Game

Graded: Check your Understanding: "Turning the Page on Homelessness"
Graded: Check Your Understanding 2: "Thai Health Policy Seen as Model for Emerging Economies"
Graded: Check Your Understanding: "With billions to feed, sustainable agriculture is not a luxury"
Graded: Unit 3, Assessment 2: Write an article based on the lead you created in Assessment 1.

WEEK 4


Unit 4: Broadcasting the News
In this unit, we will focus on speaking skills for delivering the news. At the end of the unit, you will write a script and read a news report for other students to listen to.


14 videos, 7 readings, 7 practice quizzes expand


  1. Reading: Overview of the Unit
  2. Video: The Language of Broadcast Journalism
  3. Video: Listening: "VOA Fast Five"
  4. Video: Unlockable Achievement
  5. Video: The People of Broadcast Journalism
  6. Practice Quiz: Game 1: Matching Language to Definitions
  7. Reading: BASIC: Studying Broadcast Journalism Gives Student an Opportunity to Learn about News Worldwide
  8. Reading: ADVANCED: Studying Broadcast Journalism Gives Student an Opportunity to Learn about News Worldwide
  9. Video: Types of Stories for Broadcast Journalism
  10. Video: Using Conversational Style
  11. Practice Quiz: Game 2: Print vs. Broadcast Journalism
  12. Video: Language Focus – Present Tense & Active Voice
  13. Video: Ratings in TV News: How Journalists Compete
  14. Video: Unlockable Achievement
  15. Video: Sensationalism in TV News
  16. Video: The 24-hour News Cycle
  17. Video: Language Focus - Stress & Pausing
  18. Practice Quiz: Game 3: Stress
  19. Reading: Unit 4 Assessment 2: Present your Script Instructions
  20. Video: Unlockable Achievement
  21. Reading: Game: Unit 4 Vocabulary Flashcards
  22. Reading: Radio Hoax Causes Panic
  23. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: "Radio Hoax Causes Panic?
  24. Reading: Forget a seat at the table. This reporter wants a seat in the briefing room.
  25. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: "Forget a seat at the table. This reporter wants a seat in the briefing room"
  26. Video: Listening: "Telepresence - The Next Best thing to Being There"
  27. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: "Telepresence - The Next Best Thing to Being There"
  28. Practice Quiz: Game: Vocabulary Crossword Puzzle

Graded: Check your Understanding 1: Listening: "VOA Fast Five"
Graded: Check Your Understanding 2: "Studying Broadcast Journalism Gives Student an Opportunity to Learn about News Worldwide"
Graded: Assessment 1: Rewrite your article as a copy for a broadcast
Graded: Unit 4 Assessment 2: Present your script

WEEK 5


Unit 5: Journalism in the Digital Age



The final unit of this course discusses how journalism is changing fast because of digital technologies. At the end of the unit, you will describe data about the news and complete a reflection assignment that allows you to think about and discuss the recent changes to the field of journalism.


12 videos, 11 readings, 6 practice quizzes expand


  1. Reading: Overview of the Unit
  2. Video: Origins and Current State of the Digital Age
  3. Practice Quiz: Game 1: Create a Timeline of Digital Media
  4. Video: The Impact on the Journalistic Process
  5. Video: The Impact on Traditional Media
  6. Video: Language Focus – Present Perfect Form
  7. Practice Quiz: Game 2: Present Perfect Form
  8. Video: Challenges 1: The Digital Divide
  9. Reading: BASIC: Mapping the Digital Divide
  10. Reading: ADVANCED: Mapping the Digital Divide
  11. Video: Language Focus – Data Commentary
  12. Practice Quiz: Game 3: Choose the Appropriate Data Commentary Language
  13. Video: Unlockable Achievement
  14. Video: Citizen Journalism
  15. Reading: BASIC: Freedom of Expression: A Practical Approach to Journalism Ethics
  16. Reading: ADVANCED: Freedom of Expression: A Practical Approach to Journalism Ethics
  17. Video: Challenges 2: Ethics in the Digital Age
  18. Video: Challenges 3: Intellectual Property and Censorship
  19. Reading: BASIC: Egypt Clamps Down on Media Ahead of 'Arab Spring' Anniversary
  20. Reading: ADVANCED: Egypt Clamps Down on Media Ahead of 'Arab Spring' Anniversary
  21. Video: Unlockable Achievement
  22. Video: Course Conclusion
  23. Reading: Game: Unit 5 Vocabulary Flashcards
  24. Reading: Sharing the benefits of the Internet across the digital divide
  25. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: "Sharing the benefits of the Internet across the digital divide"
  26. Reading: Africa's Infotech Revolution
  27. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: "Africa's Infotech Revolution"
  28. Reading: Twitter Suspends Over 125,000 Accounts for 'Promoting Terrorist Acts'
  29. Practice Quiz: Check Your Understanding: "Twitter Suspends Over 125,000 Accounts for 'Promoting Terrorist Acts'"

Graded: Check your Understanding: Mapping the Digital Divide
Graded: Assessment 1: Choose the Factually Accurate Data Commentary
Graded: Check Your Understanding: Freedom of Expression: A Practical Approach to Journalism Ethics
Graded: Check Your Understanding: Egypt Clamps Down on Media Ahead of 'Arab Spring' Anniversary
Graded: Unit 5, Assessment 2: How has digital journalism affected traditional journalism?
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