Do you learn English with news? If not, you are missing out on one of the best free, readily available and constantly updating resources out there.
When you start your language learning journey, especially if you are learning English, the resources are endless. There are hundreds of books and programs to choose from, thousands of podcasts to listen to, and more resources and tools than you can count.
But as you move from ‘beginner’ to ‘intermediate’ and then onto ‘advanced’, the number of available resources quickly dwindles.
And to make matters worse, this disappearance happens right when you need quality language learning material the most. You have the vocabulary and grammar needed to get the gist of most conversations, but their speed and occasional use of slang can keep full comprehension just out of reach.
If that’s where you’ve recently found yourself, you need an English teacher who speaks slowly and clearly enough to make complete understanding possible while using modern vocabulary – without getting bogged down in slang or regional accents.
You need the news.
By taking advantage of the news’ regular broadcasts and online articles, you’ll enjoy a host of language learning benefits.
English Speaking News Readers Are Great English Teachers
News anchors are trained to communicate in a clear, understandable way. And unlike television or movie actors, they keep a reasonable, steady pace.
Watching the news will also offer you the benefit of hearing English spoken in a generic way, free of heavy accents and slang.
This makes news anchors the perfect language teachers for intermediate and advanced students. Listening to news anchors allows you to focus on listening and understanding the English language. As you do, you won’t get bogged down in obscure dialects, uncommon vocabulary, or fast-paced exchanges that can leave you feeling discouraged.
Reading news articles offers similar benefits since they’re normally written in a matter-of-fact manner, minimising the use of slang and odd sentence structures.
Learning English Through News is a Fun, Engaging Way to Learn
In addition to being one of the most easily understood sources of natural speech, news also offers a fun and engaging way to hone your listening, speaking, and reading skills. Rather than reading through and reciting boring dialogs that have little connection to your life, a news broadcast is filled with interesting and informative information.
Whether it’s politics, art, film, celebrities, or any other topic that interests you, you can find news broadcasts that you will enjoy. And it won’t just provide you with an opportunity to listen to this information. Once you’ve finished watching, you’ll be able to discuss it with actual English speakers.
Imagine having the opportunity to talk about your interests with friends and strangers alike. You can, by taking advantage of the language learning opportunities of every news broadcast.
English News Helps Expand Your Vocabulary with Word You’ll Actually Use!
Learning new vocabulary is one of the most frustrating and exhausting parts of acquiring a new language. It can be even more challenging when you have to learn new words that you expect to never use.
That’s one of the reasons that the nightly news can be such an effective teacher. By watching it consistently, you’ll pick up on the critical English words needed to speak intelligently about current events and ideas. News anchors will offer you a wealth of words concerning cultural, political, and other issues.
In short, you’ll be able to expand your vocabulary with the kind of words you’ll actually use on a daily basis.
News Really Boosts Your Listening, Reading, & Speaking Skills
It should be obvious that watching the news will help you listen and comprehend English better. But did you realise that it could also boost your reading and speaking skills?
Many online news sources include videos that are accompanied by typed transcripts. This gives you the opportunity to listen or read. And even many broadcasts come with scrolling texts that give you a chance to quickly test your ability to read and comprehend. Or, you can simply browse written articles to practice your reading speed and comprehension.
But what about speaking? If you are listening to or watching news in English, then you can try shadowing. If talking to yourself in public doesn’t bother you, repeat everything the news anchor says. Try to emulate their inflection and tone, in order to minimise your accent. In addition, you can read any news articles out loud, enjoying hours of speaking practice.
The news gives you countless ways to work on every aspect of your language skills. You simply have to be creative and open to them.
News is an Endless Learning Resource
Perhaps the best thing about using the news as a way to work on your English skills is the fact that it provides a never-ending, inexpensive supply of quality material to work with.
Every passing day sees new articles written, new videos produced, and new podcasts uploaded. This adds up to a mountain of material that you can wade through, in search of the content that’s most interesting to you. And the vast majority of it is completely free.
You can even get articles delivered direct to your inbox. Similarly, you can set your podcast app to automatically download your favourite podcasts. In other words, mastering English has never been easier. And all it requires from you is a willingness to tune into your news network of choice.
Where To Learn English With News
If you’ve never tried watching or reading the news as a way to boost your English skills, consider visiting websites geared towards non-native English speakers. Here are some examples:
- The Times in Plain English
- The NY Times – Learning Network
- BBC – Lingohack
- BBC – News Report
- Breaking News English
- VOA – Learning English
- News in Levels
- The Skimm
These sites provide news articles in a simple, easy-to-read format that limits vocabulary to more common words.
Once you’re ready to move to the next level, find news sites that focus on topics that interested you.
When you start to learn English with news, you quickly realise that you’ve discovered a fantastic way to boost your English vocabulary, listening and speaking skills. You can choose from written, audio, video and live TV news with options both on- and offline. And if you can’t understand every word at first, don’t get discouraged. Keep going and before long, you’ll be listening, speaking, and reading English like never before.
As we said at the beginning of this post, if you’re not using the news as a resource for learning English, you’re missing out – big time!