When you are learning English it is important to use the news as a tool to help you learn the language. You can read newspapers or watch television or catch the news on your cell phone or the internet. There are even free videos on line and on this blog site that are excellent for practicing. Today there are endless ways to access the latest happenings that will not only keep you abreast of what is happening in the world and your community but also give you topics of conversation when you meet someone.
You can access news articles online and even find ones that provide you with interactive questions to help you clearly understand what all the words mean so you will be able to effectively communicate with someone else about the articles. Not only will this keep you current on events but it will provide you with common ground to discuss with friends or co-workers, thus giving you more practice that is needed.
Many articles can be incorporated with streaming audio that will increase your learning experience. That is why television is a good way to learn because there are generally pictures that are being streamed while the newscaster is speaking thus providing dialogue to connect with the events. Newspapers often have pictures as well that correspond with the written article. Any of these types of materials can increase your ability to learn.
There was one activity that we found particularly useful when we were teaching ESL. We bought an English language newspaper (Herald Tribune) and gave it to one student. We asked that student to find an interesting article in the paper and be prepared to report back to the class what it was about a week later. Often the students were very happy to have a newspaper to examine at home, and sometimes they found very interesting articles to report on the next week. On occasion, their articles were so interesting, the other students wanted to continue the discussion in class.
Often teachers will use real life events as examples of whatever topic they are teaching, so if you are a student that is studying in the United States your language skills will improve with being up to date with world and community events. The tendency is often to revert to your native language when you go online and read the news, but that is defeating the whole purpose – isn’t it? The best way to learn is to plunge in and just keep trying so give the news a try as a tool to learn.