Read All About It: Free News Sites for learning English

Keep up with the news and improve your English with these free news sites.

Learning a new language can be a challenging and rewarding experience. One of the best ways to improve your students’ English language skills is to immerse them in the language as much as possible. Reading English-language news articles with your ELL students can be a great way to do this, and there are many free news websites available that can help students improve their English skills

My tips for using news sites in your classes

When you’re teaching English, the last thing you want to do is assign an article, and then your students hit a paywall. Also, keep in mind that some sites are restricted in mainland China, so you will have to share your screen or cut and paste the information for your students.

I like to cut and paste the articles regardless because then I can add a number to each paragraph. This allows me to assign students a paragraph to pre-read and then read to the class, by number. It also makes it easier to focus their attention on one paragraph at a time as we discuss new vocabulary.

Top Free News Websites for Improving Your English Skills

Here is a list of free news websites that can be useful for improving English language skills:

  1. The Guardian – The Guardian is a very useful site for beginner English students who are looking for a free news website for learning English. Their Life Style section is always written in very easy-to-read language. They’re accused of being more of a tabloid than a deeply researched paper now, but it’s precisely that quality that makes it my favorite ESL resource. But, remember that it is a UK-based newspaper so you need to clarify some of the British vocabulary versus American vocabulary usage. The Guardian offers global news coverage primarily in English articles.
  2. BBC News – Of course, you knew I had to list this at the top. You’re probably surprised I didn’t list the BBC first, really. Like I said, though, I think the Guardian is more accessible. Still, The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the gold-quality standard news organization that provides global news coverage in English and is usually used to teach English classes. Its online website offers articles, videos, and audio content, as well as interactive features.
  3. The New York Times – The New York Times is a US-based newspaper that offers news coverage in English. It provides articles, opinion pieces, and interactive features.
  4. The Guardian – The Guardian is a very useful site for beginner English students who are looking for a free news website for learning English. Their Life Style section is always written in very easy-to-read language. They’re accused of being more of a tabloid than a deeply researched paper now, but it’s precisely that quality that makes it my favorite ESL resource. But, remember that it is a UK-based newspaper so you need to clarify some of the British vocabulary versus American vocabulary usage. The Guardian offers global news coverage primarily in English articles.
  5. Al Jazeera English – Try to think outside of your American or British-centered viewpoints while considering what news to read with your students. Many students worldwide might be more comfortable, politically, with a site that isn’t funded by America or any European country. Be mindful of that and consider incorporating Al Jazeera is a Qatar-based news organization that offers global news coverage in English. Its website features articles, videos, and live TV streams.
  6. Reuters – Reuters is a news organization that provides global coverage in English. Its website offers articles, videos, and interactive features.
  7. Associated Press (AP) – The Associated Press (AP) is a US-based news organization that offers global news coverage in English. Its website features articles, videos, and interactive features.
  8. The Independent – The Independent is a UK-based newspaper that offers global news coverage in English. It provides articles, opinion pieces, and interactive features.
  9. NPR – I think NPR is best used for its podcasts. National Public Radio (NPR) is a US-based news organization that offers global coverage in English and is a very popularly used free news websites for learning English. Its website features articles, audio content, and podcasts. The podcasts are usually at a very high level, suitable for C1, C2 students.
  10. The Washington Post – The Washington Post is a US-based newspaper that offers news coverage in English. It provides articles, opinion pieces, and interactive features.
  11. CNN – Cable News Network (CNN) is a US-based news organization that offers global coverage in English. Its website features articles, videos, and live TV streams.

Benefits of Reading the News to Learn English

Here are some of the benefits of using free news websites to improve your English:

  1. Improve Your Vocabulary: Reading English-language news articles can expose you to a wide variety of vocabulary words and phrases that you might not otherwise encounter. By reading articles on a regular basis, you can improve your vocabulary and become more comfortable using new words and phrases in context.
  2. Learn About Different Topics: News articles cover a wide variety of topics, from politics and economics to sports and entertainment. By reading articles on different topics, you can improve your understanding of English while also expanding your knowledge and staying informed about current events.
  3. Develop Your Reading Comprehension: Reading news articles in English can help you develop your reading comprehension skills. As you read, you will learn to identify key information, make connections between different parts of the article, and draw conclusions based on what you have read.
  4. Practice Your Writing: Reading news articles can also help you improve your writing skills. As you read, you can take notes and summarize the main points of the article in your own words. This can help you practice your writing skills and develop your ability to express yourself in English.
  5. Improve Your Listening and Speaking Skills: Many news websites also offer audio and video content, which can be a great way to improve your listening and speaking skills. By listening to news broadcasts and interviews, you can improve your ability to understand spoken English and practice your pronunciation.

These free news websites can be a valuable resource for ESL learners who want to improve their reading, writing, and listening skills in English. They cover a wide range of topics and provide engaging and informative content that can help learners stay informed about current events while also improving their language proficiency.

Remember to use the news articles in order to prompt discussions. This way, you are improving your reading and your speaking. Check out the post below to learn more.

Best Essays to Prompt Discussion

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