The Best News Sites for Learning English
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. Luckily, 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, remember that mainland China restricts some sites, so you must 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 section 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:
The Guardian is a very useful site for beginner English students who are looking for a free news website for learning English. They write their Life Style section in very easy-to-read language. Many readers accuse them 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.
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 many teachers use it to teach English classes. Its online website offers articles, videos, and audio content, as well as interactive features.
The New York Times is a US-based newspaper that offers news coverage in English. It provides articles, opinion pieces, and interactive features.
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.
Reuters is a news organization that provides global coverage in English. Its website offers articles, videos, and interactive features.
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.
The Independent is a UK-based newspaper that offers global news coverage in English. It provides articles, opinion pieces, and interactive features.
I think the best way to use NPR is to share its podcasts with students. National Public Radio (NPR) is a US-based news organization that offers global coverage in English. Many ESL teachers use it as a free news website for learning English. Its website features articles, audio content, and podcasts. The podcasts are usually very high, suitable for C1, C2 students.
The Washington Post is a US-based newspaper that offers news coverage in English. It provides articles, opinion pieces, and interactive features.
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: Leveraging Free News Websites
Here are some of the benefits of using free news websites to improve your English. Make sure you make the most of the sites by focusing on these areas in your language classses.
Reading English-language news articles can expose you to various vocabulary words and phrases you might not otherwise encounter. By regularly reading articles, you can improve your vocabulary and become more comfortable using new words and phrases in context.
Learn About Different Topics
News articles cover a 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.
Develop 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.
Reading news articles can also help you improve your writing skills. As you read, you can take notes and summarize the article’s main points in your own words. This can help you practice your writing skills and develop your ability to express yourself in English.
Improve Listening and Speaking Skills
Many news websites also offer audio and video content, which can greatly 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. This can help learners stay informed about current events while improving their language proficiency.
Remember to use free news websites to prompt further discussions and lay the groundwork for more peer-to-peer activities. This way, you are improving your reading and your speaking. Check out the post below to learn more.