News articles are written clearly and directly, making them perfect for learning new vocabulary. Similarly, TV news reports are always spoken with a clear, standard accent from the region (like the U.S., U.K., etc.). This will help boost your listening comprehension skills.
Language is also about making sense of real life issues. News programs focus on issues that you care about and on how you live your life. It makes sense to learn English in a context (situation) you can actually use.
Plus, learning with English news can help you connect with English speakers. When you know what’s going on in their world, then you’ll be able to speak their language better. You’ll also have more to chat about with real native speakers!
The Ultimate Guide to News for English Learners (With 12+ Free News Sources)
We’ve split the guide below into four steps that’ll help you find and use English news for maximum learning.
1. Choose English News Learning Sources at Your Level
If you’re a beginner, no problem: you can watch and read the news online at a level that works for you, then go to more difficult stories at your own speed.
The New York Times has a weekly column on its Learning Network just for American English language learners. The stories are written in a way you can understand. After you read, take the quizzes on punctuation and word choice.
And it’s free!
The VOA Learning English Channel has news for beginner English learners here. You can listen to English podcasts or videos and read along with the text. The videos also include subtitles and the commentators speak slowly and clearly—about a third slower than regular broadcasts.
That gives beginning learners a chance to keep up. Plus, listening online means you can hit the pause button and read the subtitles at your own rate.
When you’re ready, VOA Learning English also has news for intermediate learners.
The BBC offers a daily program called Words in the News for upper levels of British English learning. The reports show you important words, then show you a news story that includes those words.
The words can be difficult, though. Don’t be surprised if you need to review the words in the quiz that comes with the program.
If already you know a lot of English, you may be ready to read the The Wall Street Journal or to watch videos from CBS News. Both of these are real English news sources that native speakers use.
You may also want to subscribe for full access to The New York Times. As The New York Times is of the best-known newspapers in the world, it’s one of the best resources for practicing your English reading.