News is everywhere, whether you pass by a street with newsstands or enter a restaurant that has a cable television connection and features programs like BBC, CNN, ABC and Al Jazeera.
Why Learn English through the News?
If you want to enhance your English language speaking or writing skills, a reliable international news outlet or agency is an excellent resource for learning. This is because the newscaster you see on television is a well-trained personnel of the news agency, trained to speak English in the correct and right way.
The news item that the newscaster is reading through the teleprompter has been written by highly skilled and experienced news writers whose command of the English language is excellent. So it is easier to learn English through and with the news.
How to Learn English Through the News
Listening or watching a perfectly pronounced English language news by a well-trained newscaster and an excellently written news content is like attending one of the best English teaching classes in the world today.
If you are a beginner in learning English through and with the news, you can start with the printed word and choose topics that get your interest. The sheer variety of news items or stories that you can read is simply staggering. Every day presents new content, whether based on the printed newspapers and magazines or based on digital material through the news websites.
BBC Learning English
You also can choose from a variety of topics that suits your interest, so that learning English through the news becomes enjoyable. Let’s take BBC as an example. The British Broadcasting Corporation has a program called “BBC Learning English.” If you click on the site, you will find out that BBC has been into this program since 1943.
If you like to see and read news about your favorite Hollywood stars, you can go to the Entertainment section and read the interesting articles in excellent English. You can go to a video section and find for instance that Clint Eastwood will be directing a terror film about France. The great thing about this is the video news story has a written counterpart which you can read to maximize your learning English with the news.
The BBC Learning English website is interesting. You’ll find a box on Today’s Headlines, a section on Learner’s Questions, a number of feature stories, and sections on The Teachers’ Room. You can also click on Pronunciation in the News, and there’s a special box called 6-Minute English which you can check out anytime to learn English through the news.
Even if the BBC Pronunciation in the News has a slight British slant in the newscaster’s accent, the English pronunciation is correct and can be followed by those who want to learn English with the news.
Similarly, CBS News contains superb topics about news in the United States whose anchors or newscasters speak and pronounce native American English. You can read through the bits and pieces of news in their website and watch and listen to the video counterparts. The sentences are correctly and crisply written by CBS news writers.
Learning English through and with the news is definitely better because there is easier accessibility to learning. You don’t have to go to a scheduled class just to learn English. You can come in and go out of the virtual classroom anytime using the internet like in watching CBSN live.
CNN has content that attracts attention due to the way the media specialists, writers, editors and web designers present the daily material. If you want to learn American English on a higher level, or upscale your learning English with and through the news, watch and read the CNN stories in their website.
You can increase your stock of vocabulary, or learn new words and how these words are used in specific instances. CNN says for instance that in the case of the United Airlines mishandling of a passenger that went viral, and after interviewing the chief executive of Emirates airlines, the boss of Emirates said what happened in United “was a disgrace.” This was the story headline. The highlighting of the phrase by CNN has made an impact on readers and viewers.
While each news agency has its own culture and unique ways of presenting news to a global audience, the standards set by these agencies in data gathering, writing, editing and presenting news is equivalent to or sometimes even better than an English course given in a university.
In the same way that watching TED Talks presentations can accelerate your learning English with the news. TED presenters are highly professional, highly educated people who have a great command of the English language and they present their topics in a magnificent manner. You can see that painstaking preparations have been made by the presenter in a TED Talks presentation. You can choose a variety of TED presentations that suit your interest.
Music Videos or Movies
If you have a high level of interest in the arts, you can watch music videos or movies to complement your learning English through the news. While music videos may not always be representative of the proper use of the English language due to its creative function, movies are based on written scripts that have been reviewed a number of times and are therefore excellent material for learning.
Overall, learning English through and with the news has greater advantages and with almost no disadvantage at all. Because of the interesting, sometimes unique content churned out by these news agencies on a daily basis, coupled with the creative presentation in their websites, you can maintain your motivation in learning English with the news. The topics are suitable for everyone.
To maintain your motivation, always choose the topics that are close to your values, those topics that you always like to see, hear and read. Make sure you always check out these international news sites every day and optimize your learning English through and with the news. Good luck!