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Use News Articles to Improve Your English

We always talk about the importance of making your English practice part of your everyday life. Practicing English in real-life situations with authentic materials will definitely help you learn. 

But it can be hard to constantly find new and interesting materials. You might not always have an English-speaking friend who’s available for a chat, or a Netflix show you’d like to watch every day. 

That’s why you should try practicing with the news!

Why the news is great for English practice

If you’re looking for new and interesting ways to improve your English, using the news is a fantastic idea. It’s always changing, it’s full of relevant language, and there are a lot of free resources. On top of that, you can choose topics that are interesting to you, from politics to sports to travel. 

With so many different news sources, you’ll be able to find something that’s suitable for your skill level and language focus. For example, if you’re interested in learning more serious (and more difficult) vocabulary, you’ll probably want to pick topics related to world news or finances. For something lighter that may also offer lessons in slang, try sports or celebrity news.

News sites to help you practice your English

Whether you like written articles, videos, or podcasts, there’s something for you. Here are four different news sites you can use to practice your reading and listening skills with real-life English.

USA Today

USA Today is a traditional news source that has a variety of articles (covering things like daily news, technology, and entertainment) written in American English. While a lot of the articles are text-based, the site also includes some videos. 

The Guardian

The Guardian’s is another traditional news site that can be sorted by international, USA, UK, or Australian news. On top of the variety of daily news topics, it also has live news updates on certain articles. If you’re interested in practicing your listening skills, try The Guardian Long Read. There, you’ll find audio versions of longer Guardian articles (called “long reads”) ranging from 20 to 40 minutes.

The Times Minute

Published by The New York Times, The Times Minute is a collection of videos about things like politics, culture, and science, and they’re all around two minutes or less. All articles include a transcript—after watching the video, you can use the transcript to read along, if you’d like.   

The Skimm

This site covers things like world news, wellness, and money, but in a simpler format. The Skimm takes news stories, breaks them down into small parts, and explains them in clear language. You can also download Skimm This, a podcast featuring and explaining weekly news stories in the same straightforward way.  

Use the news

Including the news in your daily English practice means you’ll always have new and interesting material to choose from, you’ll stay informed about the world, and, most importantly, you’ll improve your real-life English skills.

So, what are you waiting for? Check out one of the sites above and get started!

Andrea is a Gabby Academy coach and education technolgy writer based in Vancouver, Canada.