Building English Fluency through News Story Analysis – level 3
Reading in English is one of the best ways to improve your English language skills. How well and how quickly they develop depends on what you read. Social media posts are fun to read but they don’t help you build strong English skills. People use many slang words on social media and their grammar is often not correct. Punctuation is lacking, too.
Reading magazines also offers limited benefits. Magazines use different types of English, depending on the magazine’s target audience. For instance, fashion magazines present you with common language while magazines about photography include technical language. You might find a lot of specialized words in magazines, the type of words not used in everyday English conversation. Such reading material might not help you build English fluency.
Reading novels, biographies and other books will also help you build your vocabulary. Books can show you how native English speakers use words to paint pictures in readers’ imaginations. Books typically contain proper grammar usage and more advanced vocabulary. But they present only the author’s English skills.
Reading the news in English delivers many skill-boosting advantages. News articles use standard English words and phrases to communicate ideas. Every news article is written using proper grammar and punctuation. News stories don’t reflect one person’s ideas, beliefs or language skills. They represent facts, written in a neutral tone.
As you think about the type of reading material that could best help you build English fluency, you must also think about the purpose of reading. Learning new words and studying advanced English writing help you build your vocabulary. However, the main purpose for reading is comprehension – understanding the texts you read.
Novels, magazines and social media posts reflect the culture those writers live in. To understand them, you must know about the English-speaking culture those publications originate from. However, to understand news stories written in English, you only need to understand the words you read.
Keep your dictionary close as you read news stories so you can look up words you don’t know. You may choose to read the whole article and underline each unfamiliar word. You might try to understand the news story by guessing the word’s meaning from context. If you prefer to do that, always be sure to check your dictionary to make sure your approximate definition is correct.
Be aware that one word may have several meanings. You should learn about all of them, not just the definition that relates to the news story you’re currently reading. Once you discover a word’s meaning(s), search for all of its related words: nouns, adjectives or adverbs, verbs, comparatives and superlatives.
The best way to master new words is to use them right away. So as you read a news story, keep a notebook and pencil nearby. When you meet a new word and its ‘family’ of related words, write a sentence using each form of the word. If the new word is a verb, you should conjugate it in all the tenses, aspects and moods you know. This method helps you understand the word and how to use it.
As your reading comprehension improves, give yourself a new challenge: analyze the news stories you read. What does this news story reveal? How does it relate to other news stories you’ve read? Often, news stories deliver information that’s simply good to know. Sometimes, the news reports on events that could impact your daily life.
As you explore this English learning resource, you’ll find different categories of news: business, fashion and style, sports and current events. You may enjoy reading opinion pieces or the Lifestyles section of the newspaper. It contains articles about social events, food and lifestyle hacks. Articles in this section can help you learn more about English-speaking countries’ cultures, too.
The best type of news to build English fluency is current events. Your ESL tutor in London might use current events news stories in class to help you grow your vocabulary. They may even assign you a news story to read and analyze for homework.
Which type of reading material do you think is most effective for improving English fluency?
LEARN 3000 WORDS with NEWS IN LEVELS
News in Levels is designed to teach you 3000 words in English. Please follow the instructions
How to improve your English with News in Levels:
- Do the test at Test Languages.
- Go to your level. Go to Level 1 if you know 1-1000 words. Go to Level 2 if you know 1000-2000 words. Go to Level 3 if you know 2000-3000 words.
- Read two news articles every day.
- Read the news articles from the day before and check if you remember all new words.
- Listen to the news from today and read the text at the same time.
- Listen to the news from today without reading the text.
- Answer the question under today’s news and write the answer in the comments.