ESL students who want to improve their listening and reading skills can take advantage of several online news resources. These sites help students stay up to date on current events, learn new vocabulary words and become more confident English language users.
Breaking News English
One of my favorite sites for English language news is Breaking News English. This site breaks down news by topic and includes several exercises and activities to help reinforce the vocabulary and concepts taught in the written news stories. The stories are written at a level intermediate to advanced English language students can understand. They include exercises that encourage the student to produce language by writing as well.
Voice of America
Voice of America publishes a Special English website that includes multimedia resources to help English students keep up with current events. Transcripts are available of news stories available in audio files. The audio files are in slower spoken English so ESL students can more easily understand them. The site includes English lessons and activities to accompany them. A WordBook is also available on the site to help students learn new vocabulary. Students can hear new words pronounced and read their definitions as they work through lessons and their activities. The site also has an EFL teaching community in addition to profiles from foreign students studying in the U.S. The site also has information on American idioms.
ESL to Go
ESL to Go is a blog that features stories from CNN’s student website, which has news stories for secondary students. The blog features a video from the student site and asks questions about its content. Readers can watch the videos as many times as necessary to get a good understanding of what it contains. The blog also contains other posts and lessons of interest on a wide range of topics. The ESL to Go blog allows comments as well, so English students can post their thoughts about particular stories they read.
BBC Learning English
BBC’s Learning English is a very detailed site offering a wide range of news, grammar and pronunciation lessons and exercises. It also contains a video series called “The Flatmates,” which contains lessons on a variety of topics. It also contains a student blog and a teacher blog for English teachers. The site also contains video lessons and interactive quizzes to help ESL students learn English. It also includes a pronunciation guide and information on business and general English. The site also contains information about British English slang.
Listening to the news and reading is an active way to practice and improve your English. If you listen to and read at least a few stories every day, you will notice that your English will significantly improve over time. Make a regular habit of practicing your English by keeping up with what is going on in the world.