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English Detective #77 Studying English Using the News, early Feb., 2017
January 31, 2017

# 77 Studying English Using the News, early Feb., 2017

There are more reasons than ever to keep up with the news, especially if you are interested in studying in (or immigrating to) the U.S.— or have students thinking of doing so. Here are some good sources in fairly easy English—or with several levels-- so the reading is challenging but not TOO difficult.

Below the picture there are also links to practice news vocabulary— from words describing violence more common in news reports than ordinary life (hopefully!) to newspaper terminology (column, headline, editor, OpEd page, etc.)

First, here’s a Learning Network article for ESL teachers (but possibly interesting if you are an adult studying English as well) on ways to recognize fake news sites and distinguish them from reliable news sources.

Understand the News in English discusses several excellent sites with news suitable for English learners from beginner to high intermediate. (Look near the end of the page for links to Voice of America, Newsela, Breaking News English, News in Levels, and Vocabulary.com—a page with vocabulary lists linking to a variety of news sources.)

I would especially like to call out Newsela, which has very interesting, up-to-the-minute news and collections of articles (useful for teachers!), all written at 5 levels (as well as a Spanish translation), as well as quizzes to check your understanding. It also has a text set (collection of articles) on fake news.

Newsela requires signing up, but it’s free, and has never abused my email (or sent me anything until I asked to receive daily article notices while working with a student who needed some practice like that.)

First Clues: Vocabulary Practice:


English Vocabulary for Violence These are the ugly words you need to understand a lot of the news—about war, brutality, hatred, and crime.

News Vocabulary gives the names for parts of a newspaper, explains a little about editorial policy, and discusses two articles that illustrate the power of an editor.

Would You Like More Free Academic Vocabulary Practice?


Many of the earlier English Detective issues also had helpful academic vocabulary practice that you might have missed. I’ve chosen five of the best older ones to update and send out as a free short email course, since most people reading English Detective now did not receive it in 2013 or 2014. If you’re interested, sign up here for the Best of English Detective. (See the bottom of the page, below the regular newsletter sign-up.)

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