NEWS for YOU! FIVE Tips to Improve Your English by Reading the News
Do you enjoy reading in Japanese? In English? What is your favorite genre? If you are like me, I enjoy reading all kinds of fiction. More recently, I have been reading fiction based on real events in history. I also read the news every day.
Reading the news in English is a great way to improve your reading fluency and can help prepare you to talk about current news with others in English.
Here are 5 tips about using News to improve your English reading and speaking skills:
Tip #1 - Read news about Japan in English
Research shows that reading materials on culturally familiar topics improves language learning. (Sheridan, Tanaka, Hogg 2019) When you read news about Japan in English, most likely you are already familiar with the topic and will have an opinion about it. This will help you be more engaged and motivated to read about the topic in English. Another benefit is that you will be able to discuss current issues in Japan with Americans. Many Americans you interact with through business or at universities will want to learn about Japan from you. Reading news about Japan in English is a good way to know the right vocabulary to discuss current events and be able to explain about Japan in English.
There are many websites that offer English news. I highly recommend The Japan Times Take 5. This news email subscription is free!
2) Click on Take 5 from the Japan Times. Be sure to choose the English version of the news.
3) Within a few days you will receive emails with current news from Japan.
Tip #2 - Read news about your "target" country
Do you plan to live, work or study in the United States or another country? Knowing the "hot topics" of the country you are interested in will help you understand the culture there and prepare you to talk with people from that country.
If you plan to live in the United States, just like the Japan Times Take 5, CNN offers a free email subscription called 5-things
This website offers interesting news articles in many levels of English! You can choose your topic of interest or the "latest news" to read. Beside the latest news, there are links for articles under categories like Good News, Around the World, Money, U.S. News. You can easily read on any topic you want to know more about. Begin by choosing the "MAX" level, but feel free to change the level to a comfortable level for you.
3) Click on “Sign up without joining a class" (found at the bottom of your screen).
4) Create an account and begin reading!
Tip #4 -Keep track of new vocabulary found in the news
As you read the news in English, what new words keep popping up? Keep track of these new words. Write the definition, its part of speech, and a sentence example. You can write words in a vocabulary notebook, write flashcards, or create a “note” for new vocabulary on your phone.
Note: You might notice that in this blog post I have underlined some key words for you to explore!
Tip #5 - Talk about the news with others!
Find a friend or colleague to discuss the news you have read in English. Remember that speaking English is learning English. Try choosing a current topic you are both interested in. Read the same article or choose two different articles on the same topic. Set a coffee date or a virtual meeting to discuss together.
Contact Global Josei Academy if you are interested in joining a news discussion group.
Decide today to read news in English a few minutes each day and notice how much your English improves!