It’s never easy to become bilingual; you will always experience some bumps along the way.
There is so much to cram into just one hour English lessons a week due to its strange pronunciation, irregular verbs, present perfects and idiomatic expressions.
What can you do at the intermediate level to carry on improving outside of class?
Every English teacher will tell you that the best way of learning English is to read and speak the language regularly. There is no better way!
Throughout this article, we will go through the different websites that can be useful for learning English online and interactively.
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Before going through the different English media, we will first see what the benefit is of learning English this way.
Keeping up to date with the news in your language of learning, rather than in your mother tongue is the best way to get used to a foreign language, such as English.
If you want to master the English grammar, there is nothing better than listening to the English radio, watching the TV or reading Anglophone newspapers.
In order to stay on track, you should purchase an English dictionary.
Have a clear objective and be sure that you have a lot of confidence to achieve your linguistic abilities.
The BBC is a great news website to perfect your level in English (Photo credit: Frances Berriman via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND)
Normally, when you think of learning English via a news site, your first inkling would be the BBC.
We can all remember how our English teachers would nag us to read and listen to English media.
BBC is an extremely versatile news channel and it has a great reputation. This, therefore, makes the BBC the #1 way of learning the English language.
For those willing to consolidate their knowledge of a foreign language, the BBC proposes many great ways to do so in many languages.
BBC teaches English by starting with the basics: reading, writing, grammar, syntax, and listening.
And for those who are keen on learning the correct phonetics and pronunciation, the BBC teaches you different Anglophone accents: British, Irish, Welsh and Scottish. The BBC are extremely diverse and versatile with the tools they offer for English language learners.
Finally, there are three other English learning tools for beginners on the BBC:
Beyond this diverse “languages” section, the BBC site is a gold mine to learn a great level of formal English. The BBC does cover international news, but also give us an insight into different travel stories, which would be great to read if you’re thinking of going to England to learn English!
If you’re a sports fanatic and you’re passionate about learning English, why not combine these two together?
There are so many people who have chosen to better their English through the sports website, ESPN.
It is evidently so much easier to learn a language through what you’re passionate about, as you will feel a lot more concentrated and won’t get side-tracked easily. So, calling all sports lovers to pay a visit to the ESPN sports website! Read their articles published in English in the US every day.
American sports enthusiasts are always kept up to date with the latest sports news, whether it’s about the NBA, baseball, football, hockey or racing.
US sports fans are becoming increasingly numerous across the globe, but they nonetheless still remain a minority. Reading articles on the NBA, NFL and other US leagues will only appeal to a few English-learning students.
If you are one of these passionate sports fans, then we strongly recommend you to read this sports website! They publish articles daily on the British and Spanish championships.
Whichever sport you may be interested in, you must know that ESPN publishes excellent quality articles as their journalists are always at the forefront of the news and behind the scenes of major sporting events. So you will never be let down on facts and you can make learning English fun!
And, to make it even more pedagogical, ESPN offers many videos, which will help you with your listening comprehension and your phonetics for your English lessons. This is, therefore, the best way to feel at ease when learning a language.
The US channel, CNN is one of the best ways to improve your English (Photo credit: Julie, Dave & Family via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA)
The American news channel, CNN has always been globally known for the way it covers media in all four corners of the world.
Its excellent reputation started off in 1991, during the Gulf War, the first major conflagration between the United States and Iraq. CNN was the only American news channel that witnessed the conflict.
Nearly 24 years later, CNN is the main international media that we all know. They publish news about the United States as well as each and every country.
Anyway, “edition.cnn.com” is specifically designed for English-learners who want to deepen their knowledge of the language through reading the news. You will discover all the different Anglophone accents and many different opinions.
On the CNN website, you can “filter” the news by continent: Asia, Europe, America, etc. So, you can directly click on what you are interested about. The language is a bit less formal than the BBC’s, but it is still proper.
The New York Times, or the Times for the frequent readers, is one of the most popular Anglophone newspapers of global journalism.
Created in 1851 in the United States, the newspaper was also put online.
The New York Times publishes its articles in an extremely formal English.
Visit their website to better your understanding of the English language through reading their articles, but, be warned that the English may not be what you are used to! Tackling the New York Times is similar to trying to stroke a lion! It is difficult, but it will be worth it.
As mentioned above, we strongly recommend that you should dive into journalism to better your level of the English; you will learn a lot of new vocabulary. The New York Times is perfect for this.
Inevitably, the New York Times is a website that will make you the best of the best in English.
Whatever your favourite topics are in current affairs, the New York Times offers such a wide range of subjects that you will definitely always find something to read. You can practice English by learning about politics, the economy, the world, health and many more topics!
And even better yet, the New York Times online has been modernised and they now publish many more articles on “lifestyle” and fun topics, such as sports, arts, style, and food!
Reading the New York Times, there is no doubt that you’ll be able to come bilingual and fluent in English.
Additionally, but on the other side of the planet, you can read The Guardian, The Observer or The Times – all great renown British newspapers.
If you’re like every typical Internet user today and spend several hours a day surfing the net, switching from article to article, from culture to politics, then you will definitely find a great compromise on www.huffingtonpost.com.
The Huffington Post, a US magazine is a little more accessible for English learners at a beginners level, the language is a lot easier to understand, and you can find articles on things like English gastronomy written in a clear and understandable way.
The online newspaper is brave enough to deal with both serious subjects as well as laid back subjects, under the heading “Entertainment”.
If you enjoy reading the Huffington Post, you should definitely visit the Daily Mail’s site, which is more or less the British version of the Huffington Post.
The Huffington Post also offers translation exercises to better your knowledge of the English language whilst enhancing your reading comprehension.
We have mentioned all the main Anglophone newspapers; it is now only fair to discuss the radio!
Most radio station offers musical breaks to give you a rest from the current affairs, for example, jazz, hip hop, disco funk and many more genres for the pleasure of your ears.
Euronews radio, Voice of America, CBS Radio News, Radio Newark, America’s News Network are great radio stations, so listen to these stations to improve your English listening comprehension. The only downside is that sometimes you have to subscribe.
Up until now, we have discussed the media in the United States and the United Kingdom.
In other words, this list does appear quite small when you put it into perspective: English is the official language in 53 states, the UN, and the EU. It is spoken by 400 million natives and mastered as a foreign language by 1.4 billion people.
Rugby enthusiasts could read the Herald, a magazine based in New Zealand.
At the other end of the globe, in the northern hemisphere, there is the Canadian newspaper CBC News.
There are many other news channels and newspapers in other ends of the world, in every continent, including Asia, India, and Africa.
If you become familiar with all these different media from all the different parts of the world, you will become an English expert! You’ll even get used to the different Anglophone accents.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a few of many ways you can communicate with native English speakers (Photo via Visual Hunt
Without necessarily going as far as becoming a fervent blog reader, there are thousands of uncongenial ways of learning a language.
Social networks are generally an excellent way of communicating with others in a foreign language.
Free online video channels on YouTube are a gold mine to improve your English. At times, there are even subtitles which is great for beginners.
As we have seen, there is a lot of online Anglophone media, for every taste covering many different topics: recessions, ISIS, terrorism, migrants, and Syria.
It’s now time to summarize the different possibilities you can take to reinforce your knowledge of English:
You could also find an English pen pal and communicate through Skype!
And yes, English is the most spoken language in the business world; so make sure you start reading Anglophone media to be the best of the best!
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