Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever watched or read the news to get up to speed on current events?

Have you ever thought of the news as a viable way of learning English and applying it to your everyday conversations?

Today we have Neil Edgeller From BBC Learning English on the show, and he is sharing his expertise in using the news to learn English.

We’re going to talk about how you can use the language that you read or hear in the news and apply it to your everyday conversations.

This can really help you to focus on something outside of the classroom, and create real life examples of how to use the news in your everyday conversations.

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A Bit of Background

Neil brings with him a lot of expertise as he teaches the audience through the news everyday in a variety of different ways.

BBC Learning English provides materials and tools for a large international audience of people who are learning English.

You can get some great advice for how to learn English vocabulary through the news, as this can be a wonderful source.

You want to find vocabulary through this source, and then incorporate it into your everyday conversations.

You will find that you can really pick up and learn more English as you read and watch the news.

You are getting into this mindset and really helping to pick up on the language by immersing yourself in it.

As you read and watch the news, you are learning more English and in a really effective way.

BBC has a lot of access to interviews and learning material, and you can take all of that and provide real life examples to use.

This is beyond just the textbooks and what you would learn in the classroom.

This is beyond just the scripted conversations that would take place in a structured learning environment.

This is real life usable examples of English that you can take and make your own.

The 6 Minute English Podcast helps by providing interesting excerpts of conversations which can then explain how the language has been used in that particular context.

You can see it used whether it’s formal vs. informal, and how it is used overall.

You can pull from newspapers such as headlines, which can help you to see how you take that language from an authentic context and then use it in your everyday English speaking.

Newspaper headlines aren’t always natural, but this can lead to great conversation.

Everyone wants to stay up on current events and learn what’s happening in the news.

This is such a great way to learn a new language, and to see how it all works together in a cohesive way.

If you are reading it in your second language, you are learning great vocabulary but then the trick is to apply it to your conversations.

You are improving your language, your speaking, and your vocabulary all through this.

Tips To Help You Use The News In Your Everyday Conversations

So you see the merit of reading and watching the news as it pertains to language learning.

These three tips will help you to take it to the next level, and ensure that you get the most out of the news in your language learning.

First tip: When you read a headline or see a story, go beyond just what the word means. You need the context which you get from the News Review. Think about which words go together around that word or expression. Thinking of how formal, common, or appropriate it is can help you here too. There are words used in headlines that we may never actually say. There is a type of journalistic language that is used in headlines, and you just have to go in knowing that. The word “slammed” may be used in a headline to say that somebody was heavily criticized. Do we really use it that way in conversation? Why is it used? How is it being conveyed or communicated?

Think about this and the usage and what it means in this context, but at the end of the day, you want to understand it. You want to sound native and natural and use it in the way that the natives would. How much figurative language is used may be surprising at first! Like “bombshell” for example—you may think that you know what a word like this means but you have to watch these types of programs to understand the nuances. Listen for the figurative usage and the way it is used in each headline. There is so much figurative language used and you need to watch and listen to understand the usage. This can then help you to use it in your conversations in the right way. Being sure that you see the usage, particularly if it is figurative, can help you to truly understand and to speak like a native with this.

Second tip: Really immerse yourself and expose yourself to as much content as you can. It’s not always easy and you may have limited time. But if you can read the articles or watch the news or really immerse yourself in English and the content, then you will really get better from all of that exposure. Then you can try to use it and master it because you are living it.

You will progress if you immerse, and that’s the mindset that you need to maintain. You can get to where you want to be, but you have to live within it and make it your own. Dedicate some time each day to reading and listening to the news. Be sure that you are doing it in English so that you can really pick up on it. When you immerse yourself, then you have a better chance at making it your own. This is an effort at first, and then it becomes a part of your life.

Third tip: Be kind to yourself. It’s frustrating and hard sometimes and you have to be honest with yourself. It’s a long and slow process and you have to study and allow yourself time. If you are having a hard time and thinking you are getting nowhere, take a step back. Give yourself time and don’t get discouraged and you will get through it. If you can recognize the little steps you are making and the improvement that you are making, then you will get to your end goal.

You have to be patient and kind with yourself, and you will get to where you want to be. It can be a long and frustrating process but you have to be patient with this at it happens. Remember our goal at AEE is connection not perfection. What is the aim in learning a language? To communicate! And if you are making connections and getting to where you want to be, then you will get there if you take your time and enjoy the process as it lays out before you.

These tips can really help you to get the most out of the news for your overall English learning experience.

You can find Neil and all of his helpful information at his website, which is

You can also find a free App on the App Store and Google Play, and you can also find their podcasts in the usual places, and they are all over social media by searching for BBC Learning English.


You might not realize it, but you can learn a lot about a new language by watching the news.

Listening to podcasts, watching the news, or reading about current events can really help to prepare you for speaking in a new language.

You have to be sure to fully immerse in it if you want to get the most out of it, and that requires time and effort.

Though you may need to dedicate the right focus, you can turn the news into a real viable way of speaking English like a native.

This is outside of what you would do and learn in a classroom, and therefore it can be extremely beneficial to make it a part of your everyday life.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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