Updated: Nov 4
This is a guest post by Anna Kokkali. Anna is 26 years old and from Greece. She works as a digital marketer for KnowbleReader, an application designed to help English language learners improve by providing online news articles in English. She is currently living in Amsterdam.
I know that learning English from scratch is not easy, and there are going to be times that you will want to give up. However, keep pushing yourself to learn!
I was exactly where you are now a couple of years ago. My journey to learn English started two years before leaving abroad for my Master’s Degree. I knew that in order to be accepted and really live the whole foreign experience of a new country, I had to learn English. It would be my most powerful tool. However, I was really busy at the time, as I was working at the same time.
So, I looked for a solution to help me master English, and I found it online.
We live in the digital era, where technology is in most parts of our lives. It’s time to leverage those opportunities and make the most out of them. This is what I did. I knew myself, and I knew that being fully devoted to learning English wouldn’t be that easy. Reading English and learning new words in their real context is very useful as you get the real meaning of the word. It didn’t take me much time to realize that, and then I discovered KnowbleReader.
When I discovered KnowbleReader, it made my life really easier in the sense that I could combine learning English with daily tasks. I was reading the morning news and had the possibility to translate every unknown word. I could even take small tests in order to track my improvement. Of course, I combined it with English courses. However, the classes that I had undertook at the end were way less helpful than I thought they would be, as I was studying on my own free time with KnowbleReader.
Why should we read online news to learn English?
And why can learning English through online news articles be more effective than taking classes?
First of all, I would like to clarify that nothing is absolute; every personality is different and there are different methods or even combinations that suit people in order to best learn English.
Using online news articles could be more beneficial than traditional English courses, as you are reading something of your personal interest. No one is forcing to you to read a specific piece of content. Instead, you can read an article, get to know what is going on around the world, and at the same time improve your grammar, increase your vocabulary, and progress faster with your English. You get to enjoy the whole journey more, which leads to faster learning, deeper understanding, and better results.
Moreover, when I started learning English, one piece of advice that I was given was to also try to learn from native speakers. Reading articles that are written in the native language helps you not only mechanically learn the words, but also start understanding the real meaning of them as well as the English culture. You will be able to notice how they use words for daily conversations, for business matters, or even for science purposes. You will grow the ability to use each word accordingly.
Lastly, what is really important is that online news, or at least most news articles, are free or have a minimal cost for subscription. You can access them from wherever you are, on your own free time, without any great technological knowledge, and plan your lessons the way you prefer, which is more convenient for you. And this is the essential part, that they can be accessed by anybody, giving the opportunity to everyone to start learning English.
What is KnowbleReader and how does it work?
Let me briefly describe what KnowbleReader is. It is a free Google Chrome plugin that helps you build vocabulary using real English texts of news articles. From a technical perspective, I am going to be quick. It uses Artificial Intelligence to analyze news articles from sites like CNN, BBC, and Independent and suggest vocabulary words based on the learner’s English level.
You just download the extension to your browser and you are good to go. Every morning, just click on the extension, and articles, depending on the field of you interest (business, science, sports etc..), will pop up. Click the one that attracts you the most, or that is a trendy topic. Then sit back enjoy your coffee and improve your English. While reading through the article, click on the unknown words, or the words that you are not sure of. You will instantly get the translation, how it can be used in sentences, and also mini tests to check yourself if you fully understand the meaning. It is as simple as that, and the effects can be really great! Trust me!
In the end, it takes time to learn English. And with the help of news articles, the process of learning English will become easier. It’ll probably take years to perfect it, but small actions have a dramatic impact, and a little practice every day goes far. By using tools like KnowbleReader, learning English becomes second nature. Learning becomes easily integrated into your daily life and will become an adventurous and enjoyable process. You’ll start to pick up all sorts of English words just from reading online news. Good luck in your English learning journey!