What I read this week

by ucclangcent

Each week in class one of the assignments students have is to bring in a newspaper or magazine article they have read and discuss with their classmates why it interested them and how it has helped them to improve their English. This is done in pairs. It is a great way to learn about the interests of the others in class and also to build students’ confidence in their ability to read articles that are not modified for learners of English.

Christoph from Germany tells us about an article he read and why reading is important for improving your language ability.

I chose my newspaper article because of my affection for technology. Apple managed to land a big hit again with its new mobile phone despite some flaws. In fact, one of those is a rather funny one. Although the iPhone 5 knows how to convince when it comes to user friendliness, features and quality, its users are literally lost when relying on Apple’s new navigation software. For example, when looking for the closest airport Dubliners could be recommended to take off from Airfield. In particular, this Airfield is no air field intended for planes but a rural city named Airfield. What is more, even the Minister for Justice made fun of this fact, when stating that a cow would be a more appropriate sign for that city rather than the recently “achieved” sign of a plane (in the iOS map app).

Not only is reading newspaper articles important for being informed, but it can also help you improve your language skills. By reading on a daily basis, you will learn a lot of new words without much effort. Moreover, your “guessing” abilities will advance. Besides that, newspaper articles can be exploited for several exercises. One possibility is to predict the story by only looking at the headline. In consequence, it primes your ability to write in that you speculate about a “made up” story. It extends, at the same time, your active vocabulary due to being creative with a text. Likewise, by simply marking word chunks (or plain reading!) you get accustomed to grammar structures like phrasal verbs, collocations or simply word order. Without doubt, reading is really worth the time.