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The Importance of Reading the News

There are many benefits to reading the news, and it’s great to get kids into the habit early. Find out the hows and whys of news reading below:

The Benefits of Reading the News:

Expanded vocabulary – Teachers and textbooks choose the most important words for a child to learn. However, if you want your young learner to go beyond these, newspapers are an excellent source of varied and useful vocabulary. Common jargon and more formal vocabulary are great words to pick up from reading the news. This expanded vocabulary helps a lot in unseen comprehension texts and listening exercises.

Staying informed – Strong general knowledge and interesting opinions are what often separate good writing from bad, especially in persuasive essays, argumentative essays and articles. For secondary school students, being well informed not only helps in subjects like Citizenship and Social Development, but also DSE speaking exams in both English and Chinese.

Enhance critical thinking and idea organisation – Through reading different types of news articles, e.g. feature stories and news flashes, your child can learn different ways to structure ideas. Furthermore, the complex arguments made in opinion pieces and editorials train students to read and think in very advanced ways. These skills are vital for those aiming at the top grades of the HKDSE.

How to Encourage Reluctant News Readers:

The news is all around us, so there are plenty of ways to start your child’s engagement with it if they’re unwilling to read the paper. Start by encouraging them to watch the news on television. Turn on the subtitles so they can read along while listening to the news anchor. Once they’re familiar with the words which appear in the news regularly, they’ll be less intimidated to see them written down.

If they’re still not eager to read the news, try just the opinion and comment pieces. These are less formal and more engaging, and they provide many of the same benefits as formal articles.

Useful news sites for learners of all ages:
Young Post
Hong Kong Free Press
The Standard
News in Levels
Ming Pao (bilingual)
Ming Pao (primary)