I have students that are worried that they may not know enough general knowledge on certain topics. They may know a lot about entertainment or information technology, but they may not know anything at all about sports or nuclear technology. It’s a good idea to be prepared with some ideas about different topics, and a good way to do that is to read or watch/listen to the news and online magazines.
Here are some good general news websites:
- Voice of America and their special 30 minute news report in slow English
- BBC Radio
- Al Jazeera English podcasts and videos
- CNN Student News – there are 10-minute commercial free news reports with transcripts available
- BBC – Learning English
- Time magazine
- Google News
- National Geographic
Another useful tool is Google Alerts. Set up alerts to specific topics or words/phrases that come up in the news or blogs and it will send you an email about it.
If you know of a good one to add to the list and share, please write in the comments below. Thanks!