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Reading newspaper

Date: Jul 01 2008

Topic: Vocabulary

Author: hashimoto aru


Reading newspaper to enlarge your word power (part I)

We all know how frustrating it is for ELS when reading English newspaper or magazines with full of unknown vocabularies.However, this lesson will guide you how to increase your vocabularies ability using newspaper by just reading the headlines.Before we start, I would like to give you a brief introduction on how newspaper headline is shaped. In the introduction, you will also find out why we can read only the headline to enhance your word competence. What is a headline?The headline of a news article is as alike as a short summary which try to draw your attention and inspire your imagination to catch a whole picture about the news. In short, to spur you on reading the news article. You can image how a sentence as short as a headline which carries so many functions has to be as precise as possible. That is to say, the vocabularies you read in the headline is so lively to allow you picture what had happened. What you can find in a headline?Let’s look some examples, and try to use your imagination to predict what is happened while reading these headlines.1.       Bush call Zimbabwe runoff a ‘shame’So, what is in your mind while reading this headline? Something (runoff) happened in Zimbabwe which is unfavourable enough to make President Bush say it is a shame. You wonder why Bush said so.
Noun:  RunoffA final election to resolve an earlier election that did not produce a winner
If you check the meaning of ‘runoff’, you can image that something should be related to an election, which may involve into cheating or violence to cause Bush said ‘shame’. 2.       Smoking ban may be Dutch buzz killerWow, A smoking ban becomes a killer? What’s going on there? 
Slang:  BuzzA state of stimulation or over-exciting, as from caffeine or nicotine.
Finding out what ‘buzz’ means, you probably can visualise a group of people sobbing because the smoking ban kills their passion (nicotine?).3.       Michelle Obama covers a huge success for USWhy not Barack but Michelle? What Michelle did to cover a huge success? Who on earth is running the president election?Well, if you have chance to reading further, you find out that the US Weekly magazine put Michelle Obama in their cover page. The author is playing words of ‘US’ and ‘cover’ to associate with magazine. (One similar headline is ‘Will there be unity in unity?’ expressing the joint election of Obama and Clinton. So real and…sarcastic.4.       Second-quarter profits: grief or reliefEach quarter, companies’ profits will be examined. And the result is either negative or positive.
Noun:  GriefSomething that causes great unhappiness
Here, the use of rhyme (grief and relief) to express contrary idea is very impressive and a little humorous. And if you know the meaning of ‘relief’, you probably can guess what grief means.

5W1H: Who did What at Where in When, Why and How.                                                  

You may be unconsciously using the 5W1H method to help yourself in imaging what happened while reading these headlines. So, example 1, Bush (who) said (what) shame (how) on Zimbabwe (where) runoff (which).Example 2, Smoking ban (which) is killer (who), example 3, Michelle (who) cover (what) a huge success (how) for U.S.(where) and example 4, Second-quarter (when) profits (what): grief or relief (how).When giving summary or gathering information, 5W1H is the most common system we can use. Therefore, a news headline is usually covered by these categories that allow us to gain a preliminary outline about the event. How to strengthen word power by reading headline?Actually, while you are predicting what happened, you already started to scaffold vocabularies needed for reading this article. Vocabularies either classify or respond to 5W1H categories. Due to the features of headline we mentioned above, you are stimulating to associate amount of words you used to learn by reading it. And this process will strengthen your ability in word usage.In the next lesson, we will look at the headline grammar.See you next time!   


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01:50 PM Aug 22 2009 |



Reading newspaper and trying to put the content in your words later can be a great way to improve your writing skills.According to the web site www.improvingvocabulary.org, making up your own examples can also improve your memory of words by 670%.

01:51 PM Apr 03 2009 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

thank you


09:02 AM Jul 31 2008 |

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