3 Best English Newspaper Apps For ESL Students

english newspaper apps

Looking to enhance your English language learning journey? I bet you are!

Now, before you tell me you’ve tried everything, hold up. I’ve got a hack that’s about to change the game for you: English newspaper apps for ESL students. Yep, you heard me right! While reading the news might seem a bit intimidating at first (I mean, all those big words, right?), it’s actually a secret weapon for language learning. And guess what? The apps we’ve gathered for you here are perfect for all levels. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting or if you’re practically fluent – there’s something here for everyone. Ready to become a language master? Let’s dive in!

Speaking from personal experience, English isn’t my first language. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and though many people speak English there, it’s not that simple. You see, just speaking English with others didn’t make me “good” at it. What really elevated my language skills was watching news reports and reading English news. The more I read, the more words I absorbed, and the more articulate I became. Now, it’s a part of my daily vocabulary, and I’ve never looked back. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you!

App Why It’s The Best For ESL Students Pricing
BBC News App Offers simple language options, interactive content to enhance vocabulary, and video reports to improve listening skills. Free with in-app purchases
USA Today Utilizes concise reporting, suitable for beginners, offers a broad range of topics to engage various interests. Free with in-app purchases
The Guardian App Features in-depth analysis for advanced learners, interactive content for engaging reading, and global perspective to learn diverse expressions. Free with subscription options
BBC Newspaper apps for esl

BBC News App

If you’re learning British English, immersion is key. Fortunately, the BBC News App offers content written and spoken in genuine British English, giving you a feel for the accent, vocabulary, and grammatical structures commonly used in the UK. Additionally, the app usually provides interactive content, including videos and audio reports. This multimedia approach helps enhance both listening and comprehension skills, allowing you to grasp the British English accent better.

The BBC News App offers content that caters to different proficiency levels. Whether you’re a beginner getting to know the basics or an advanced learner aiming to polish your skills, there’s content designed for you. Are you a parent? If that’s the case, then you can let your kiddo use a child-friendly news version known as the BBC Newsround! From there, they can get daily stories on national, international, sports, entertainment, and science news, all written in a language suited to their growing mind.

If you’ll ask me, the app pretty much provides substantial free content, allowing you to explore and learn without spending a dime. If you wish to delve deeper, there are in-app purchases available for more specialized content.


  • Authentic British English Exposure: The app provides real, native British English content, giving learners direct exposure to the language as it’s spoken and written in the UK. If you read the features, you may also get to know some slang expressions which can be pretty cool too!
  • Interactive Multimedia Content: With videos, audio reports, and interactive features, the app offers a multimedia experience that can significantly enhance listening and comprehension skills.


  • Potential Overwhelm for Absolute Beginners: Some of the content might be too complex for absolute beginners, and without proper guidance, they may find it challenging to understand.
  • Limited Focus on American English: If a learner is specifically aiming to learn American English, the BBC News App, being British-oriented, might not be the most suitable choice.
  • In-App Purchases for Specialized Content: While there’s a substantial amount of free content, some specialized features and content require in-app purchases, which might be a barrier for some users.
USA Today BBC Newspaper apps for esl

USA Today

Embracing the challenge of mastering American English? USA Today might be your best ally! Recognized as one of the leading news sources in the United States, the USA Today app provides an extensive array of news content that reflects the vibrancy and diversity of American English. What I personally love about this app is that most of the headlines and the writing style you’ll encounter are often straightforward and are basically crafted in simple English, making them accessible even for total beginners. This approach allows newcomers to the language to engage with the content without feeling overwhelmed.

Similar to BBC News App, USA Today offers unique videos, new podcasts, and interactive graphics that enrich the total learning experience by promoting active engagement with the content. These multimedia elements can enhance listening skills and provide context to the written material.


  1. Variety of Content: With a wide range of topics and varied writing levels, USA Today offers content that caters to different learners, from beginners to advanced.
  2. Free Access: The basic content is available for free, enabling learners to start without any financial commitment, and optional in-app purchases provide further specialized features and premium articles.


  1. Complex Articles: Some articles, especially in-depth analyses, might be too complex for beginners. While the headlines are simple, the full content of certain articles might be challenging for those just starting with English.
  2. Limited Personalization for ESL: Although the app is suitable for ESL learners, it doesn’t specifically target language learning, so there may be limited customization or tailored support for individuals aiming to improve their English skills.
The Guardian Newspaper apps for esl

The Guardian App

If you’re an ESL learner with an aspiration to master British English, turning to the Guardian App could be one of your most valuable decisions. Established in 1821, The Guardian has become a hallmark of quality journalism in the United Kingdom, renowned for its investigative reporting, insightful commentary, and diverse content.

The Guardian App encapsulates this excellence, delivering a digital platform that offers real-time news updates, feature stories, sports, entertainment, and more. But what sets it apart for English language learners is its authentic representation of British English, reflecting both the formal aspects of the language and the unique idiomatic expressions that characterize the UK’s rich linguistic heritage.

But the best part? Recently, they also added a feature where you can choose the type of language: international (Simple English), UK English, American English, and Australian English. Now, you can quickly switch between the type of language you’re trying to learn!


  1. Authentic British English Exposure: Engaging with real-world content written by native British writers offers an unparalleled learning experience, helping you understand idioms, slang, and formal English as used in the UK.
  2. Content for All Levels: The app provides a wide range of articles, from beginner-friendly pieces with simple vocabulary to complex analyses for advanced learners. This variety supports continuous growth.
  3. Cultural Insight: Unlike other apps in this list, the Guardian seems to have several feature articles making it a wonderful read for beginners! By covering various aspects of British life, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the culture and enhance language learning in a real-world context.


  1. Limited ESL-Specific Features: While excellent for exposure to British English, the app is not primarily designed for language learning. This may lead to a lack of specific tools or exercises tailored to ESL students.
  2. Subscription Costs for Premium Content: Although there is free content available, accessing exclusive articles and features requires a subscription. This might be a barrier for some learners on a tight budget.

Other Useful Newspaper Apps For ESL

While apps like BBC News, USA Today, and The Guardian provide fantastic gateways into British and American English, there’s a world of other resources waiting to be tapped. Here are some additional newspaper apps that ESL students may find invaluable:

  1. The New York Times App: If you’re aiming to dive into American English, The New York Times offers top-notch journalism with a variety of writing styles. Its interactive multimedia content can enhance your listening and comprehension skills.
  2. The Sydney Morning Herald App: For those interested in Australian English, The Sydney Morning Herald brings you closer to the unique vocabulary and idioms Down Under. With an array of subjects covered, it’s a fun way to learn English with an Aussie twist.
  3. The Times of India App: English is a prominent language in India, and The Times of India provides insight into the Indian use of English. It’s a blend of British and unique Indian English, offering a rich cultural and linguistic experience.
  4. The South China Morning Post App: If you’re in Asia and looking to align your English learning with a perspective closer to home, The South China Morning Post can be an engaging choice. It features international news with a touch of Asian context.
  5. Al Jazeera English App: Want to broaden your global perspective? Al Jazeera English offers news from different parts of the world, giving you a chance to understand various English accents and dialects.

Learn English With Ling

And there we have our roundup! As we learned in this post, language is alive, ever-changing, and deeply tied to culture. By exploring various newspaper apps, you expose yourself to different flavors of English, from spelling and grammar to colloquial expressions and formalities. But if you’re looking to truly supplement your language learning process, then you’ve got to try out the Ling app! Download it today from the App Store or Play Store now!

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