20 English Magazines That’ll Change How You Learn The Language
In 1663 in Germany, the world got its very first magazine!
Since then, magazines have been created to cover every topic you can imagine.
What if you could learn English while you read about your favorite hobby?
English magazines are great for learning English because they are portable (you can carry them around with you), have short articles and are often written in easy-to-understand language.
- Magazines for Native English Speakers
- Magazines for English Language Learners
- Magazine Activities for Learning English
- Finding the Best English Magazines for Learning
- And One More Thing...
Magazines for Native English Speakers
1. Mental Floss
Perfect if you like: Interesting trivia and facts.
What you’ll find inside: What does outer space smell like? Why isn’t cat food mouse-flavored?
If you’re the kind of person who asks yourself these questions, you’ll love Mental Floss. Each issue is full of bite-sized (small bits) trivia and mostly short articles with really interesting facts that you’ll want to share with others.
The writing is fun and friendly, so it’s easy to understand the answers to the more difficult questions.
While the print edition of the magazine stopped publishing in 2016, you can still read Mental Floss online (use the link above).
2. Fast Company
Perfect if you like: Business and learning how successful companies work.
What you’ll find inside: Fast Company is one of the more approachable (easy-to-read) magazines about business and companies.
It has many interviews and features of successful people, as well as general news about interesting new companies.
It does use a higher level of writing than is usual for magazines, so give it a try first to make sure you can understand the articles.
3. Reader’s Digest
Perfect if you like: Inspiring stories about people.
What you’ll find inside: Reader’s Digest is not actually about books or reading. Instead, it is about people.
Inside you’ll find anecdotes—short, personal articles about things that have happened to people.
There are stories in simple writing about everything from funny celebrity moments and inspiring personal stories to funny jokes and articles.
4. Cricket Media
Perfect if you like: Excellent literature and short stories for children and teens.
What you’ll find inside: Cricket Media creates various magazines aimed at different ages, from children to teenagers.
Different magazines also have different themes, such as science, history or literature. Their most popular magazine, Cricket, is full of wonderful short stories, poems and beautiful illustrations.
Even though these are technically children’s magazines, they are perfect for learning English because they have high quality writing, with definitions of some of the more difficult words.
5. TIME and TIME For Kids
Perfect if you like: Expertly-written news and current events.
What you’ll find inside: TIME is one of the most well-known magazines in the world. Inside you’ll find news, beautiful photographs and everything you need to get a “deeper understanding of the world in which we live.”
Since TIME is very high quality and provides deep insight on many serious topics, it can also be difficult for English learners to read.
If you have trouble understanding TIME, try TIME For Kids, which has similarly great content but is written in a simpler way.
Perfect if you like: Celebrity gossip.
What you’ll find inside: What’s your favorite celebrity doing? Who’s getting divorced in Hollywood?
People has all the celebrity gossip you could want. It’s a great way to get to know the culture and stars of the American entertainment industry.
If you don’t already know some of these celebrities, this magazine might not be interesting for you. You may want to do a little research on celebrity lives before trying this magazine.
Perfect if you like: Fashion and beautiful people.
What you’ll find inside: If you love fashion and looking great, you’ll enjoy Vogue.
There is a big focus on art, style and gorgeous photography, so you can enjoy the magazine visually while you read it.
The articles are dense (have a lot of words close together) so instead of trying to read everything, you might want to choose one article and work your way through it slowly. Definitely a lot of new words to learn here!
Perfect if you like: Lists of the best things.
What you’ll find inside: ShortList is another magazine that was previously in print and has been entirely online since 2018.
This magazine was originally written for “high class” men who live in cities. Now it focuses on creating lists of the top things in various categories, such as entertainment, tech, food and more.
The writing is not too difficult to understand. It’s perfect for intermediate English learners who are looking for a bit of a challenge to help them learn even more English.
Perfect if you like: Traveling and learning about other places.
What you’ll find inside: Take a trip to a new place without even leaving your chair. Sunset is full of amazing pictures and simple writing about places around the world.
This magazine has tips on where to stay and what to eat, and it talks about interesting and fun things you can find in different places.
10. Digital Photographer
Perfect if you like: Taking pictures with your camera or phone.
What you’ll find inside: This magazine is eye candy—it’s full of colors and is very pleasing to look at.
It’s one of the many magazines offered by the website Digital Camera World, which you can try out as well.
There are many tips and guides on how to take great pictures, and they are written in simple and easy-to-understand English (although there are some technical camera terms, of course).
You will feel like the writers are talking to you! Later on, you can impress your friends with your improved English and your new photography skills.
Perfect if you like: Learning about languages and linguistics in general.
What you’ll find inside: Babel defines itself as a magazine for language enthusiasts. This magazine allows you to learn not only about English, but also about every other language in the world.
Columns like “Languages in the world” and “Linguistic lexicon” expand your knowledge about the history and diversity of languages.
Its biggest articles generally explore the larger effects of language, culture and politics. It also has a book review section where you might find the perfect text for more intensive reading practice.
Perfect if you like: Subjects such as language learning, the history of languages, linguistics and how culture affects language.
What you’ll find inside: Unravel is a magazine made by academics for the public. As a learner you’ll get in-depth knowledge about how language functions and why certain languages are so different.
It’ll be especially useful for understanding grammar rules and how they develop. All the confusing parts about English will be explained in a beautiful and crisp way. You might even learn something about your own native language!
There are also short, specific pieces, like this article providing general tips for language learners.
Magazines for English Language Learners
13. Hot English Magazine
Perfect if you like: Learning idioms, grammar and conversation tips.
What you’ll find inside: Every issue has 500 idioms that you can use in your daily life.
It also gives you topics for starting a conversation, along with the latest news from the English world, so you don’t feel clueless when talking with natives.
This magazine is ideal for learners who need to learn English for work or exams, but it also caters to learners who need English for other reasons.
Since it starts with fundamentals such as grammar and vocabulary, this magazine is good for beginners who need to build up the basics.
14. Just English
Perfect if you like: Ratings for every article that tell you the reading level.
What you’ll find inside: This magazine is supposed to be used in classrooms but it can also be used for self-learning.
This is a magazine published by a Malaysian company. It has two versions: Just English Explorer is for middle school and intermediate learners, while Just English is for teenagers and adults with higher levels.
Just English Magazine covers news, personal accounts, sports, historical facts and short stories. It also provides tips for succeeding in English exams. This version focuses more on skills and has some articles that explicitly deal with grammar and vocabulary.
15. Scholastic Scope
Perfect if you like: Reading practice and building writing skills.
What you’ll find inside: This magazine by the well-known publisher Scholastic is for intermediate language learners. It focuses on writing skills and the ability to create arguments in a debate.
Each issue has informational articles and short fictional stories. Along with the reading material, they have tasks that readers are supposed to do after finishing an article.
Scholastic Scope also provides essay templates (patterns that serve as guides), which can help learners understand how to structure their arguments. They also have a regular column for grammar tips.
16. Let’s Find Out
Perfect if you like: Building basic skills.
What you’ll find inside: This is another Scholastic magazine meant for children and beginners just starting out. It features various activities for English learning.
It also has basic and short articles about science and social studies, along with other narrative texts that can serve as quick reading practice.
Since it is for absolute beginners, the magazine uses a lot of pictures so that the learners can make associations between the images and the words.
Perfect if you like: Learning through different articles about the same topic.
What you’ll find inside: This magazine features paired texts, which are different articles about similar topics. Paired texts help readers to learn concepts and terms that are related to one another.
Since this is also a Scholastic offering, it has learning activities and tasks similar to Scholastic Scope and Let’s Find Out.
In each issue, you’ll find articles about science, culture, history and debates for beginner to intermediate level learners. It also features poetry, fiction, mythology and other kinds of literature.
This magazine is best used alongside its online version, where you’ll also find videos and activity sheets.
18. Language Magazine
Perfect if you like: Learning about cultural and scientific aspects of language.
What you’ll find inside: Established about 18 years ago, Language Magazine has been a reputable source of news and resources for language learners of all kinds.
The larger mission of this magazine is to promote the idea of global citizenship and make language learning relevant to people all over the world.
Not only does it provide tips and techniques for learning, it also focuses on culture. The readers of this magazine are kept updated about research, news and international organizations.
Perfect if you like: Reading articles by other English learners like yourself.
What you’ll find inside: TOPICS is the only magazine in this list that’s totally based on learners’ contributions. It is a community of English language learners from all over the world and even you can publish an article if you’re proficient enough.
Articles are published on a wide variety of topics such as food, health, movies, style and more. You can choose the topic you’re most interested in and see what others have to say about it.
You might also get to meet new people online and perhaps connect with a learning partner who can practice speaking and reading English with you.
20. British Council Magazine
Perfect if you like: Having audio versions of articles, plus worksheets.
What you’ll find inside: The British Council is one of the most reliable and respected resources to learn English. Their magazine is especially made for reading practice.
The magazine is also good for learning new and relevant topics. They post articles about a variety of topics relating to daily life. For instance, they have articles related to the beach, calendars, food, gun control and so on.
Each article has little preparation activities before you get into the reading. At the end of every article, there are also quizzes and discussion questions.
Magazine Activities for Learning English
Even if you just read the magazines and enjoy their content, you will be learning new words, sentence structures and common sayings.
If you want to take your learning a step further, here are some activities you can do with English magazines that will help you study English actively.
You can do these out loud, by writing, through discussion with someone else, or even just silently in your head.
- Describe the pictures. Most magazines have a lot of pictures. Choose some pictures and describe what you see in them, out loud or in writing. You can find more ideas on how to learn using pictures in this article.
- Add speech and thoughts. Are there any people (or animals) in the pictures? Imagine what they would be saying or thinking.
- Summarize the articles. You can test how well you understood an article by trying to summarize it. Can you describe what the article is about in a sentence or two? If you can’t, try reading it again and take care to see the meaning of the whole article instead of the individual words.
- Discuss the articles. If you read about an event that just happened, or even if you just find something interesting, share it with someone. Have a conversation about it. It will be a great way to practice your understanding of the article and your conversation skills.
- Ask the author. Sometimes reading an article leaves you with more questions. If you could ask the author anything, what would it be? What else would you want to know about the topic?
- Diversify your reading practice by watching subtitled videos. If you need something a bit different in your reading practice, you can integrate watching videos with subtitles into your practice.
Finding the Best English Magazines for Learning
Now that you know how to use your magazines, it’s time to choose one (or a few!) from the list.
Most of these are available either in print format, or via the newsstand sections in the Android and iOS stores.
If you decide to subscribe to any of the magazines, you can do so on any of their websites or visit Amazon’s magazine section for Kindle Unlimited to see which ones are available.
You can find some of the magazines for a discounted rate at Magazine Line, which is also a great place to search for more English-language magazines by category.
Some magazines give discounts for college students. So if you’re in university, be sure to check out “Student and Educator Rates” at the bottom of the home page.
These magazines are just the beginning of what’s available out there.
There are magazines about dogs, golf, people with tattoos and so many other different topics.
But remember that you don’t just have to depend on magazines for learning English. If the magazine topics are a bit confusing, or you want to practice other skills besides reading, then take a break and learn English from other content.
On top of magazines, you can turn to other types of English media like YouTube, TV series and movies. They, like magazines, can also help you learn English language and culture at once.
Plus, one resource can also help you better understand another. For example, if you read about an event in a magazine, then you can find more information about it from videos.
With media, such as TV shows, your English learning can become extra exciting. And with so much diverse English material out there, you can definitely find some that match your interests.
After all, when you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll learn better and faster!
And One More Thing...
If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:
The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or from the Google Play store.