I posted something that's been on my wish-list for a while, though I didn't have the nerve to suggest it to an actual news publication until this invitation came along. I would love to see a newspaper or magazine include a regular feature that supports a new reader's efforts to take up recreational reading. Give it a title or logo that makes it easy to find and sprinkle such articles around the publication in a way that encourages poking around.
|From NS Newsflash|
I think it would be nice if well-known news and information providers offered some of their content in an easily-recognized and relatively digestible form, but without making much of a fuss about it. Give the feature a name so it can easily be found, but not something that implies that the information is watered-down for learners. No boldfaced vocabulary, no audio support (unless it's offered for all articles anyway, or it provides supplemental details) and no links to comprehension questions or grammar exercises. Limit, but don't eliminate, complex sentence structures. Include selected idioms, but don't get too clever. Embed clues for inferring the meaning of challenging words. Let the new reader get used to going to the news site and browsing for articles that are interesting or informative, then reading. In short, make it as close to the actual experience of reading the news as possible.
This would benefit the reader, obviously, who would eventually find him or herself skimming other articles with more and more comprehension. It would benefit the publisher, too, as readers get into the habit of coming to their site. These articles would also be a valuable resource to native-speaking literacy learners.