English is one of the most common languages used by various countries all over the world. Known as the universal language, almost everyone knows at least one English word or two, or is fluent enough to speak it in their own culture to guide tourists. But sometimes, there are people who don't speak English at all, or aren't very fluent and would like to be. That's why there are language classes that help with just that. Many people would love to learn the English language to become diverse and be able to communicate with more people, as well as maybe traveling purposes. Plus, it does help knowing other languages, especially one that everyone uses!
Being a challenging language to learn, it does take time to learn how to write properly and in correct grammar, so here are some ways on how to improve your writing skills as an ESL student.
Paper or laptop for basis of writing
Multicolor pens or pencils
Thesaurus or dictionary
A friend! This is actually optional, but it's best to learn together.
Some quality novels or books
Improving Writing Skills
Just like when you were young and learning your first language, learning new words and their meaning will help with your writing skills. Using your thesaurus, try learning at least one new word a day to acquaint yourself with the English language. Incorporate the words you use in daily conversations and see where that takes you! Writing sample sentences will also help improve your writing skills. The more words you know, the more vast your imagination and creativity with the language will be, so open up your thesaurus and get to writing.
Learn from mistakes
When learning a language, may it be English or any other, you will make mistakes. From grammar to punctuation, having errors when writing or speaking is inevitable. Even in your own native tongue do we make mistakes! That's why we must learn not to be so bothered by it and give up. Learn from your mistakes and try to correct them. That way, you'll know what not to do the next time. Nobody's perfect, not even those who are native in the English language, so don't kick yourself over the mistakes you do when writing or speaking, because that's just how the process works.
Your teacher probably told you that the best thing to do when studying English is to read and keep reading. Even when learning your first language, you must have started reading in order to learn the proper grammar and words! Reading quality books will have you learn the ways on how to write properly, with good grammar and creativity in your words. Read it out loud and slow, that way you'll be able to also learn proper pronunciation as well. There's no need to rush when reading, especially when English isn't your first language. It isn't a contest, so try to understand and study the correct form of grammar and punctuation, as well as your pronunciation with words. That is where your thesaurus will help you, too!
Check out bestsellers and critically-acclaimed books, as well as classics that will help enhance both your grammar skills and vocabulary. That way, you'll start penning your own stories and get to learn how to write properly as well. You can find a lot of these books in your local library to borrow for free, or bookstores that you can get deals and discounts from. You can even join a book club and enhance both your writing and communication skills.
It may seem quite odd that reading backward will help you learn how to write, but trust me, it works! Reading backwards will help you understand the flow of words, as well as you being able to focus on the individual words you read. That way, you will be able to easily identify mistakes. And it is said that reading backwards helps you read slower and lets you understand the text better than if you were reading normal and at a quick pace. While it might sound weird if reading it backwards out loud, it will help and that's what matters.
Feedback from your teacher or loved ones who are fluent in English will always help, because you will get a different perspective on your work. They may criticize it or identify mistakes, or they may commend the good grammar and content, but either way, having someone checks your work is an effective way to improve on your writing skills. You get to share your experiences with others, as well as get feedback for what you need to improve with your writing, so it's a win-win situation.
Do an activity and write something about it, then share it to your teacher for evaluation. A little bit of tips will always help you improve your writing. Don't worry about being embarrassed; they are just there to help improve your writing skills! If you are hesitant with sharing it to others, have a trusted family member or friend fluent in English check your writing and grammar, as well as a teacher if you have one, just to start. Once you feel more confident with your words, you may even post your work online for others to give their verdict.
Whether you use a laptop or paper for writing, the things you can write about to practice the English language are limitless. With these writing techniques, you will hopefully be able to enhance your skills in the language, as well as improve your imagination and creativity when it comes to thinking in English. Though it may be challenging, it's definitely worth it, so write up a storm and try these techniques to help yourself out!
Joan Selby is a an English grammar tutor at Edugeeksclub.com which provides online assistance to students. A writer by day and reader by night. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.