Now that you’re speaking English it’s time to start improving your writing skills. Part of being fluent in English requires that you are a capable and confident writer. When you’re going to communicate with native English speakers through non-verbal communication your writing skills will come in handy. Being able to speak English is fairly easy, writing on the other hand can be more complex. However, as you start integrating into an English or even international society you’ll find that you’re using non-verbal communication more. And while you can get away with not knowing the correct spelling, grammar and punctuation when you’re in casual conversation, writing will reveal all those cracks. To help you get started we’ve decided to list the best tips for developing writing skills. If you follow these tips diligently you’ll notice that your writing will improve and you’ll be writing like a native in no time at all.
Follow these fluency tips to conquer writing in English.
1. Read More To Write Better
Writing and reading go hand in hand. If you’re thinking of improving your English writing skills you should be reading a lot more English books. Good quality English books are better, ones that have been correctly edited and published by a reliable publisher. However there are a number of other convenient methods you could implement to start reading more. Try reading blogs, subscribing to news channels, reading English newspapers and even reading English comments on websites.You can develop various writing styles from the different things you read, a newspaper will teach you more professional writing tone whereas a blog or comments will teach you how to craft casual and interactive content.
2. Improve Your English Writing By Journaling
Constantly writing is going to improve your writing abilities enormously. Focus on writing instead of typing wherever possible, and especially as a beginner. Try journaling everyday. Keeping a journal will help you improve your vocabulary and writing ability. When you’re writing in your journal focus on sentence structure and writing style. Your writing style should be fitting for the occasion and setting if you’re feeling gloomy or downcast describe how you’re feeling. This should help you improve your English writing skills overall, but will come in handy when it’s time to speak English.
3. Avoid Slang and Text Abbreviations
When you want to enhance writing skills avoid slang like the plague. Slang is your enemy if you want to write English well and write proper English that is. The same goes for abbreviations like LOL etc. You won’t be able to improve your English writing skills or writing ability if you’re constantly deviating to slang. It’s also going to make reading your text positively painful for any native speaker. Although “Thou” is a word the word you’re really looking for is though. Thot isn’t a word it’s thought. These examples are just some of many. Overall, slang negatively affects your spelling and makes it difficult for English speakers to understand what you’re trying to convey. The importance of using proper English at all times shouldn’t be overlooked and in no time you’ll find your English writing has improved tremendously just by using the correct grammar and spelling.
4. Listen and Write (Transcribe)
If you want to improve your writing skills quickly, you should try transcribing recordings of native English speakers. While you’re listening to the recording you can write what you’re hearing. Once you’ve completed writing the recording you can edit your writing, looking for spelling mistakes as well as grammar and punctuation mistakes. The same works in reverse, after you’re done writing your recording read your writing aloud.
5. Write More
Just like keeping an English journal is important you should focus on writing in all it’s forms. You can find places online where you can enter your work into competitions and will give you essays to write about. Doing this will improve your English drafting skills. You’re also getting out of your comfort zone by having to write about subjects you may know very little about. The more you write the more you’ll notice your writing is improving. If you don’t want to enter competitions write your daily tasks in English, things like grocery lists, to do lists, reminders and schedules can all be written in English. You can also write more and interact on social media and digital channels in English. Find a topic that interests you and write in forums in English about those topics. Writing on a daily basis is the only way to improve really.
6. Visit an English Speaking Country
If you’re struggling to improve your reading and writing skills in your own country there’s no better place to improve your writing ability than in an English speaking country. Once again in this tip you’ll notice that by reading everything in English and having to conduct your daily life in English you’ll improve your writing skills. Studying in English will also force you to read English more and having English assignments will ensure you’re writing on a regular basis.
In addition try taking an English course as this will help you develop effective speaking and writing skills.
7. Get Feedback
Never ever think your writing skills are perfect and be able to accept constructive criticism and feedback from anyone. What you may overlook in your writing could be a glaring mistake to a native. So, whenever you’re writing be open to people correcting you. If someone doesn’t understand what you’re saying there are two ways they’ll show you. The first would be that they don’t respond in the correct manner, the second (more obvious) would be that they ask you what it is you’re trying to say. If you find that people are constantly misunderstanding you, well then you need to continue to improve your skills.
8. Use an App or Buy a Dictionary and Thesaurus
Apps like Grammarly can help you improve your writing style tremendously. It may not be the solution for you if you’re just starting out, but once you have the basics of English mastered you should try Grammarly. This app (and the website) corrects your grammar and spelling mistakes and offers you an alternative.
If you don’t want to install an app, a simple dictionary and thesaurus will do. It probably won’t help you learn new words but once you’ve heard or read a word you can look it up in a thesaurus or dictionary to understand what it means. A thesaurus will show you synonyms (words with a similar meaning) and a dictionary will show you the definition of a word. Both are essential when you want to learn how to write in English.
9. Keep Your Own Dictionary and Notebook
When you learn new words that could improve your writing ability. Or when you’ve learnt about grammar and spelling “secrets” and techniques you can jot all of it down in your own notebook. One that you can go through later on and that you understand.
10. Think In English
This may seem strange, but many foreign students think in their native language and then translate their language to English. This isn’t ideal. Foreign languages and English rarely use similar sentence structure. If you want to improve your skills, think in English. By thinking in the language you’ll find that your writing is more natural and not forced. And while you’re thinking you’ll also know where you need to improve your skills. If you keep forgetting words or phrases, those are things you need to practice. Remember practice makes perfect. You’ll notice that by thinking in English your writing improves and your speaking ability improves as well.
11. Write Simply
Oftentimes non-native speakers think that by using larger, more complex words they’ll mask their obvious writing shortfalls. Or they may just want to show off their new writing prowess. Forget about it. Keep to short simple words and sentences. Even if you’ve stumbled upon a new word don’t be quick to add it to your writing (or speaking) toolbox. Knowing large words is nice but using them could make your writing look forced and unnatural. Native speakers usually write simply and don’t make use of all of the 177 000 words in the English language.
12. Write For The Occasion
This is very important. English writing styles will change as the setting and reason for writing changes. When you’re writing for professional purposes stick to writing in a professional tone. Your writing can be more formal and should easily convey your message. It’s essential that you’re polite but not overly friendly. Remember that someone on the other end of your electronic communication will be reading it and won’t know how you wrote it or in what tone. So keep it formal but simple. For more casual communication you can write in whichever tone you choose and should actually avoid sounding too formal as English speakers are never formal in casual settings.
These are my writing skills finalist. As you can see from these top tips to improve your writing skills, practice makes perfect. Over time you’ll find that your writing will flow more naturally and as a result your speaking will improve as well. You can also enrol in an English language course aimed at helping you improve your skills, and increase your writing ability so that you can write like a pro.