How to improve your writing

How to improve your writing

 

Do you want to improve your writing skills? We’ve written a guide for all of the lovely ESL students out there. 

Writing is one skill that students are most likely to neglect. That means learners of English are not practicing this skill. This isn’t based on research, this is personal experience. In fairness, the reason why is clear. Writing takes a long time and depending on how you to it, a physical excursion. Writing can potentially take up a considerable amount of class time. Some teachers feel like they aren’t teaching when students are writing so we’d rather fling a battery of tasks at our students. This isn’t about teachers, sometimes students feel like they can write at home and it’s a waste of class time. That’s not true. Students don’t consider the time when writing assignments at home. The teacher might be interested in trying to speed up or limit the amount of time you spend writing. Teachers need to see the mistakes you make too. People don’t write letters to each other anymore. What people do is use programs like WhatsApp and even Slack for written communication. We use these apps all the time. But this also involves writing (or typing). So, let us help you – read our guide below on how ESL students can improve their writing.  

Write your own articles 

Are you interested in something? Gardening? Tennis? Pokémon? None of those? OK no problem. There must be something you’re interested in, why not try and write your own article? You can write anything you want. I hear word press is a great way of publishing your writing. If you don’t know what to write, why not pick a certain style to write in. Maybe write a top 10 list of places to visit in your hometown. You can write a list of the best restaurants you’ve visited in London (share it with me too please, I’m always looking to stuff my face). Another thing you can do is write advice articles of what to do in certain situations you have experienced. If you don’t want to write a travel guide for anywhere then maybe a guide for tourists. Perhaps you are a vegan? You could write a persuasive article about veganism. If you aren’t interested in trying to convert anyone in a vegan, then maybe you can write an informative piece. Maybe you know about special diets or foods. Do you know about video games, maybe a write a guide for it? Walkthroughs are always really helpful for people when they are stuck on a game.  Film reviews are always a good idea maybe if you read a good book, you can write a review of it. Try it out and remember you can always ask your teachers to help look it over, if you want someone to check your writing.  

Read 

Speaking of books. Reading is like the other side of the coin. Reading is an example of perfectly written English. (99% of the time). There are loads of things that have been written. They are always available online and there are so many different things that have been written before. There is so much out there that whatever you choose to write, you are guaranteed to find an example. If it’s not the exact thing you are looking for, that is actually a good thing. We love originality. But it means that you can just look for a similarly structured example in the style you want to guide you. How can you possibly get something like writing right, when you don’t know what it looks like? Ahh, exactly. So, you’ve got to read. Think about it like this; babies. Babies don’t talk, but do we talk to them? Yes, yes, we do. And eventually they learn to do it back, maybe when they are toddlers, they aren’t great at expressing everything they want to say. But are they improving all the time? One-hundred percent! That’s like you and writing. Maybe you are at the lowest stage but the more you expose yourself to things that other people have written the better you’ll able to imitate it. You should be reading in English anyway. Not all the time of course, but if you aren’t reading anything at all in English… Well, I hope you feel guilty.  

Keep a Diary 

Once upon a time… OK it was 2020 but it was just before the UK lock-down, so it feels like another century ago. Anyways. I had a student whose writing was very weak. It was a tragedy; the reason was that he’d never needed to practice it before. The first time I saw his writing I honestly had never seen so many misspellings in my life it was an ocean of scribbles, arrows and asterixis by the time I gave up. But I found a solution. I insisted that the student writes a diary and every single day he just had to write about the thing he did the day or night before. We checked it twice a week on a Monday and a Friday and the writing went from messy, short and error leaden to decent, logical and nice. It was such a nice amount of progress in such a short time. It really made me happy to see (I felt like the best teacher ever) and that student felt really good too after they realized how much progress they were making. So that’s my biggest and best piece of advice for you. Write as often as you can and about the things that you like. Oh, and get a nice pen. 

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