Learning English Online: How to improve English reading and writing skills?
As India’s best online English speaking course, it is our constant endeavour to help you succeed in your English learning journey. In our prior articles we learnt about the significance of English vocabulary development as well practical tips to improve English Grammar as well as spoken English. Now lest move to the next step in our article series to learn English online.
As a leading online English speaking course, our English tutors first assess students on several “learner grid” parameters in our free demo lessons. This assessment grid has helped with quite the necessary expertise to evaluate English learners and classify them into “beginner”, “intermediate” and “Advanced” level basis their spoken English fluency.
Thus, we conclude that:
- A beginner level English learner- Knows basic English vocabulary and common English phrases but is not fluent enough to speak confidently
- An intermediate level English learner- Understands English grammar, knows how to apply Grammar functions, is able to speak fluently and communicate clearly with others
- An advanced level English learner- Is not only proficient in spoken English but can compose (write) and reads voraciously.
And hence as per Speechify’s practical guide to learn English online, you are now a confident English speaking individual and an “Advanced English Learner”
- Step 1- Where should you start?
- Step 2- How to improve spoken English?
- Step 3- How to improve English reading, writing & listening skills?
- Step 4- Long term habits for fluent English speaking
Firstly, congratulations on this achievement. To learn English speaking is not easy and you have shown great commitment towards your learning goals to reach here! And to manoeuvre through the tricky terrain of online spoken English classes is even more commendable!
Now, lets discus how we can master writing English and why its important to read extensively in English.
Why is reading important for learning English?
To answer simply- English reading helps you to develop your vocabulary and fosters creativity! Both these skills are a must if you wish to speak English confidently and fluently. Language education is a continuous process. Your English teachers and mentors will teach you the ground rules and guidelines to their best abilities.
But language education is 80% self-driven and hence great habits like reading will help you immensely in terms of
- Richer English vocabulary- There is simply no limit to the number of English words one can learn
- Better command on English grammar in terms of sentence structures, figures of speech, grammar functions and so on
- Ability to reflect, concentrate longer, be poised and articulate better in every situation
- Exposure to a variety of ideas, cultures and current affairs glocally– you can be a humble and helpful “know-it-all”
Reading makes knowledge accessible to you and with the availability of so many online resources, the benefits are endless. The most significant benefit of knowledge exposure on any individual is the ability to think strategically. In other words- creativity.
Creativity is defined as a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory, a musical composition, or a joke) or a physical object (such as an invention, a printed literary work, or a painting).
And how does all this contribute in your English learning journey? A rich vocabulary and a creative mind will help you articulate your responses (word/phrase/sentence creation) and communicate better (grammar, sentence structure). We already know that great communication skills will help you succeed both professionally as well personally.
Tips to inculcate reading habits:
- Read just anything to begin with- You do not have to necessarily read English classic or novels. You can read those if you enjoy them but reading newspaper articles, material relevant to your line of work or vocational education will benefit too
- Choose the medium that is easily accessible- Today we have so many online applications like Kindle, e-books that will help you with reading on the go. We encourage you to use technology to your advantage.
- Fix a time for your daily reading dose- By this we simply mean that read sometime in the day. Either on your commute to work or before bed. Start with as less as 10 minutes and gradually spend more time doing it (You will realise that as you invest efforts diligently, before you know it reading may turn a hobby for you)
It may seem a lot of work to you right now, but once you are rewarded with the benefits of reading, you will “find” time in your schedule to read more!
How to improve writing skills in English?
English writing is an essential life skill whether it's an essay, an email, an article, or a blog. It is a supreme tool of communication as it enables us to convey our message and ideas with precision.
Imagination and creativity come to life when we write. It is not only good for your brain but is meditative too. It activates your brain cells that enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
The 4 frameworks of writing well in English are –
- English vocabulary
- English Grammar
- Correct Spellings
- Creative flair
As we already learnt, your reading skills will help you immensely in terms of English vocabulary, grammar and also spruce up your creativity.
For improving your English spellings- You basics of word pronunciations, intonations, mnemonics and a brief understanding of word patterns will help immensely. Spellings like anything else in language education takes practice. However, gone are the days to sit with a dictionary to cross-check each word! Now with technological advancements, you can learn words as you compose articles on your device through “auto spell checks!” (We will be soon releasing a detailed article soon!)
Tips to practice writing in English- Other than reading voraciously
- Practice writing every day, even if it’s a single paragraph or a page each day
- Learn to articulate your ideas well on paper
- Avoid use of too many fillers and unnecessary repetition
- Learn differences in sentence structure for formal and creative writing
- Learn to write for your audience
- Write a blog or start journaling- this will also help you stay on top of your schedule
- Seek help and feedback always. Start slow and small, but be consistent
Writing is a process that demands time and organized thinking. To increase your writing efficiency, you should always read your material out loud after completing it. You might have just begun writing in English but the surprising part is you will be able to correct your own mistakes by reading it out loud.
Are listening skills important in English communication?
In simple words- Yes, extremely important!! Listening skills are commonly touted as the first language skill which is followed by speaking, reading and writing. Listening is different than hearing, listening means when we hear, we pay attention and try understanding both verbal and non-verbal cues in communication. This is also commonly called as passive and active listening.
Active listening helps immensely in not only deciphering the context of the conversation but also non-verbal cues that you may miss if not paying close attention. Listening also ensures a candid and meaningful conversation for the other person appreciates the effort you are taking to listen in. When you listen to someone, its shows that you are respectful of them.
Tips to improve English listening skills
- Make an effort, show you are interested to listen
- Make eye contact and observe their body language
- Observe accents and voice pitch, sound tones
- If you have not followed a word or a phrase, ask them to repeat or simply ask them what they meant by it
- Defer any judgement and listen as objectively as possible
Listening though the first language skill, not may learners really understand its significance in language learning. Roy T. Bennett in “The Light in the Heart” has rightly said,
“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.”
Related article: https://speechify.in/en/blog/how-to-write-better-in-english-1