Write Better in English ✍️ Teacher’s Tips!
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To sound more professional when you email colleagues, to apply for a new job, to communicate clearly with customers, to increase your IELTS score, to write beautiful blog posts… Whatever the reason, you probably need to improve your English Writing Skills!
But what can you do to improve? – – – – – In this lesson, I’ll share some tips and useful tools to help you improve your writing! ⚡️
This free lesson was sponsored by Lingoda.
Lingoda is Europe’s biggest online language school where you can learn English, German, Spanish or French online and fast, with experienced native-speaking teachers.
The Lingoda Language Marathon is perfect for all levels from beginners up to intermediate and advanced. You’ll be able to improve your conversations, vocabulary, speaking and grammar skills in just 3 months and earn up to a 100% refund on your fees.
Full details here: http://bit.ly/EmmaMarathon2019
Test your level here: Test your English level Here: http://bit.ly/WhatLevelAreYou
In this lesson, I also recommend Grammarly to check your spelling AND grammar as you write. Install Grammarly on your web browser for free with this link: https://www.grammarly.com/mmmenglish
… Grammarly gives YOU the power to correct your own work ⚡️
Look for English writing partners (PenPals) here: bit.ly/EnglishWritingPartners
Need to improve your writing for exams? My friend, Sierra Yohalam is an expert writing instructor and TESOL exam preparation coach. Check her out here! bit.ly/SierraForestEnglishAcademy
Sierra also works with me inside The Ladies’ Project!
CLICK HERE to read the full lesson transcript.
Well hey there! I’m Emma from mmmEnglish. In this lesson I’ve got some very practical tips to help you improve your English writing skills so stay tuned!
Before go anywhere in this lesson, let’s just all agree that the skill of writing in English is an incredibly valuable one to have at any level. With our words we can persuade people, we can convince people and we can entertain people. Being able to write well, it really is a superpower, whether you’re writing in your native language or in English or in any other language but as your English teacher, I’m going to focus on your your English writing skills today but you can apply the tips that I teach in this lesson to any language that you’re learning and even your own native language.
I’m going to spin right on in here with a super important announcement for you. If you’ve been watching my channel recently, you will already know that I’m a big fan of Lingoda. Not only because they make it possible for me to keep bringing you free English lessons right here on my Youtube channel but more importantly because they support you in improving your English. Lingoda provide online language classes that you can take twenty-four hours a day, wherever you are in the world. And right now the biggest opportunity of the year to improve your English skills as fast as possible is right here in front of you, the Lingoda Language Marathon.
But you need to be quick because spaces are limited and registrations are closing soon! Guys this is your chance to leap forward in your English learning journey and get massive results in just three months.
Doing the marathon is a challenge, it won’t be easy. You’ll commit to taking up to ninety classes in ninety days. I know, right? That’s a lot of classes but think about it, with that kind of practice, you’re going to advance your English to a whole new level in just three months.
And as a reward for all of that effort and dedication, if you complete the full marathon, Lingoda are going to give you one hundred percent of your class fees back. This event is so awesome and so popular that more than ten thousand people have already joined in the last two years. And for many of them, it has completely transformed their lives, helping them to get a new job or even study in another country. Things that they once thought were completely impossible or at least would take years of study. You can find loads of their stories on Lingoda’s Instagram page. In fact, keep your eyes open for my story on their Instagram page too because guys, I’m doing the marathon as well!
And I’m so excited by this idea that I’ve created a private Facebook group just for mmmEnglish students who are also doing the marathon so that we can do it together and help each other get through. I’ll be in there every day to hear your stories and help you to stay motivated but I want you to help me stay motivated too. I really want to push my Spanish skills to the next level this year. So do you dare to join me for the marathon? Check out this video right here for full details on how it works and how to register. You can also find those details in the description below. But make sure you hurry, registrations are closing very soon. I’ll see you at the starting line.
Your English writing skills are obviously important if you’re sitting an exam. Are you studying English for an exam like IELTS or TOEFL? They have written sections in their exam, right? So writing skills are important for exams but let’s look further than that right now.
Being able to write well in English is a skill that can really make you stand out when you’re looking for a job. Your writing is the first thing that your future employer sees about you when you submit your resume, right? And you write a cover letter, your well-written professional emails that you send it in will display the English skills that your employer is looking for. For those of you who plan to study abroad, maybe you have to write your application in English. Many scholarships or competitions that you might want to enter will ask you to write a creative essay when you apply or at least answer some open-ended questions in English.
I mean do any of these things sound like something you’re dealing with at the moment? Which one is something that makes you worry about your English writing skills? And even if none of these things specifically apply to improve your English level. So I hope that you’re ready for a mini writing workshop today because that’s what we’re going to do right now. I’ve got some tips to help you improve your writing.
#1 Start small
And the first one is to start small. Now you don’t need to write a novel every time you practise. This needs to be something that you can achieve every day. So keep things simple and start small. Why? Because I want you to bring your English writing practice into your day every day.
Now if that sounds daunting or boring, well, I bet you actually do it more than you think already. Between the text messages that you write to friends or emails that you send to colleagues at work or comments that you write on Instagram. You probably spend more time writing in English each day than you realise. And yes all of these things do actually count as forms of writing.
Writing doesn’t mean that you sit down and write ten pages or even one page. So I’m saying that your English writing practice can mean all sorts of different things. You could write a Facebook post every day in English. Set yourself a challenge or at the end of a work day, just hang around for an extra ten minutes to translate one of the emails that you’ve written that day into English. Whether you actually send it to anyone or not, it doesn’t really matter. You’re probably already writing WhatsApp messages in English to your friends, right? Or if you’re not, maybe you should. But I also want to introduce the idea of a daily journal to you because this can be a really fantastic way to get daily practice . Just write down what you’re grateful for or something new that you learned that day or even just write about what you did, report about what you did. No one else ever has to read it ever. It’s not about publishing this text, it’s just for you. Don’t underestimate the power of writing a few short sentences every day. It’s an excellent habit to get into.
Accuracy is important. Now in some areas of English like listening or speaking, you can get away with a little less accuracy but writing is not really like this. And I think that’s one of the most daunting things about writing. Once you put your words on paper, it’s recorded in history. Everyone can see what you’ve done, right? Especially if you post it on social media. It’s where everyone can judge you because your mistakes are very visible so your grammar choice and your word choices are really important. Now finding someone to review what you’ve written and show you how you can improve it is obviously really helpful. And that can be part of your learning experience. It’s not just about removing the errors but it’s about you learning how to correct your work and understand the mistakes that you’ve made so you don’t do it again.
So if you can, taking an online course or working with a writing expert or a teacher would be a really awesome step, if you can possibly do it. I’ve shared a few links to some of my favourite courses and teachers that I know in the description below this video so if you’re looking for some expert help, I would suggest you start down there.
But if that’s not an option for you, then you must take the time to review your own writing. Question the grammar and the word choices that you’ve made. And do some research to try and confirm the choices that you’ve made. This lesson right here is a useful one to help you check for the ten most common mistakes that English learners make. It’s going to give you some useful tools to help you make corrections in your own writing.
Why would I tell you to read in a video about becoming a better writer? Because reading is one of the best ways to get used to different writing structures and formats that you can then use in your own writing. So pay attention to other writers. What kind of tone do they use in their language? How do they structure their writing? Notice the vocabulary that they’ve chosen. Is it quite formal or is it informal in that type of writing?
You could even practise imitating your favourite writers or bloggers. Careful, I said imitate not copy. You need to use your own words and ideas, right? But there is nothing stopping you from writing your own material while using another piece of writing as a structural guide to help you.
Reading can definitely help you to improve your writing. So when you get a chance, then I want you to check out this video here that’s specifically about how to improve your reading skills.
#4 Learn to pre-write
Tip number four and one of my favourite tips of all time is learn to pre-write. Now I’m going to admit something openly here on Youtube. I pre-write all of my birthday cards and my post cards. It’s true. This is the type of person that I am. Does anyone else do that? Surely it’s not just me, right? I do this because I want to make sure that I’ve got enough room on the card for everything that I want to say. And I want to think carefully about the words that I use so that my message is clear. Might be a little bit over the top, a little of a perfectionist but that’s me.
This is a good habit to get into when you’re starting your own daily writing practice. It’s one of the best things about writing. You get time to think about what you want to say and plan it out. And this preparation is what’s going to help you improve the quality of your writing overall.
The skill is especially important to develop if you are taking a test that has a writing section so if you need to write anything long like an essay or a report or something like that, this is a super skill to develop. And there’s lots of different ways that you can plan. You might complete an outline. Or if that feels a little rigid, then maybe a mind map or a web, vocabulary web. Maybe you just want to write down a list of important vocabulary words or thoughts that you’d like to include.
And no matter what you do, just spend a few minutes thinking and planning about that before you jump into writing. Your writing will be more organised, you won’t forget to say something important and even better, you won’t have as much editing to do later on. So it’s a good idea.
#5 Think in English
Think in the language that you’re writing in. So if you’re writing in English, think and plan in English, not in your native language. There are so many grammar structures and words that don’t translate well from one language to another.
So for example in Spanish, verbs don’t change whether the sentence is a question or a statement. But those sentence structures are very different in English so if you’re thinking in your own language first, then trying to translate, you’re much more likely to end up making mistakes or errors. So try to switch your brain over.
Think of each word or phrase that you want to write in English. This part is not easy, right? It takes practise but the more you practise, the more you do it, the easier it will become so it’s really good training for you.
#6 Make mistakes
And be cool with it. If you get caught up trying to write perfectly on your first try, you’re really not going to get very far. Plus mistakes are some of the best ways to learn and improve in the future. Now the beauty of writing is that it’s not set in stone. It’s not like when you say something out loud and everyone hears you and you can’t take that sentence back, right?
Take advantage of the fact that you can write it, you can read it again, check it, erase it, edit it and rewrite it. Now if you aren’t sure of the exact phrasing or grammar rule, investigate! There are so many options to help you correct your mistakes. Obviously, you can ask a teacher or a native speaker. If you can.
You could also ask a friend to read your writing and give you some advice but if you’re on your own or you’re feeling a little shy or a little nervous about sharing your writing, then use Grammarly or a tool like it. Now I use Grammarly all the time, I use it for everything that I write online. It’s a really fantastic tool that’s going to help you see the errors that you’re making and give you suggestions to improve it.
So I’m talking about spelling errors but also grammatical errors as well, which is why this tool is so useful for you. If you want to try it out, see what it’s like, you can check it out for free using the link in the description below. Of course, computers aren’t always right, but they do offer you some great tools for practising when you’re doing it on your own, right?
So don’t be afraid of making mistakes, the more mistakes that you make the more opportunities you have to improve your writing. This is the mindset that you’ve got to get into.
#7 Find a writing partner
And this brings us to our final tip of the day: to find a writing partner. Now this may be my last tip but it’s my favourite tip. If you don’t do anything, if you haven’t listened to anything that I’ve said so far, pay attention to this one because finding a writing partner is probably the best thing that you can do to improve your writing skills.
A writing partner isn’t a teacher. And they’re not just a friend who reads your writing for you. Your writing partner should be someone who is also trying to improve their writing. Someone who you can share with and rely on.
Now it’s really simple. You both agree to each write something. You can decide on a specific topic or a specific length or just leave it open but choose a date to finish the writing. Then exchange. Notice what you like about each other’s writing and make sure you share that but then also help each other to find and correct mistakes. Now there’s multiple reasons why this is a good habit to get into.
Having a writing partner is going to keep you on track, it’s going to force you to stick to a schedule, you’ll be more likely to follow through with your writing practice if you know that someone is there waiting for you to swap and exchange right?
Now working with someone else, who’s at a similar level as you are can also seem a little less scary to take risks and make mistakes in your writing. They’re not going to judge you for making mistakes because they’ve probably made mistakes in their own writing too and the purpose is to find them and help each other.
And finally, correcting someone else’s work or at least trying to correct it is an insanely good way to practise your own English skills. right? Just think about it. You’ve got to read their writing and then think about are those grammar rules correct? Maybe you have to research to find out if that collocation works or not. Teaching someone what you know yourself is a really good way to help you improve. So you could do this with a friend who’s at a similar level to you. You could also use the comments under this video to try and find a writing partner.
And for something a little different, there are loads of pen pal exchanges online where you could write to someone who’s actually learning your own native language so then you can share and exchange your writing and get them to correct it for you. So I’ve left a couple of links in the description as well if you’re interested in checking out some of those options to find a writing partner.
So for your first writing task, your first writing homework task, I want you to tell me in the comments, which tip was most useful for you and how are you going to put it into practice this week? That’s what I love to do here on my Youtube channel, get you excited about practising English because with practise comes confidence and with confidence comes fluency.
So make sure you subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already just there. I make new English lessons every week about grammar, pronunciation, language skills and a little motivation to keep you feeling good about your English and all of the progress that you’re making.
So remember, with writing, start small. And what are you waiting for? I’ll see you in the next lesson!
Links mentioned in the video
Can you do this Dictation? | English Listening Practice
Write Better in English ✍️ Teacher’s Tips!