Developing advanced writing skills in English is a critical skill for any student hoping to go onto further education either in the UK or in an English-speaking institution. However, for many students developing those advanced skills can be difficult as there are so many websites giving conflicting advice.
This post breaks down into a step by step process what can be done to improve the written English skills of any student currently learning the English language.
Wherever possible students should attempt to immerse themselves in the language. In some places, this can be quite easily done through the use of TV, radio, books, films, and magazines. Listening to and internally absorbing the rhythms of the language can help advanced students to develop an understanding of the nuances of the language as well as how to use the language to more effectively express themselves and this can then be used in written English. If advanced students are able to share these experiences with others who are also learning the language then that can be a huge help, as often it isn’t enough to just repeatedly hear the language. To really develop great written English skills you need to be very confident in using spoken English, ideally with native speakers or fluent ESL speakers.
Why is it important to be able to speak the language confidently?
Language is all about communication and whilst the written word is a critical part of communication, learning about the effects that, for example, different sentence structures and vocabulary can have can best be done when in conversation with another. If the person reading your work doesn’t properly understand what it is that you have said, they may not have the chance to challenge you about it. However, if a person you are speaking to cannot understand what you have said, or what you mean, then you are often asked to clarify. That means you have to think more carefully about whatever it is you want to say. Once you are confident in ensuring people completely understand what you have to say out loud, then you can be more confident in your abilities to ensure your readers understand what you are trying to get across in your writing.
How can I develop my ability to speak confidently?
Read! It might sound strange, but the more you read the better a speaker you will be. Make a note of new words or phrases, try using them in a sentence of your own and then store them in your mental piggy bank of new ideas to try. Before long, you’ll be using more complex words and phrases as though you’ve been using them all your life. A word of warning though – the English language always tries to catch you out! Some words or phrases, you might come across, need to be used very carefully to avoid getting into trouble.
Listening to native or fluent ESL speakers is a brilliant way to quickly improve your skills. However, some students might not be able to access anyone with good enough English language skills. In this case, online videos and programmes are your best friend. Watching programmes made in the UK is a brilliant way of getting to know how the language is used on a daily basis and it’s also a really easy way of hearing lots of different accents and dialects. Even in the UK, words can be pronounced so differently in one part of the country compared to another that native speakers can have difficulty in understanding what is being said!
Some students need to develop very specific advanced English skills. For example, international students who are studying medicine in the UK need to develop the ability to use medical English in their writing. This can be a very difficult task given that regular English can be hard enough to write down, let alone the complex names of medicines and different physical conditions! In this case, the best thing to do is to get on YouTube and watch as many scholarly presentations as possible. Scholarly presentations have the advantage of both hearing the words spoken and seeing the words written down in the presentation.
Use a writing service
Using the services of a writing company can be a fantastic way of improving your advanced written English. One strategy international students often use is to order an A grade essay with the same title as one they have written but not necessarily done very well with. That way they can compare their essay with the A grade one. They look to see what it is that makes the A grade essay better – is it the language structure? The use of vocabulary? How is the essay organized? Often it can be difficult for students to look over their own work with a critical eye, so they often have friends or family to help them. Even if having a friend to help isn’t useful, it will at least make the process more fun!
If after comparing the essay from the writing company with one of their own, they still feel that they need more practice in writing advanced English, they can use the services of a writing company to help them with the ongoing workload whilst they practice their writing.
Developing advanced written English skills isn’t always easy to do but it will always be worth it. However, by trying out these tips students can guarantee that their writing will start to steadily improve.