How can I start writing in English?
This is a common question among English learners. Even if you feel as though you’ve figured out the trick to English speaking, learning writing skills is a whole new challenge. With all of its grammar rules and just as many exceptions, you might feel like starting to write in English is an impossible task.
How to learn good writing skills in English
You’ll be happy to know that we’ve got some great ideas for you to become a great English writer. Take a look at our six tips below so you’ll know exactly how to learn English writing and start to express yourself fluently and accurately! ]
- Keep a word list
- Use apps
- Read, read . . . and then read some more
- Try freewriting
- Write every day
- Read your writing out loud
1. Keep a word list
The “real world” is often the best teacher. When you’re having a conversation with someone, listening to music, or even reading a menu at a restaurant, you’ll come across real, everyday language. You might not understand every word that you hear, and that’s where a word list comes in.
Whenever you don’t know the meaning of a new word you’ve heard or read, write it down in a notebook or type it into your phone. When you have time, look it up in the dictionary, record the definition, and try to create an example sentence. Before long, you’ll start to have a collection of useful, real-life vocabulary that you can use in your writing! ]
2. Use apps
[ Did you know you could learn English writing with an app? It’s true—there are all kinds that can help you improve. If you want to know how to learn English writing online with an app, take a look at some of our suggestions below to improve your writing and help you avoid common mistakes.
Word processing apps
Thesaurus and dictionary apps
Do you want to know the meaning of a word? Are you trying to learn some new vocabulary so your writing sounds more interesting? Dictionary and thesaurus apps can help.
One great pick is the Merriam-Webster app. This app offers everything all in one place: a dictionary for definitions, a thesaurus for synonyms and antonyms, a “word of the day” feature for new vocabulary, and even a weekly vocabulary quiz!
3. Read, read . . . and then read some more
The more you read, the more words you’ll know! On top of that, seeing the words spelled on a page (rather than hearing them) will help you know how to learn English writing without spelling mistakes.
Words are everywhere, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find something to read. While books are always a great choice, they’re definitely not the only option. When you watch television or a video, turn on the subtitles. If you’re eating some cookies, read the words on the box. Set aside time every day (whenever you have the most energy) to read blogs about any topic that interests you.
4. Try freewriting
Writing in English can be hard if you’re afraid of making a mistake. Freewriting is a great way to get over that fear. In a freewriting exercise, you set a timer for a specific amount of time (15 minutes, for example). Then, you just start writing and don’t stop until your time is up. And don’t worry about sentence structure, grammar, or spelling—those things don’t matter in freewriting. All that matters is writing down whatever is on your mind.
Freewriting will help you become a more fluent writer. You’ll learn to write faster and you’ll gain the confidence to write down your ideas without being afraid of making a mistake. There will always be time to correct your grammar and other errors later!
5. Write every day
The best way to get better at something is to practice. To make sure you get that practice, commit to a daily writing task.
There are lots of different writing exercises to choose from. For example, you could write in a journal every evening. The journal could be about your feelings, the day’s events, shows or books you like, and so on.
Here’s another fun activity: If you have a word list, (see tip #1) open it up and choose a few words—maybe five to start. Try to write a short story using all of the words you’ve chosen. This is a great way to practice using those words that you’ve learned but aren’t totally comfortable using yet.
Whatever type of activity you do, just make sure you practice regularly!
6. Read your writing out loud
To make sure your writing is as clear as you think it is, read it aloud! This might seem silly at first, but it works.
When you hear your writing out loud, you’ll probably notice little mistakes that you didn’t see at first. You might have missed a preposition here and there, or you may have made a typo. Maybe you used some vocabulary that just doesn’t seem to fit in your sentence when you hear it read aloud. Try it—you’ll be surprised how much this can help fix up your writing!
Learn English writing step by step
If you’re ready to start improving your English, start with the steps we’ve described above. By using helpful apps, reading as often as you can, and doing practice activities like freewriting, you’ll start to notice a huge difference in your writing skills.
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Andrea is a Canadian freelance writer and editor specializing in English, e-learning, EdTech, and SaaS. She has a background as an ESL teacher in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. In her free time, Andrea loves hanging out with her husband and son, creating recipes in the kitchen, and reading fiction. She also loves camping and jumping into lakes whenever possible. Learn more about Andrea on LinkedIn or check out her website.