When it comes to people learning English, most people really want to learn how to speak. My students always want to sound like a native speaker and be understood by native speakers.
However, reading and writing are just as essential to language learning as speaking is. In fact, they can even help your speaking skills. Here are a few great ways to practice each skill:
There are many ways you can practice writing in English. If you ever need to make a note or list for yourself, such as a shopping list for groceries, write it in English. If you don’t know a word you need in English, keep a small notebook with you at all times and write down new words to look up.
As an American living in Thailand, I can get by with English sometimes. However, I also need to know a bit of basic Thai. The thing that helped me the most was writing down definitions of words in my little notebook. Writing can help you visualise word and its meaning. Many times when I couldn’t remember a word I needed, I would think back to when I wrote it down, and I would picture the word in my notebook. It’s a great way to practice writing and a useful way to remember new words too!
Reading has always been said to be a great way to expand vocabulary. If you are the type of person who likes to read the newspaper with your coffee in the morning, then read a newspaper in English.
If you love to read, pick up your favorite book and challenge yourself to read it in English. If you are still new to English, you can start by reading something easier, like an online book or even a children’s book. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Of course, when you come across a word you don’t know when reading, write it down and look it up! Reading and writing are essential to learning a new language, so take advantage of all the opportunities and I promise it will help.