In part 1 of this article we learned how we can improve speaking skills while listening with a purpose when watching movies, entertainment shows or news. In this article we will learn how to improve writing skills while listening, reading and reading comprehension.
Children acquire writing and reading skills in a particular language just as they acquire listening and speaking skills. The only difference being the latter employs identifying and interpreting audible codes through hearing while the former includes identifying and interpreting visual codes.
Children, from a young age are familiarized with these language codes called alphabets and the sounds associated with them. As they progress, they learn to interpret alphabets in context of words with their meaning and sentences and with practice they get better.
Now, you have reading skills; you know the English alphabet. However, many non-native and native English speakers have varying degree of skills to interpret the written texts in the context of words and sentences and paragraphs and articles efficiently and accurately. This could be because of lack of practice or lack of interest in the topic of the text.
To tackle lack of practice, do all the reading that you would usually do in your native language in English. Some of the ways you could do this is by changing the language settings on your phone, computer and the apps you use to English. Subscribe to English newspapers and magazines. Any research you do online; do it in English.
To tackle lack of interest generate curiosity about the topic or subject of the article. For example if in a classroom setting you are given an article "Accountability and Performance in the Senior Civil Service" to read; you are probably going to struggle comprehending it. One of the primary reason being lack of interest in the topic and due to passive nature of academic language. Now, the texts you will get in Academic English language proficiency tests such as PTE are going to be similarly boring. To generate interest, read the first sentence and develop curiosity to learn about the topic in question. Imagine the benefits of including information about a new topic in your mind library. When you have such curiosity and interest, you will be able to read and comprehend better, because now you are reading with a purpose like one usually does.
Like listening, Reading is a key skill to improving speaking and writing skills. When reading, you learn new words, phrases, usage of prepositions and articles and other grammatical structures. After having finished reading an article take a moment to identify what new words, phrases and creative usages of words you can learn from that article and internalize them.
Just listening and reading is not going to be sufficient to improve communication skills unless you practice. However, you are probably thinking, writing is such a painful task; the question it begs is there a fun way to improve speaking and writing skills? The answer is yes, absolutely. Start a vlog channel on youtube. To produce quality content, you will be required to write scripts and then speak it in front of a camera. You can vlog on any topic of your interest or teach people a skill such as music or farming that you have learnt or about your day. You will not only be improving English skills but also earning precious money. This is by far the most effective means of improving all English skills simultaneously, while doing something meaningful and fun. One of our student got so enthused by this idea that she significantly improved her English skills in the process of doing research and producing the first video.
Reading our blogs is the first step towards improving and acquiring new English skills. The next step is to put the suggestions in practice. The advice in this and other articles provides tested, reliable, fool proof and easy methods to improve English skills. The best time to start this journey is now!
It is the above approach that we have tried to incorporate in our courses at www.pte-preparation.com. Especially, in the Diamond course, which comes with personal 1-1 coaching. In our coaching, we help you identify and become aware of the common errors you make while comprehending text and communicating in English; then, through a series of assignment and exercises we help you eliminate and replace those common errors with correct English. Our methodology can get you the PTE scores you need in one attempt.
If you have any further questions on the topic in this article; please shoot away in the comments and we will get back to you.