If you’re serious about improving your English you’ll need a little more than pen and paper to do it. Fortunately, in this age you have options to have easy access to the resources you need. As a writer who is now teaching EFL, I’ve come across a few tools I know you’ll appreciate. These resources will help you practice and perfect your English language skills.
Get Back to the Basics- Use a Book
You remember what books are right? Yes, books still exist and are still helpful for learning and accomplishing goals. Digital books may be more convenient for you. You can read any type of book you’re interesting in to expand your vocabulary and improve your writing. You’ll discover new words as you observe the correct way to form sentences and paragraphs.
Just make sure the book is on a comfortable level for you. Not so easy that you’re not challenged, but not too hard that you feel discouraged. As you read, have an online dictionary handy so you can look up the words you don’t understand. Try to sound out the word on your own first. Listen to the pronunciation too, and practice saying the word. Make a note of each of these words to practice them later.
Books to Improve Writing
To work on your writing skills, use a book that is an actual guide to help you improve. Start with a beginner’s book like Practice Makes Perfect: Mastering Writing by Gary Robert Muschla. This is a phrase I repeat often to my students in the Write Speak Repeat Facebook Group. The book is perfect for beginners who are working on understanding the fundamentals of writing. Even though it’s on a 6th to 8th grade level, adults who are learning English as a foreign language will find it useful too.
Many have been asking me to share my blogging tips to help them start a blog. This is a great book that I recommend to help with the grammar portion of your blog posts. It will help with:
- brainstorming topic ideas
- writing a rough draft
- creating organized paragraphs
- checking subject-verb agreement
- using adjectives and adverbs correctly
- proofreading and revising
Books on Writing as an Art
When you’re ready to advance or find your passion in writing, you can move on to books like Stephen King- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft and Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity by Ray Bradbury. These two were recommended by fellow bloggers, and I trust their judgement. Unlike the instructional writing guide above, they discuss what it’s like to be a writer and a writer’s passionate love for the craft.
Advanced Level Books for English Testing
If the goal is to master English for a test, try Essential Words for the TOEFL by Steven J. Matthiesen. The author designed this book to prepare you for the Test of English as a Foreign Language. It’s packed with vocabulary words, definitions, sentences, and practice quizzes. You can even take a TOEFL iBT practice test to make sure you’re ready!
The funny thing about Grammarly is that it isn’t even a real word. That doesn’t change the fact rhat it’s an awesome tool. Grammarly has been around since 2009, but has been making a name for itself over the last few years. The program makes sure all of your writing is the best it can be.
Grammarly corrects your spelling and grammar as you write. You will even get advise on the best sentence structure and vocabulary choices. Another huge benefit of this program is that it checks for plagiarism, so you’re never in danger of being accused of copying someone’s work. You can use it on your computer as a chrome extension, with Microsoft Word, and it also works with social media, and email.
Imrpove Your English With AnkiApp
Practicing and expanding your vocabulary is key for improving English speech and writing. Flashcards are one of my suggestions to practice vocabulary. AnkiApp is a flashcard app that you can use on your desktop or mobile devices. The mobile app makes it easy to practice on the go while traveling or away from home. When you sign up for an account, you can make your own flashcards or choose from a collection of cards other users have shared. Some even have audio connected so that you can listen to the pronunciation of each word.
I’ve created my own set of flashcards for my students to practice on their own after lessons. Because you’re here reading to find ways to improve your English, I want to allow you access to my flashcards too!
Enter your email address in the form at the bottom lf the page so I can give you access to the flashcards I’ve made for practice. Every time I make new flashcards, I’ll share them with you and notify you by email.
Hire An English Tutor
Many of you ambitious and dedicated learners have mastered basic English on your own. That’s no easy task, and I commend you for your hard work. When you’ve gone as far as you can with your English goals with self-study, it’s time to go to the next level. You need someone devoted to helping you improve.
Practicing through conversation, lessons, and courses with a native speaker is one of the best ways to improve your understanding of the language. It gives you a chance to listen to the language with a live speaker, ask questions, and get corrections for your own speech. Thus, you’ll improve your speech and even your writing.
When you’re ready to go to the next level with your English studies, my team is here to help! We have several options to improve your English speech and writing. We can even provide custom lessons just for you.
What do you think?
I’m sure I’ve given you enough tools to give you a great start with improving your English language skills. Now, I want to hear from you. What resources have worked best to help you practice English?