English does not come naturally to most Indian households, where the mother tongue has traditionally been the preferred language. This inherently makes English as a subject and teaching in a school environment absolutely vital. As students return to physical classrooms after the Covid-19 pandemic-infused lockdown was lifted, it is imperative to get them back into the practise of writing in English, while also focusing on speaking and reading skills.
Here are some general tips that learners could use to improve their English writing skills based on Burlington’s insights and research of several years.
Stay close to your grammar books: There is nothing like being abreast of grammar rules. It must not just be read but also practiced in workbooks or new-age webbooks. Teachers and parents must pick quality practice books that are made to international pedagogy while being aligned to local curriculum standards.
Read a lot, but also listen: Reading is one of the most effective ways to improve one’s grammar and writing skills. If you read aloud, it will not only help with better retention but also prove to be a beneficial exercise for enhancing your cognitive abilities. It is also suggested that you listen to English programmes, podcasts and audio lectures to build your vocabulary, and improve your overall fluency in English.
Avoid shortcuts, do your own research and writing: Refrain from copying someone else’s work. Attempt to write in your own words even if it seems simpler and less impressive. It is becoming increasingly common to lift content off the internet – not only is this a serious offense, that is, plagiarism, but it is also a serious blocker to becoming a good writer. Creative writing might seem archaic but it is one of the most effective ways to spur creative thinking leading to excellent writing and communication.
Keep it short, clear and straight: Over-explaining everything that you write induces boredom and often the crux is lost. One of the best ways to keep your readers engaged is through practising the art of writing clear and crisp sentences. Before writing, you must align your thoughts in the simplest manner to ensure that your readers comprehend your message. Re-read, question yourself, and find ways through which you can explain your thoughts lucidly and clearly while getting rid of extra words and sentences.
Editing and proofreading: These are the fundamental steps towards improving the quality of your written work. Proofreading your work allows you to identify mistakes, missing information, and any surplus words and phrases. To be confident about your work, you can also engage your friends and/or peers and ask them to review your written work.
These are some simple tips for learners to focus on enhancing their writing abilities which in turn is an essential element of English language learning. In a globalized world, the importance of learning to communicate effectively in English needs no reiteration. Language acquisition in the formative years of education is ascertained to last a lifetime, providing learners with core communication skills.
— Written by Ratnesh Kumar Jha, CEO, India and South-East Asia, The Burlington Group of Companies