English writing skills.
The English writing skill is the most difficult skill to master as a learner of a foreign language, ( EFL ). The basic skills of learning any new language start with the listening skill. It is the same as a baby learning their first language.
So let us look quickly at the 4 skills in learning a language.
The skills in order.
People generally learn these four skills in the following order.
- Listening: When people are learning a new language they will first hear it spoken.
- Speaking: Then they try to repeat what they hear.
- Reading: Later they will learn the reading skill.
- Writing: And the last and the hardest skill is the writing skill.
The first skill | Listening.
When a baby is learning their first language or mother tongue, the first thing they do is listen. It can take 12 makes for the first “Mamma” or Dada” to come out of their mouths.
Babies can understand a few basic words after 9 months, such as “no” and “bye-bye.” They may also start to use a broader range of consonant sounds and voice tones.
At the age of 12-18 months, babies begin to talk. By the end of a year, most babies can pronounce a few simple words like “Mamma” and “Dada” and understand what they’re saying.
The second skill | Speaking.
Once the learner of any language has absorbed or been taught to pronounce a word or phrase, the next step is to repeat.
This is arguably one of the hardest skills to master as it may be the first time another language is spoken.
THE FOUR SPEAKING SKILLS
FLUENCY. Fluency is not just about how comfortable and confident you are in speaking English. It is also about how well it flows off your tongue.
VOCABULARY. Understanding the meaning of a word is critical in being able to use it correctly in speech. Also, the breadth of your vocabulary will set you apart from the mediocre English speaker.
GRAMMAR. Knowing how to use the tenses and the word order correctly means the difference between being understood or not. And the nuances of the English language demand a well-developed understanding of grammar.
PRONUNCIATION. All the above means little if you can not pronounce the words properly. To be understood correctly or at all, you need to be able to say the word in a way that others understand.
The third skill | Reading.
Reading skills should be taught alongside the listening and speaking skill. Just because it is listed as the third skill does not mean it should be taught after the other two skills are learned. And the same applies to the writing skill.
Reading skills for learning a new language can be broken down into 5 groups that will start at the beginner level and progress to the advanced level. While I am only showing 5 levels here, each level has its own sub-levels.
And these sub-levels are broken down into the age and performance of the student.
But as an overview, this is what looks like from a teachers perspective.
Reading practice to help understand simple information, words, and sentences about known topics. Texts include basic readers and textbooks, posters, messages, forms, and timetables.
Reading practice to help understand simple texts and find specific information in everyday material. Texts include emails, invitations, personal messages, tips, notices, and signs. And also class books and texts.
Reading practice to help understand texts with everyday or job-related language. Texts include articles, travel guides, emails, adverts, and reviews, textbooks, and more.
Reading practice to help understand texts with a wide vocabulary where you may need to consider the writer’s opinion. Texts include articles, reports, messages, short stories, and reviews.
Reading practice to help understand long, complex texts about a wide variety of topics, some of which may be unfamiliar. Texts include specialized articles, biographies, and summaries. from here the student can move into more advanced material for preparation for TOEIC tests.
The fourth skill | Writing, and how to improve it.
The fourth and final skill is the writing skill. And how well it has been taught in conjunction with the other skills will define how easy or difficult it is for the student to learn advanced writing skills.
Why is it important?
Because of the increasing importance of communication, strong writing abilities are required in practically every industry and for almost every employment.
Reports, sales proposals, marketing copy, user manuals, and presentations that you must produce on a regular basis as part of your job duties necessitate a strong writing ability.
A resume or CV, which is also the first step in applying for a job, necessitates a superior writing technique.
Every day at work begins with writing once you start working because we are required to send emails to peers, bosses, and clients. This is when your writing abilities come in help. So, let’s start with the fundamentals of writing skills.
Tips to improve your writing skills.
- Set daily writing exercises. They need not be long-winded and time-consuming, even just committing to writing a paragraph a lesson is enough.
- Set a time limit for writing and stick to it.
- When we read, we learn how other people write so incorporate reading into your learning.
- Don’t use any complicated or big words in your writing. Sentences should be short and shouldn’t overuse words like “very”, “really”, “just”.
- Use one word instead of using 2 or three. Keep it simple until the writing skill level is higher.
Just do it.
The act of actually sitting down and writing is sometimes the most challenging stage in the writing process. You should have a clear notion of what you want to say at this stage, as well as a rough sense of how you want to convey it.
It may appear intimidating, but keep in mind that the hard work is almost complete! Simply convince yourself that you are capable (which you are), sit down in front of your notebook or computer, and write.
I am an EFL ( English as a Foreign Language ) teacher who owns a school in Vietnam. I have been here for 15 years and experienced most teaching situations.
From teaching in state schools with 50 plus students to a class to one on one private lessons. I have taught in English centers both good and bad, and the bad decided me to open my own school.
You can check out my school in Vietnam below by hitting on the YouTube button.