To become fluent in any language, it is necessary to learn how to express yourself in both written and spoken English. If you have taken English classes in Singapore, you probably are familiar with the scenario where you get so motivated to become a fluent speaker that you end up forgetting that proficient English writing is an entirely different ball game.
If you feel like your proficiency in spoken English doesn’t transcend in written form, here are four helpful tips that can help you improve the latter in as little time as possible.
1. Learn to be more specific
If you’re planning to take the IELTS test, it might be helpful to know that there will likely be an essay part where you’ll be tasked to express yourself. Instead of cramming as many English words you know to hit the minimum number of words, focus on only adding details that are relevant to the topic.
Practise restructuring your thoughts and omit information that wouldn’t change your message even if they are removed.
For an example:
Just like math, most students find the sciences such as biology and chemistry challenging because there’s a lot that you have to memorise and come to grips with.
Most students find the sciences challenging because there’s a lot that you have to memorise and understand.
2. Avoid lengthy sentences
If you’re just starting your English learning journey, it might seem like long sentences are synonymous with fluency. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. English that is written well is direct and easy to understand.
Pro tip – keep your sentences short but to the point. Also, add in important information using subordinate or relative clauses. This is going to be challenging at first, but the more you practise, the sooner you will learn to write a concise but complete sentence.
For an example:
In contrast to yesterday’s weather, today appears to be bright and sunny which is perfect for going to the beach.
Today’s weather appears to be bright and sunny.
3. Don’t use words without knowing what it means
If you want to be able to write well in English, it’s good practice to check the dictionary first if you’re unsure of the meaning of certain words before adding them to your sentence. Different words can be used in multiple ways depending on the context, so if you don’t have the luxury of having a dictionary with you, try altering the flow of your sentence so you can work around it first – don’t forget to check the definition or ask your English teacher later!
4. Do not overuse the “To Be” verbs
“To Be” verbs such as are, am, was, were and been allow you to describe or talk about someone, something, places, topics, and so much more. Despite being one of the most important verbs in the English tongue, you should avoid using them excessively because it can decrease your writing’s overall quality. To do this, you can try to make the person or thing do the action of the sentence’s subject.
Mothers are inherently very caring and thoughtful. She is a mother who prioritizes the welfare of her children.
The caring and thoughtful mother always prioritizes the welfare of her children.
5. Proofread and make revisions when necessary
After finishing a piece of writing, try going over what you have written. Chances are, you will find areas that you can improve on. Remember not to lose heart because even seasoned English authors make errors now and then. If you feel like your work can be improved, keep practising and don’t give up!
Just like spoken English, written English has a learning curve. If you want to be truly proficient in both linguistic aspects, take your time in mastering both of them. As one of Singapore’s best English language schools, we offer a wide range of English courses in Singapore designed for different competency levels.
Regardless of whether you’re trying to attain proficiency in as little time as possible or simply take up the language as a personal goal, our courses are guaranteed to get you there!