Writing in a language that is not your first language is one of the hardest things to pick up, even for native speakers. The fastest way to master your writing skills is by practicing. Exercising your writing is not easy as it requires a lot of determination and persistence.
Here are three habits that will improve your English writing skills:
1. Create the writing in English habit
You should consider getting in the habit of writing in English every day. Use your text messages as your first writing habit, as most people prefer texting than talking on the phone, message your friends that knows English daily. If you are studying abroad, then use email as another way to practice by writing emails to American friends, and write post cards and letters to friends and family back home who might speak some English, try to do that weekly.
What about creating a blog? It’s understandable if international students feel scared of starting their own blog in their second language. However, you don’t need to be an expert in English to start your own blog. You can make mistakes and those mistakes will help you as you go. You can write about things that interest you, such as: movies, trips, or tell stories about your journey abroad. You can post on your blog daily, weekly, or bi-weekly. As mentioned before, to improve your writing skills, you must start writing.
2. Create the reading in English habit
It’s extremely important to get in the habit of reading. When you read, you are not only learning new vocabulary, but you are also learning about writing. You are absorbing the writer’s word choices and sentence structures. In addition, the writer can inspire you to write more and to write better.
A great way to create a habit of reading is to set yourself goals. Try reading for 30-40 minutes a day, reading three chapters before bed, or reading a newspaper while cooking, etc.
3. Create the asking for feedback habit
Reading and writing are both important to improve your writing skills as the more you read the better you will write, and the more you write, the better writer you will become. However, it is also crucial to get in the habit of asking for feedback. If you are in school, ask your professors, classmates, or a mentor to read your papers and provide you with feedback. If you want to become a better writer you need to ask for feedback and learn how to take criticism.
Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments below.