5 Simple Tips to Improve English Writing and Speaking Skills

Raghuram Sukumar TOEFL 9 Comments

Tips to Improve English Writing and SpeakingDo you want to know how to learn to write English and improve your spoken English?

No worries, HSB has Aditya posted some simple to follow tips to improve your English as comment.

Read yesterdays article – Bad News : If You Speak English With Strong Accent (like me)

Rishma posted this question

Yea it is good motivating boost for the novice people in USA. But no solution is given for such people, like what we should do for improvement of language.

Following is Aditya’s response with Tips to Improve Your English Writing and Speaking

I will point out that I’m not a qualified teacher or anything like that; this is just my opinion on the matter. Feel free to disagree.

The first thing I’ll say is this: There is no silver bullet. By that, I mean that there’s no magical way of getting better at English (or anything else, for that matter). You can’t go from broken, ungrammatical English to perfectly fluent in two weeks.

I know this sounds obvious, but I’m always surprised by the number of people who start preparing for the GMAT, and think that they can “brush up” their language skills in the last two weeks.


You can’t. You can perhaps get better by 20-30% in two weeks.

If you’re already pretty good, then yes, two weeks is enough.

If you’re terrible, you need to spend months.

The first step to getting better at something is accurately recognizing your current capabilities, and understanding where you want to be.

English consists largely of grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and colloquialisms. These are in a specific order for a reason.


This is the foundation of the language. If you have bad grammar, you’re always going to be weak at the language, no matter how many words you memorize, or how polished your accent is.

I can’t stress this enough! Learn to use proper grammar.

Sadly, I know that schools no longer teach grammar the way they used to.

How do I know this? My mother taught English for over 20 years at some really good schools, and retired as the Head of the Department.

She’s seen how the books and methods have changed, with the emphasis shifting from grammar. It’s unfortunate.

Learning grammar without a teacher is hard. It’s not impossible though, especially in the age of the internet.

Try these

Assuming your grammar is reasonably decent, the next steps are much much easier.


You know how everyone tells you to read more? They’re right! Read as much as you can. The subject doesn’t matter so much, but do pick well written articles. It’s all on the internet. Read The Economist, read the New Yorker, the NY Times, the Hindu.. read it all.

When you read, make a note of the words you don’t comprehend. Look them up in a dictionary. You’ll also find that as you get better, you can often make a very good guess based on the context. For example,

“Harry Houdini was a great magician. His feats of prestidigitation and legerdemain left audiences speechless.”

Even if you don’t know what “prestidigitation” and “legerdemain” mean, you can probably guess they have something to do with performing magic on stage. And you’d be quite correct.

Read, read, and then read some more.

And when you’re done reading, write. Try and use newer and more complex words to express your ideas.

There are some great courses on writing available online. Check this out:  Coursera.


Easy! Watch TV and movies (English, naturally) and speak in English. Listen to people who speak well. Imitate how they speak.

News anchors are a good place to start. But more than anything else, speak in English, and solicit feedback from people who know what they are talking about.


This one comes after everything else. They vary tremendously; American colloquialisms are totally unlike British ones, and Australian ones are even harder to figure out. It’s a cultural thing. Movies, TV shows, music, etc.

This is something you pick up when you’re immersed in a culture, and people generally don’t mind that you don’t know about TV shows from the 80s & things like that. When you do pick up colloquialisms though, it’s MUCH easier to take part in social conversations.

I’d say you keep up with new events and happenings, and don’t worry so much about older ones. For example, there is a show in the US that is HUGE. It’s called Game of Thrones. Everyone talks about it. If you watch that show, you’ll be part of the conversation.

This also depends on where you live, and whom you hang out with.

This is turning into a very long comment, so I’ll stop now. I hope some of these yips to improve English Writing and Speaking suggestions are helpful. Other people can also comment and add their suggestions.


  1. Yea, thanks, it is more than enough to follow.Also there is no ending for learning new things. Thank you , i will do.

  2. i would like to thanks to you for it.
    its really good idea and also practical one.
    one thing i would like to share with you is that two weeks before i could not able to speak in English fluently but now a day i can speak fluently in English because everyday practice of it and not hesitate to talk in English.

  3. This information is really useful. I really appreciate your efforts. Thanks

  4. What a wonderful you’re doing I was very poor in english or let me say very sigh to speak english in the public,but changing of environment has turned my life to awesome.I can say am average in the language#english.


  5. Awesome!
    Very well constituted and these tips will really going to help us. As you said I also belive, that first and foremost thing is to know our current status of english and identification of gaps, then only we would be able to improve…Moreover, learning from english movies are really helpful, not only it improves our pronunciation but also the Vocabulary.

    Thanks Raghu for sharing these useful tips!!!

  6. I disagree to certain things mentioned above. As for ‘pronunciation’, who can tell what the right pronunciation is; if it is American, British, Australian? There are approx 8.5 lacs words in English and if one is put to learn the accent/pronunciation of all these words, it is absolutely impractical, especially, when there are no standard rules on pronunciation. Similar is the case of colloquialism.
    For one to master reasonably good English, the important things are (1) Grammar (2) Word Power (3) Bit of practical by way of visualization. Everything else is a part of hype for selling Spoken English.

  7. i have a problem in my English i make many spelling mistakes so pls pls help to how to overcome it i feel very ashamed of it pls help me and i
    prounce on thing and the other will be on board pls help

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