Do 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.
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.