Becoming Fluent in Speaking and Writing English
Summary: A look at how you can improve your reading and writing skills in English.
If you want to become a fluent English speaker you should take some advice: There are four skills in learning English which are reading, listening, speaking, and writing.
The most important thing you must bear in mind is that reading and listening are inputs whereas speaking and writing are outputs. In other words, if you want to improve your speaking and writing skills you should first master the skills of reading and listening. There are some ways that you can do so, which I will try to summarize.
Read as much as you can. But your reading must be active. It means that you must think about the structure, unfamiliar words etc as you read. There is no need that you stick to some complicated grammar structures or try to understand all the unfamiliar words you come across, but the fact that you see them for the first time and recognize them whenever you see them for example in other passages or books is enough. It would be better to prepare yourself a notebook so you can write down the important words or structures in it. To begin reading, I recommend the Penguin Readers books. They are classified by level of difficulty.
As for listening, there are two options:
- Aside from reading, you can listen every day for about 30 minutes.
- You can only concentrate on your reading and become skillful at your reading, then you can catch up on your listening.
I myself prefer the latter because when you are skillful and native-like at reading, your listening skill grows automatically. Since you have lots of inputs in your mind, you can easily guess what the speaker is going to say. This never means that you should not practice listening.
For listening I recommend cartoons or some movies that are specially made for children. Their languages are easy and do not contain complicated phrases or slang terms. Or if you are good at listening you can listen to VOA or BBC programs broadcasted every day. Again the thing to remember is being active in listening and preferably taking some notes.
If you follow these pieces of advice, your speaking and writing will improve automatically, and you can be sure that with a little effort they will become perfect.