Lisa’s Study Corner. THIS WEEK – How can I practise writing?
In the past students have asked why they don’t do more writing practice in class. I tell them that it’s because class time is too valuable to spend doing something that you could do in your own time. Of course, your teacher should guide you to do regular writing tasks but it’s also important to use those 90 mins for instruction and speaking/listening practice that you can’t do alone.
Therefore, you do need to practise at home because writing, just like every other English skill, gets better the more you do it. Below are some suggestions for ways you can practise your writing outside class.
- Keep a Journal or Online Blog
- Many people decide to keep a journal when they are travelling so that they will remember their trip long after they have returned home. If you like keeping a journal, why not write it in English, instead of your native language? It’s a great way to learn because what you write is personal to you so you’re more likely to remember the new vocabulary you use or the corrections you receive. You could even do your journaling online in the form of a blog and then you can include photos and videos and your friends can leave comments. Check out the Lexis Byron Bay Blog at http://lexisbyronbay.com/ and then set up your own at wordpress.com.
- Social Media
- Now you’re at school in Australia you should be making friends with people from all over the world. Join the Lexis Byron Bay Facebook page (just search Lexis English | Byron Bay)and you’ll find your classmates easily. Then, you can practise writing while using your phone and social media to keep in touch with them. Start posting your status updates in English and, if you have never used Twitter before, why not start now? Finally, if you find a girlfriend or boyfriend who you have to communicate with in English, you’ll find that your ability to text in English gets much better very quickly. 🙂
- GIL (Guided Independent Learning)
- You don’t always have to get your writing checked. Sometimes, it’s useful for you just to practise and increase your speed and confidence. However, whenever you do want a teacher to give you feedback on your work, you should come to GIL. GIL is open to all students; full or part time. It’s in Classroom 1 every day between 2 and 3pm and the teacher there can point out your mistakes and give you useful advice for how to fix your errors. It’s free and one-on-one so don’t miss this great opportunity.
Most importantly, try to use English every time you need to write something, even if it’s just a shopping list. The more you do everyday tasks in English, you more you’ll start to think in English and your writing will naturally get better and better. Enjoy the process!
So to summarise this week’s Tip – Try to make writing in English part of your everyday routine. Then you will be amazed at how quickly you improve.