Speaking English fluently is the primary goal of all students, since it is through verbal communication that the language is most used in various situations, whether it is a study trip to Ireland or a phone call to a foreign friend. However, there are circumstances in which verbal communication cannot replace written communication. For example, if it's time to send your application to find a job, you need to prepare a cover letter and a resume. Even just sending an email in English is a step that many foreign students have to face sooner or later, and there are many questions that can arise: how to start? what tone to use? how to conclude? Also, how to translate the resume using the right terms and without making mistakes?
However, there are other everyday situations in which knowing how to write can be useful. For example, if we made friends on our last English holiday, it would be nice to exchange a few messages from time to time. A different situation from the working one, which requires terms and an appropriate tone so as not to seem strange.
Knowledge of written English in modern society is just as important as fluency in speaking. If the latter aspect is often insisted on, it is because it is more difficult to achieve, and requires prolonged exposure to the language. Despite this, students may also encounter various difficulties in improving the drafting of texts. Among the best-known problems are the use of grammar, especially tenses, the use of vocabulary and the incorrect construction of sentences. Or lack of exposure to language and culture, which can make it difficult to have a natural and engaging tone. Although they have good theoretical knowledge, even the most advanced students may encounter some difficulties and may still struggle to produce a clear and effective text. Writing by making mistakes can lead to misunderstandings, difficulties in understanding each other and, in the professional field, to showing a low level of knowledge of the language. But improving your writing is not complicated and does not require special means, just practice and follow the advice we provide below.
To improve your written English, there are a number of activities and strategies you can integrate into your study. Just as fluency comes from practice and speaking, accuracy also comes from practice. Many students think that following the lessons and doing their homework is enough, but they fail to provide enough examples of the various types of writing to incorporate into their skills. Therefore it is necessary to make use of other learning resources and techniques.
In any Italian, English or other language course, reading is the main advice given to students to learn to write better. By reading you expand your vocabulary, you understand how sentences are constructed and you also come into contact with different tones and styles. Therefore it is important to differentiate the sources as much as possible, without dwelling on a particular genre or author. Newspaper articles are also excellent examples of assimilating a more modern and informal style. The more diverse the readings, the more varied and versatile the writing will become.
Just as reading builds your vocabulary and grammar, you need to practice regularly to improve your writing skills, and there are plenty of opportunities to do so. Teachers sometimes suggest writing essays, but you can also practice on your own or by attending private lessons or summer English courses. For example, you could start translating some of your texts manually, and then compare the result with that of an automatic translation. Or start right away in English, inspired by some articles or stories you've read.
Rereading your texts, the first thing that might catch your eye is the number of repetitions, a sign that your vocabulary is still limited. To make the speech more pleasant to read, you can use synonyms that will help the text seem more flowing and refined.
In any case, to get a reliable match, it would be a good idea to use the grammar and spelling checker tools and check for errors. The ideal would be to do it under the guidance of a native teacher or expert people, to have both immediate feedback and an explanation of the mistakes made.
Before even writing, you need to understand who the text is aimed at and why you are doing it. Knowing the target audience is essential to choosing an appropriate tone and style. There's nothing worse than writing a text out of place, so you should do some research and get some references. For example, if you need to prepare an essay, it is good to search the net for some examples to verify the type of language, if abbreviations are used and how sentences are constructed. It is also important to organize thoughts and ideas before starting, and to shape the content later, using simple and clear language without trying to overdo it. Simplicity is better, especially if you don't feel confident enough about your abilities yet.
Among the useful resources for those who want to improve written English there are some apps dedicated to developing vocabulary and grammar. They are excellent points of reference when you have doubts about how to construct sentences correctly. Although you can practice independently, nothing prevents you from attending workshops or writing courses in English. It's worth looking out for such classes, as sometimes there are themed summer English courses designed to perfect a specific skill, such as speaking or writing. Finding a language exchange partner can also be a great idea, especially for learning how to communicate informally through texting. Or join specific groups on social media to exchange information and advice. The more resources available and the more diverse the target audience, the more versatile one will become and learn to adapt one's style to any context. Improving your writing skills takes hard work and constant practice, but it is possible and the effort will pay off in the end.