It is helpful to all people past their earliest years of schooling to improve English writing skill. Although schools may no longer emphasize grammar and spelling, and computer programs can help avoid the most egregious errors in these areas, a person who can express ideas in flowing prose will always find this a great advantage. Taking English Language courses Toronto is a great idea.
People who are native in this tongue often speak better than they write. For those who use correct grammar and well-chosen words when talking but struggle when using written words, there is an easy solution. Reading finished work aloud will reveal mistakes such as using the wrong tenses or having an incomplete sentence, since the phrases will sound wrong when transformed into speech.
If, however, this language has been learned later in life, this exercise may not prove so helpful. However, if a little more care is taken, mistakes can still be avoided or corrected. For instance, many mistakes are made in word choice if synonyms are looked up in a thesaurus. Using the word ‘rind’ for skin will only work if the subject is fruit or vegetables. Using this word in an article about cosmetics can be avoided if unfamiliar synonyms are routinely looked up in a dictionary before being used.
Grammar is as important as word choice. Anyone who wants to be an author must know how to diagram a sentence, use adjectives and adverbs, and understand how conjunctions connect phrases. A step-by-step book on basic rules of grammar or an online course is easy to find and not too complicated to follow.
Punctuation is another thing that will reveal a lack of expertise on the part of the author. Understanding punctuation – which is designed to mimic the natural pauses in speech – is not as hard as many people think. A period is needed at the end of a completed thought. A comma is used when two complete thoughts are joined together, or when one idea is amplified by description. An apostrophe shows either possession or a contraction, and it is not hard to learn to distinguish between the two.
One good rule is that a short sentence is easier to handle than a long one, and it is often more effective as well. Many readers lose interest if the syntax of an article is too complicated. It is also easier to confuse tenses, leave phrases dangling, or omit proper commas. When proofreading – which is a step which should never be omitted – it is good practice to break overly complex sentences into two or more shorter ones.
Practice makes perfect. Those who want to write well should take every opportunity to exercise their skills. These days fewer people make daily journal entries, but almost everyone sends emails. Make your computer entries as clear and as colorful as you can, and you will be honing your writer’s talents.
Of course, anyone who wishes to improve English writing skills will need to pay close attention to proofreading, or going over a finished passage to catch errors. It is a good idea to take at least a short break after the first draft so that you mind can take a fresh look at your work. Many people find it easier to proof their written pieces in hard copy rather than on the computer screen, so they print off a copy to correct.
Choosing English language courses Toronto and ESL Toronto can be difficult. Make sure to choose the reputable Toronto ESL courses that you feel comfortable with.