Writing in English as Your Second Language: How to Improve It?
You must have stumbled upon texts that are flawless when it comes to grammar, but appear to be impossible to read. You can see sentences that are too long and unclear, hold unspecific information, vague facts and expressiveness where it is not suitable. Why can this happen? One of the reasons is that the author is not a native speaker, and the writing is influenced by the culture of a different country. For example, Italian people tend to use a lot of sophisticated words to show their level of education. Chinese articles may seem to lack concrete facts and contain some descriptions that might confuse an English-speaking reader. So, what are the tips to omit flaws of this kind?
Clarity is valuable
One of the distinguishing features of the English language is its broad vocabulary. Even though some words might be translated in the same way into your native language, there is always a slight difference in their meaning and the way they should be used. Misusing of the word might appear to be a tiny mistake, but can also become a reason of a complete misunderstanding of the point you are trying to make. This is an obstacle you can only overcome by following the next step:
Read a lot in English
The best way to learn how to write in English like a native speaker is to read what has already been written. This is a way to enrich your vocabulary and improve the intuition regarding what word to use. The texts will also help you improve your grammar, as they have surely been proofread before being published.
Additional hint #1: Try to read different kinds of texts (magazines, fiction, newspapers and textbooks) to improve both academic and creative writing.
Additional hint #2: Treat such online sources like blogs critically. You may read them if you like them, but remember, that they might have errors you do not want to repeat in your writing later.
Do not translate into English from your native language
Some students think, that this is the best way to complete a good work. It seems simple: you just take your time and write without thinking about all the grammar and tricky vocabulary, including the words with the spelling that cannot be remembered. However, this steady lake has a lot of underwater stones. Writing in English means writing according to this language’s logic and rules, while translating will make your point unclear. You will not be able to capture the meaning fully and write it using nice and correct language.
Find a native speaker friend
After all, the only person who can point out the flaws in your writing and explain your mistakes is the person who speaks this language since they were a toddler. The Internet gives us plenty of opportunities to get to know someone who will be glad to help us. One more way to learn English and improve your writing is to find someone who wants to master your mother tongue and help each other out.