Tips for Better Written and Oral English Work
Always check your work. When you think you’ve finished, check it again. Usedictionary to help you find spellings that you are not sure of. a
Go to class regularly. Do your homework and hand it in on time. If your teacher
doesn’t give you any homework, ask for some. Ask for extra work to do at the
weekend. If your teacher doesn’t mark it, ask them to give you feedback. If you don’t
understand something in class, ask your teacher. Discuss English work with your
friends at break-time and after class. Practise talking in English. Talk about it with
your family. See if you can help your family to improve their English. Encourage them
to go to a class.
In written work – answer the question! To answer the question you must read the
question! What does the question ask you to do? Make sure you do what it asks. If it
says ‘use a key’ then use a key! If it says ‘circle the correct letter – a, b, c or d’ then
circle the correct letter. If it says, ‘write about your family’, write about your family.
Spend time deliberately learning vocabulary sets. You are always going to need to
know the meanings and correct spellings of days, months, numbers, clothes, food,
family members, your name and address, and so on. Practise at home. Make things
much easier for yourself in class by learning these words in your free time.
Plan written compositions before you start. Use a flow chart to help you think of about
four or five ideas to write about or sketch out your ideas by writing notes on a rough
piece of paper. Think: what do you want to say in this piece of writing? Start with a
short introduction, then write a paragraph for each idea. Your final paragraph should
draw the ideas together into a conclusion. Each paragraph should contain about four
or five short sentences.
Spend time deliberately learning basic verb tables – both regular and irregular –
especially the four key irregular verbs: ‘to be’, ‘to go’, ‘to have’ and ‘to do’. Learn
different tenses: present/past simple, present/past continuous and present/past
perfect. Learn the past participles of key irregular verbs, for example have/had,
do/done. Make sure you can use many common verbs like ‘eat’, ‘read’, ‘sleep’ and
‘go’ to talk about your daily activities in both the present and past tenses.
Read English language books and magazines. Read signs and notices. Write down
any words or phrases that you don’t understand and look them up. Keep a vocabulary
notebook where you write down new words and phrases. Check it regularly.
Watch English-language TV. Use subtitles so that you can match the words to the
voices. Record programmes and play them back, pausing the action if it’s going too
quickly for you. Use the internet to find information in English. Use free online
translation services to translate text into your language. Visit websites that have
games and resources for learning English. Print out materials and test yourself at
home. Recommend good websites that you find to your teachers and classmates.
Use it or lose it! If you want to remember what you have learnt, make sure you use it
every day. Practise speaking and listening, reading and writing every day. If possible,
join a club or society or do a sporting or voluntary activity where you will meet native
English speakers. Use your initiative!
Don’t give up! If it feels like you’re not learning anything, persevere. You are doing