Most of our students try to improve their speaking by speaking more, or improve their writing by writing more. While the phrase “Practice Makes Perfect” is generally true for most things, it might decrease your productivity!
Speaking and Writing are known as Productive Skills, because we use these skills to Produce the language. However, when learning, we also need to focus on the Receptive Skills of Listening and Reading and this will in turn help us to improve the productive skills. Simply put, if you focus on listening, your speaking will improve and if you focus on reading, your writing will improve.
So, to answer the questions above:
1. To improve your speaking, also spend a lot of time listening. This can be using Netflix, www.ted.com, podcasts, or any other form of listening that you enjoy doing!
2. To improve your writing, read more! Reading more is actually one of the best ways to improve all aspects of your English, not just writing! Reading will improve your grammar, vocabulary, and much more! So our advice, read as much as possible and in you will see improvement in a very short time!
Active vs Passive Learning
Another important aspect of learning any language is the “how”. There are two main ways to study…well…anything! You can study actively, or passively. Which one is better? Well, it depends on the thing you wish to learn, but being an active learner will allow you to make progress much faster.
As you can see from the top half of this graphic, you will retain and remember more information the more actively you study it with “Doing the real thing” being the best way to remember and learn!
For more information on both Productive and Receptive Skills and Active and Passive Learning, check out this Facebook Live Video by Mark and Matt as they discuss these topics in great detail.
As always, thanks for watching! If you have any questions, head to the comment section to ask or go over to Facebook and comment on the video directly!
Matthew is the Owner and Academic Director at ULC. He has been teaching English for 12 years and loves breaking down grammar in its simplest form. He also thinks that students should focus on improving their fluency first, and then their accuracy!
"Think in English"