this Summer to Improve Your Writing
Louise's Weekly Feature
Many students ask me, “How
can I improve my writing?” My very simple answer is, “Read as
much as you can in English.”
Research on writing improvement shows
those students who read a lot show huge gains in their writing proficiency.
It is actually quite sensible because the more you read the more exposure
you get to good English writing. You start to think and then write following
the models you have read.
“Is she crazy?” you may be thinking to
yourself. “It’s summer! I don’t want to be reading some English book where I
have to look up every second word in the dictionary.”
Again, that’s where some research helps
us out. Choose books that you can read independently (with 95% accuracy).
Follow this rule when choosing a book: you should be able to read aloud a
paragraph or two at the speed of speech. There should be fewer than five
hard words per page.
You are probably asking yourself now,
“How can I possibly choose a book? There are millions of them!” You are
quite right, but here are some suggestions to help you:
- In the PALC computer room, there is a wonderful library
of Readers written on lots of different subjects available for every
level. In addition, there are talking books (tapes and CDs) with novels,
so you can listen and follow along with the text.
- Children and young adult fiction is another excellent
source of interesting reading material. The following two web sites have
lists of award-winning books.
Newberry Medal Winners
- Finally, visit your local library and talk to the
librarian about reading choices. Librarians are highly skilled at matching
books with readers.
So, enjoy the rest of the summer, but if
you go to the beach why not take an interesting book and begin to enjoy
reading in English.