Additional tips

Self-improvement Here are some additional tips:

  • Identify areas where you feel you need more work. Discuss with a work partner or work group, and your teacher, so you can decide on extra work that will help you improve. One of the best ways of improving your language skills is to read, and when you think you have read enough, read some more! You can read books, short stories, magazines, newspapers, song lyrics, web texts, blogs and reviews of films or books. Also choose magazine and newspaper articles that present statistics. Then practice writing short texts about what the statistics tell you.
  • You should also learn to read critically. If you are reading a “heavy” factual text, use your dictionary and discuss your understanding of the text with a partner. You can also think about what exactly the lyrics of your favorite song mean. How do you respond to the song when you actually think about the lyrics? How do you respond to commercials you see on television? Why do you like certain kinds of movies, television shows and music? When you think in this way you pay more attention to language and to how people are trying to communicate with (and possibly manipulate) you.
  • To improve your oral language skills, choose situations with your friends or a work group where you decide to speak only English. If there are any native speakers in your area, you might want to ask one or two to join your group.
  • Do not write long introductions to any of your texts, whether your own texts or when writing for any of the tasks on the exams. Get to the point as quickly as possible: you want the reader on your side. Over-long introductions will irritate the reader.