I am a working professional and English is my second language. I realised that my vocabulary is very weak so I started reading. I don't have enough patience to complete a novel so I started reading Quora answers and magazines like Forbes, Reader's Digest.

It's evident that my vocabulary is improving as I am maintaining a diary and write every new word/phrase that I come across. But what about my writing skills? It will take me an hour to write a decent review of a movie I recently watched. I am not able to use good words which I already know and my thought to sentence conversion is also poor. Could you please suggest me some exercises/methods to improve my writing skills?

4 Answers 4


English is also my second language, for writing I recommend starting a journal, you could write maybe a paragraph or just a few lines every day, you could write about things you're grateful, about your dreams, about some things that has happened to you, basically about anything you want. It's also kinda therapeutical to write a journal, so it could help strengthen mental health, which I don't think is a bad thing, since we're in pandemic. You should also try to use the new words that you learned, so that you reinforce them.

There is also a website called write and improve which I recommend checking out, you can choose a level you want to write on, it corrects your writings and it gives you prompts to write about.

Honestly, the most important thing about learning to write is to do it consistently and just practice, practice, practice. I promise you'll get better at it over time.


What you are experiencing is common for most language learners. Reading is passive learning and writing is active learning. Passive learning is where you absorb the information and consider the meaning. Active learning is where you analyze and then challenge the information learned. Another form of passive learning is listening and its active counterpart is speaking. When writing or speaking in a language that one is not comfortable using, it is common to translate from a native language to the desired language. This requires a lot more thought power which could be what is slowing you down.

In your question, you mentioned that you like to write movie reviews. I would recommend that you continue to write about movies that you like (or dislike!). Create a Rotten Tomatoes or IMDB account and just start reviewing movies. As you become more confident, you can use movie forums (or the Screening Room chat on the Movies &TV Stack Exchange) to discuss movies in English. When you talk about something you enjoy, you will be more engaged and talking to real people will help you to pick up new words. If you are nervous, you can always add a note in your bio or on your movie review that let's people know you are learning English. Most people understand the struggle of learning a new language and will continue to chat with you. Some may even be kind enough to help improve by providing advice.

Keep writing and you will start to see improvement!


I think that it may be due to a lack of practice (reading in English is a very good way to improve your vocabulary, but reading is a passive skill and it requires less effort than formulating the sentences yourself) and to the tendency to think in your native language first and then translate it in English. Therefore, do not be discouraged and do not give up!

First of all, immerse yourself in the English language as much as possible so that you will further improve your vocabulary and you’ll naturally start to think in English (the fact that you try to read in English is very positive, but you can also listen to music and audiobooks, watch movies, TV shows or even videos on Youtube! Moreover, you can try to read some articles on the BBC website as it offers a variety of them about different topics).

Try to write (sentences, texts, or even lyrics), then read what you wrote and try to see if you can spot some mistakes and if what you wrote makes sense to you. Also, you can take note of how much time it takes you to write a sentence or text about different topics so that you can focus more on the ones that take you more time.

Try to chat with native speakers (if you do not know anyone, you can try some language exchange apps like HelloTalk for example).


From my experience, I suggest you find someone who can correct your writings. That'd be the faster way at the beginning.

Once you get to level where you can "self-correct" your own writing, then that'd no longer be necessary. Then, you can just read and you'd automatically be able to writer better.

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