By Singapore Teaching Centre, British Council

17 May 2017 - 12:11

Primary School Students

Would you like your child to score better in compositions? Here are five ways your child can become a better writer.

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1. Practice, practice, practice

The more you practice the better you will become. This is true of anything in life. No one is a ‘natural’ writer. Everyone from Charles Dickens to J. K. Rowling has had to work to improve their art. Practice as often as you can to make sure that when you are under pressure in exam conditions you produce your absolute best. 

2. Experiment with one new style or device in each composition

When you learn a new technique the first thing you should do is use it. Learning about something doesn’t necessarily mean that you can use it or indeed that you can use it well. In many cases if you don’t use something that you have learned then it gets forgotten. Try and use a technique quickly after learning about it – that way it will be with your forever.

3. Read and absorb

Note down different techniques and language that might be of use in order to improve your own work. Good writers take notes – they use them to record ideas, thoughts and techniques that interest or engage them. Taking notes is the first step to improving your writing ‘range’. 

4. Develop a vocabulary notebook and system for recording vocabulary, expressions and techniques. 

Just like the techniques listed above, you need to note down and use new words quickly after learning them for the first time. The only way to fix words in your long term memory is to understand and use them. A vocabulary journal or notebook is a way of ensuring you have a system for recording new words which is effective in helping you retain them. Read widely – lots of different text types

5. Read widely – lots of different text types

Great writers are great readers. The more you read the more you will expose yourself to an endless variety of linguistic techniques which will, in turn, expand your own range and repertoire. We first learn by mimicking and then by bravely experimenting beyond repletion to create interesting, new compositions. 

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