English as a Second Language/will i get much better


hello english is my second language  and i have been a citizen in england for over 20 years   can i just ask you if i started reading alot of books will this improve my oral english to a intelligible standard aswell as writing skills  please advise val dillon

Hello Val,

thank you for your question.

I have to admit that this is a tough one. Reading a lot of books should help you improve your vocabulary and implicitly your reading and writing skills, but it may not be enough.

When it comes to speaking and listening, in my experience, reading is not the best tool (so to say) for improving these skills. In order to make progress in these areas you need to actively engage in conversation (preferably with native speakers) as well as listen to a variety of English spoken materials (the news on TV/radio; movies, audiobooks etc) as no book can teach you how to properly pronounce a particular word, and which is more important how to make smooth transitions between words (linking) in order for your speech to sound as close to that of a native speaker.

Also, while reading may help improve your writing, you actually need to practice writing yourself if your goal is to better your writing skills.

Please let me know if you have more specific questions that you think I can help you with and I'll try my best to do so.

Best regards,  

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker


I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.


I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

BSc MEd TESL post grad program for k-12 TESL post grad program for adult ed

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