Five easy ways to improve English skills: Mastery is within your reach!

Whether you're a native English speaker or have emigrated from another country, every one can stand to improve English speech, writing, comprehension and rhetorical skills.

Language is our means of communication. When you advance your language skills, you become a better communicator and thus meet with greater success in your social and business interactions. Misunderstandings, due to poor English, can be avoided when you seek to improve your skills. Here are five easy exercises, that, when practiced consistently, will set you on the path to a mastery of English.

Improving English language skills always involves building your vocabulary. To this end, get a good dictionary. If you're not a native English speaker, get a combination dictionary which provides two sections, one in your native language and the other in English. In either case, choose at least five new English words to learn each day. Keep a list as you go along and periodically review your list. With just five words per day, your vocabulary will increase by almost 2,000 words in a year! If you use a combination dictionary, look for words you know in your native language that you don't know how to express in English. This method can really get you up to speed in a hurry.

When you look to improve English skills, a grammar book is essential. There are a number of excellent grammar books. One classic text is Strunk & White's 'Elements of Grammar'. Another terrific resource is 'Essentials of English', which covers grammar, correct usage and punctuation, with separate sections which teach you how to achieve clarity in your speech and writing, as well as getting into commonly misused words and expressions.

Although your grammar book discusses parts of sentences, syntax is often one of the most difficult areas to master. Syntax is how you order the words in a sentence. To improve English skills in this area, study the parts of sentences in particular detail. Practice and enlist the help of a skilled native English speaker to enhance your skills.

You've doubtless heard of the language immersion techniques, where a person is put amongst people who speak nothing but the native language. Through repetition, imagery and demonstration, people can learn a language in a couple of weeks, at least to a conversational level. Try this with friends and ask for corrections and feedback.

Finally, sign up for an English course. It can take place in a classroom, through an email course, distance learning or through online video seminars. Choose the venue that suits your abilities and schedule.

Follow these five avenues to improving English. Be consistent in your practice sessions. You'll eventually achieve a relative degree of mastery of the English language. Remember, there's always something left to learn!

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