Improve Your Writing Skills with 6 Free Online Courses
Published on: Nov 08, 2016 by David McPherson145207 views
Words are powerful. They inspire greatness and effect change. They start movements and empower leaders. They have the power to get you hired, get you promoted and, if used incorrectly, get you fired.
Combine the power of words with the ease and speed of email and social distribution in the digital age and one can quickly see that it has never been more important to learn to write clearly, effectively and efficiently.
No one is born with good writing skills. It takes time to learn proper writing techniques and a great deal of practice to hone your skills. Starting with any one of these five introductory writing courses will not only build a strong foundation of grammar skills, but also teach the important elements of composition and style that will improve all of your written communication from business emails to job applications.
English Grammar & Essay Writing
University of California, Berkeley
Starts: February 18, 2017
Learn how to avoid common grammatical errors, gain skills for developing an argument and get valuable experience writing, editing and proofreading essays. This course is perfect for students that are preparing to apply for college or who wish to develop effective written communication skills.Learn More and Enroll
English for Journalists: Key Concepts
Improve your writing and grammar skills while writing about exciting and current topics in the news. Developed by the US Department Of State, Voice of America and English language educators, this free journalism course will teach you how to write effective stories and reports using improved vocabulary and grammar. Explore the world of journalism and learn how ethics, equality and fairness impact the profession. Learn more and enroll.Learn More and Enroll
English for Journalists: Free Speech and Media Trends
Part two of English for Journalists focuses on writing styles and techniques for different news categories like sports, science & technology and humor. Learn about free speech, and media trends and gain an understanding of the issues facing journalists globally. Learn more about this free, self-paced course from UC Berkeley and enroll today.Learn More and Enroll
Preparing for the AP* English Language and Composition Exam
Tennessee Board of Regents
This course focuses on helping learners become skilled readers and writers. It teaches you how to write for a variety of purposes (argumentative, analytical, persuasive), how to analyze different kinds of text and how to evaluate and use different sources for research papers. This course will prepare students for the AP English Composition exam and is also essential for avid writers and readers to get their skills to the next level.Learn More and Enroll
English Writing and Composition
Arizona State University
Starts: January 9, 2017
This college-level introductory writing course will help you gain a solid foundation of English grammar and writing skills. The 8-week, intensive online course taught by professor Duane Roen requires 18 hours per week and is eligible for college credit. Learn critical language and communication skills while completing challenging writing projects in a supportive environment. This is an excellent course for high school students interested in getting a head start on college English composition. If you are up for a challenging and intensive English grammar and writing program, this is the course for you.Learn More and Enroll
How to Write an Essay
University of California, Berkeley
Starts: October 12, 2016
Learning how to write a good essay with a powerful introduction, clear arguments and well-crafted conclusion is a great way to build a foundation of writing skills. This 8-week course starts with the basics of grammar and sentence construction and quickly advances to thesis development and essay writing with tools for creating outlines and editing your work. Dr. Maggie Sokolik of the College Writing Programs at the University of California, Berkeley guides students through this excellent introductory writing course in which participants can get a great deal of practice writing and interact with other students from around the world. Links to optional online textbooks are provided.Learn More and Enroll
Partners: Arizona State University (ASU)The University of TennesseeUC Berkeley
communication skillsenglishgrammarOnline Educationtechnical writingwritingwriting skills
I have been studying English for a while now (I started my learning experience at BROWNS) and I can say that the better my English has become, the more I enjoy traveling. I probably love to travel as much as you do. In fact, going to new places and meeting new people from different countries and cultures is one of the things I enjoy the most. However, Iet me tell you that when you can’t speak English, it’s tough. It becomes a great limitation. Apart from making communication difficult, being unable to speak the language hinders you from getting where you want with ease, not to mention what you need when you get there. It was embarrassing for me when I sometimes did things in the wrong way just because I wasn’t able to seek assistance from locals due to the language barrier.
In most countries, English is the language most spoken even though it is not the native one. In fact, you can travel around the world and socialize with people everywhere if you can speak English. Generally, the advantages that come with learning this language for vacationers are many, valuable, and varied.
Why travel lovers should learn English?
English is the language most vacationers use with others. While traveling, you will likely spend most of your time connecting with other people on a bus, in a hotel, at airports, on the streets, and in other places. Most of those encountered are tourists who can communicate in this language such that socializing becomes more effective for you if you can speak it as well.
When speaking to visitors who speak English, immigration officers, hotel staff, taxi drivers, and others use it to communicate. If you can speak it yourself, you will not have any problems dealing with the locals. Therefore, if you are planning to visit a country where the native language is not the same as yours, it is advisable to learn English (at least the basics). Since it is an international language, you will most likely find someone who can speak it, making communicating much easier.
Advantages of learning English for travelers
If you understand and speak English, there are many advantages you will enjoy as a tourist:
- Ease of expressing yourself: Expressing yourself becomes easier everywhere you go. It is simple to ask for something and even explain what you want. For instance, if there are complications at the airport, you can easily clarify them. In the hotel, you can ask for food and specify your preferred room. English enables you to get what you want and the best value for your money.
- Making new friends becomes easier: When you can speak a common language, interacting with others becomes less challenging. English, for example, enables you to socialize with the locals in your tour destination and learn something about their lifestyle. This way, you will easily meet new people and establish relationships.
- It enhances confidence: When you know that you can easily express yourself and even make new friends, your confidence improves during travel. Since you hear what the locals are saying, and can even ask questions, you ensure your safety by avoiding dangerous places, for example. When you learn English, getting insight into other people, their lifestyles, and recommended tourist areas becomes easy, thus enhancing your confidence.
- Better experiences: Knowing the basics of the English language can assist you with every day pleasantries and crucial phrases frequently used while traveling. You are bound to have better experiences as anytime you go to a new place, you will need assistance from the locals. Even if they do not speak the language well, they most probably will understand the basics enough to assist you.
- Independence: Tours are great, but I personally prefer to organize my own experiences. I can go to the places I prefer and stay for as long as I want. Not all activities offered on tours are for me, and they are usually done in a rush. When my English was not good enough, I was restricted to such organized tours and I had to rely on the guides. Now that I can speak and understand English, I have the freedom to visit and explore places more independently.
As a universal language, English is often used in tourist areas. Thus, even if you do not have a local tour guide, you will not have any problems getting to the attractions you want to visit. By reading signs, you can also book accommodations and obtain other services in a foreign country without hiring a tour guide. This will save you money since hiring a tour guide can be costly in some regions. In addition, when you can speak a universal language, even bargaining for products and services becomes possible. This will not be the case if you do not speak English.
You learn more in a foreign country when you speak English
Perhaps there are things you have always wondered about life in a foreign country. When you learn English, understanding the local culture becomes easier because you can interact more effectively and make enquiries. As a traveler inquisitive about different cultures, you no doubt want to learn new things.
Generally speaking, there are many reasons for and advantages of learning English as a tourist. The most important point of all is that when you learn English, you are able to travel in a more straightforward manner on your own and overcome the major difficulties and challenges that face those who do not speak it well or at all.