How Social Media Can Improve Your Reading/Writing Skills
From Facebook to YouTube and WhatsApp, social media has become part of the fabric of our lives. It’s no wonder that it is a popular tool for students when it comes to building and improving English skills. Some networks are good for making business contacts and some are good for keeping in touch with friends, but what if you switched all those networks from your native language to English? How quickly do you think your reading and writing skills would improve? Surrounding yourself with written English is a great way to keep your vocabulary fresh – and it’s an easy way to keep in practice for Cambridge English Qualifications, such as the B2 First or C1 Advanced.
Joining groups on Facebook
Whether you’re a football fan, a mountain-climber, a musician or a movie buff, you’ll probably find a group dedicated to your hobby on Facebook. That means a whole new set of fellow-fans that you can talk to in English!
Take some time and read through the conversations that have already been posted before commenting – this will help you understand the general tone or attitude of the writer, something which is useful in part 5 of the reading paper in the B2 First exam. When responding to other people, try to use a range of vocabulary and some more complex grammar structures – the practice will come in handy when you’re going for top marks in your writing paper.
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Following your favorite celebrities on Twitter
Twitter is a hot spot for journalists, artists, actors, authors and politicians – and a great place to find links to popular articles. During the reading section of the Cambridge English Qualifications, you’ll be asked to read and analyze different types of texts, from news articles to fiction, and Twitter is a great resource for surveying popular texts across the Internet.
It’s also a great way to practice saying things in a clear and concise way. You only have 280 characters to get your point across!
Reading and writing local business reviews
Reviewing local businesses on sites like Google, TripAdvisor or Facebook gives you the opportunity to practice expressing your opinions in English. Not only will this help you when writing essays, articles and reviews, but it’s also a great way to prepare for the speaking section of the exam.
If you do it online first, it will give you the time to think about what you want to say. You can plan and review before posting it, which means your English will be more fluent and accurate. It’s good to get in the habit of planning your responses because it will save you a lot of time and stress when it comes to the writing paper in the Cambridge English Qualifications. If you read a few different examples of the same type of text, such as a negative review, then you can see the words, phrases and grammatical structures that are common in this type of writing.
So find a place to chat, remember to follow the safety rules – and have fun! Want to find out more about the exam prep courses offered by Kaplan International English? Share your questions with us on our Facebook channel or in the comment section below.
Cambridge Assessment English is part of the University of Cambridge. They provide the world's leading range of qualifications and tests for global learners and teachers of English, including Cambridge English Qualifications such as the B2 First or C1 Advanced. Take a look at their free activities to help you practice skills you need for the exam.