December 23, 2015 Nicoletta

Wrap your head around Writing

Writing Tips


Academic Director at English One
Nicoletta is the co-founder of English One. She holds a Dip. TESOL (licentiate) from Trinity College, London. She is a passionate teacher and teacher trainer with well over a decade of EFL experience.

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So, writing in English is the bane of your existence you say? It’s impossibly challenging and you would rather be doing laundry than writing! Well, let’s sit for a moment and ponder why that is.

It’s easy to blame it on grammar or lack of vocabulary. In fact, it goes far beyond that. Why do you write in real life? Think about it – do you really sit and churn out essays about the state of the universe? No! Not in your native language – never mind in English!


After some thought you will come to realize that at the end of the day we generally only put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards) simply to communicate: memos on the fridge, text messages, shopping lists, Post-It notes on your colleague’s desk, check-lists, notes to your kid’s teacher in their homework book, notes to yourself scribbled on a tattered notebook you never look at.

I hope you’ve just had an “Aha” moment now, because once you realize that writing is not something  we do as second nature, and native speakers don’t sit around writing elaborate novels, you can concentrate on establishing why you need to write in English. By doing this relatively simple task you will be able to isolate what is needed in order for you to write well.

As a student of English you need to write for a number of reasons:

  1. You may be taking an exam that tests your English proficiency.
  2. You may need to produce an amazing cover letter for a job or university application.
  3. Or maybe you need to consolidate what you have learned in an English language class and writing is an invaluable tool to practice as well as highlight modals or structures or lexical items being used in context.


Whatever your reasons for writing are, here are some tips to get you going:

  • Always keep your reader in mind.
  • Think about your purpose.
  • Use the appropriate register.
  • Plan and organize your facts and ideas.
  • Use a wide range of vocabulary, grammar and expressions.
  • Focus on accuracy. Check and re-check your writing, and then ask someone else to read it!

Writing Competition

English One Writing Competition

English One Writing Competition

Stand a chance to win a 60 minute lesson to help you polish any writing piece you need to do. You may need to prepare an essay or maybe you need help in planning and organizing an essay. Having the assistance of an experienced English teacher will ensure your essay comes out perfectly.

The lesson can be held at English One, or it can be done via Skype with one of our teachers.


Write a 200 – 250 word essay about your experience as an English language student.

Write about any funny situations you have had, inspiring teachers or cultural connections you made.

You will be judged on:

  • How you illustrate your ideas.
  • Your range of vocabulary and expressions
  • And of course the fun factor!

Send your emails to learn@englishone.co.za

Let’s rock this writing!


  • To be the bane of one’s existance – something or someone that causes you stress or is generally unpleasant for you.
  • To ponder –  to think about something.
  • To churn out – to produce something.
  • To put pen to paper – to write.
  • To scribble – to write quickly, usually with untidy handwriting.
  • Tattered – something in a bad condition.
  • To have an “aha” moment – to suddenly realize something new, usually in a positive manner.

If you need more ideas on how to improve your English then contact us. By joining one of our specialized English courses you can develop your English skills quickly. And if you don’t feel like travelling you can have private online lessons. We are here to answer your questions!

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About the Author

Nicoletta Nicoletta is the co-founder of English One. She holds a Dip. TESOL (licentiate) from Trinity College, London. She is a passionate teacher and teacher trainer with well over a decade of EFL experience.

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