Improving Basic Literacy Skills

You are in an adult education program and want to improve your literary skills for one reason or another. Perhaps the reason is job related or it is simply a self-improvement program for you. 

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” Gail Denvers

Improving your literacy skills will require time and effort on your part. Focusing on your literary skills is akin to making an investment where the short-term and long-term benefits can be numerous. 

The article, “Literacy in your life” offers articles on different kinds of literacy skills.

Consider the following tips with respect to how to improve your basic literary skills, that is your ability to spell, use words, write, as well as your general understanding. You may have a language barrier to overcome.

Start with what you already know.

Starting to write about what you know will make it easier to improve your literacy skills. For example, begin to write your own personal story. Every adult who is serious about adult education and literacy has a story to tell and putting it in writing presents a challenge. Doing so gives you starting point.

Initially, your writing may seem to be awkward, confusing and stilted. It is not easy to write at first, but as you improve your literary skills, it will get easier. Be persistent and keep on trying. Ask for help from others when necessary.

Gradually expand your literary skills horizon.

As you begin to express yourself in what you write, you may find that you still have problems with the correct spelling of words. Using a dictionary when you write can make writing a lot easier. It will also give you a better understanding of the words that you are trying to spell and help to explain their meaning.

Using a thesaurus will help to clarify words or phrases grouped together. Learning to use a spell checker (spell check) computer program and a grammar checker will help you to correct possible errors. You may have a tutor, teacher or professor willing to advise you. Reading regularly helps those who want to write well.    

Write on a regular basis.

Those who write on a regular basis soon find that the flow of words and phrases comes easier than if they only write occasionally. For example, you have been writing about your personal life, now write something about your family history. It does not have to be a lot, but writing it correctly will make it something that you can be proud of when it comes to others reading it. It will also have personal meaning for you. 

Choose writing topics about which you are knowledgeable.

Writing on topics that you are familiar with is easier. For example, perhaps your area of expertise is art or music. Keep everything that you have written about your hobbies or pastimes in a writing portfolio. Make certain it has your name, the date you wrote it and a way to identify it as your work.

You will be amazed when you begin to see how much your literary skills improve over time. It may be to your advantage to go back over your work and expand your horizons further, but never discard your original writings.

Remember that this is your literacy skills journey, yours alone. You can be proud of it.