Some students on our freelance journalism course use English as their second language. And although their grammar is excellent – usually better than we natives! – they find it harder to write colloquially.

Learning to write conversationally in a foreign language can be difficult, as you tend to learn the language ‘correctly’ to begin with.

These tips may, taken from the non-fiction writing course may help, though:

  1. Read the English website as often as possible. It written in colloquial English, and often uses plays on words.

  2. Get an app for your smartphone that plays UK radio stations. Listen to the programmes, especially ‘soaps’ the phone-ins, and other programmes where people chat informally.

  3. Find UK podcasts and listen to them.

  4. Make friends with English people on Facebook etc, and chat with them as much as possible.

These techniques will enable you to read, and listen, to everyday English. Take notes of any words of phrases you don’t understand, and check them on Google later.

See our freelance journalism course