Five tips for busy learners: reading and writing

Five tips for busy learners: reading and writing

Are you too busy to practise your English? These tips will help you improve your reading and writing, even when you're short of time!

Most of us have busy lives, with work to do, family to look after and household chores to take care of. Sometimes it's hard to fit any English practice into the day. 

Here are a few simple ways for you to make the most of your time and practise reading and writing in English in your everyday life. 


Do you travel on public transport to work or to where you study? Do you have ten minutes' free time after lunch? 

Instead of playing a game on your phone or checking your social media, why not read a short article in English instead? 

Depending on your level of English, you could read the latest news on a news website or you could read articles which are written specially for learners of English, for example the Magazine on the LearnEnglish website. 

Reading is one of the best ways to improve your vocabulary. You're sure to encounter some new words as you read. Try to guess their meaning from the context, or make a note of them and look them up in a dictionary later.

Reading 'little and often' can really help you improve your English. Set yourself a goal of reading at least three times a week! 


Keeping a journal or diary in English is a good way to express yourself, improve fluency and practise using new words and grammar. It will help your spelling too.

Try to find five or ten minutes each day to write in your journal. As the weeks go by, and you look back in your journal, you'll see how much you've improved. 

Write down three things that you've done each day, or write about your ideas, your plans and dreams for the future. 

You can write simple sentences about your daily life or choose topics to write about such as 'my dream job' or 'my best holiday ever'. It's your journal, so the choice is yours!

It's up to you whether you type or write by hand, but research has shown that writing by hand helps us remember better.

So there you have it. Some super-easy ways to practise reading and writing, and, what's more, they don't cost anything. Choose one and start today!

Five tips to practise your English reading and writing

  • Read a short article while you're on the bus or train.
  • Set yourself a goal of reading at least three times a week.
  • Keep a journal in English.
  • Write down three things that you've done each day.
  • Write about your ideas and your plans for the future.

Jo Blackmore


Average: 4.4 (24 votes)
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Submitted by JimmyGuo on Thu, 23/11/2023 - 15:51


I usually practice reading each sentence which I encounter,especially take notice of the grammar and the new words,it takes me plenty of time at the beginning, but now I feel easier about reading. I rarely write because it would make the learning process too slow,also,my handwriting is ugly.

Submitted by Marrwa on Mon, 31/07/2023 - 00:15


I really want to improve my writing

Submitted by User_1 on Sat, 20/05/2023 - 16:35


About reading and writing.
I don’t know why, but for me, writing in English is more natural than reading, as well as listening than speaking.
For reading and speaking, I am always scared with many barriers.
Could anyone from the team help me understand the reason?
Thank you

Hello User_1,

That's very interesting. To be honest, it's hard to say without knowing you better.

Have you ever felt similarly about your native language? Obviously, it's very different, but sometimes people aren't confident speakers or readers, for example, and perhaps that could cross over to another language.

Is it all reading and speaking? It could also be that the kind of reading and speaking you do in English is a bit different. Also, speaking can be quite a personal thing -- you might feel you're revealing more of yourself than you want to, for example. Or perhaps you even feel like a different person to some degree.

I doubt that has helped you, but I hope maybe it's given you some ideas.

All the best,
LearnEnglish team

Hi Kirk,
Besides the fact that speaking English is not natural, I prefer to write more than speak in my native language as well.
So, that could cross over to English.
About reading, in both cases, I always try to read topics that interest me, but in English, despite my efforts, I keep on feeling uncomfortable.
However, thanks for your ideas.

Submitted by Trang Luu on Tue, 07/02/2023 - 03:49


Thank you for your tips! I am on this way to improve my English skills.

Submitted by Pok.Poun on Wed, 01/02/2023 - 08:28


It's a good tip! Will try and see ...

Submitted by rabbit-cat on Tue, 17/01/2023 - 09:32


It's a great tips.

Submitted by jean kabanda on Thu, 05/01/2023 - 16:54


I like the tips and am going to try them religiously. Thank you so much