How can someone become fluent and improve their writing skills? I've been learning English for many years and I still face many problems especially at writing(academic writing and writing in general) I truly would like to be able to write my thoughts in an eloquent way.

It has really reflected badly on my self-esteem; so, is it possible for someone whose English isn't their mother tongue to learn the formal language? I want to take TOEFL but I always hesitate and cancel it...So, any tips, especially that I cannot afford traveling nor being tutored(I'm relying on books and internet. I'm a self-learner) I'm 20 and I feel it's too late :(

I read books, watch movies, listen to songs in English but I'm still not able to increase my formal vocabulary and improve my writing.

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    Well, this question is probably off-topic here, but I'd say it was fluently written and very clear to read (other than a missing space before brackets and a missing full-stop after them). Reading and watching and listening to English will help a lot, especially with spoken English, but I suggest you also practice lots of reading and writing to help with the written side. – Hugo May 31 '12 at 20:52
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    Welcome to EL&U. Sorry to say this, but questions like yours get asked from time-to-time ~ see here and here, e.g. ~ and are usually regarded as too general for this site. That said, I wish you all the best. Maybe EL&U can help you hone your skills. – J.R. May 31 '12 at 20:58
  • Thanks, I've visited this website before...I do think it's quite general but for someone who's trying to learn by herself with no guidance, it can get extremely frustrating. So, I needed steps or tips..anything! Again, glad to be a member :) – aablah May 31 '12 at 21:02
  • You're probably increasing your vocabulary and your writing without realising it. And as Hugo pointed out, your question is well written. At any rate, keep reading. Read lots. Read widely and broadly. If you want to improve your writing, read more. Good luck! – JAM Jun 1 '12 at 3:22
  • @J.R.: "This is a great comment" -- for being so kind. – JAM Jun 1 '12 at 3:23

Fluency comes through practice and tuition. I would suggest TOEFL or other courses like it would help improve your technical grasp of the language, as well as increase your vocabulary.

Remember, native speakers have grown up with the language structures so you really shouldn't take the fact that you may be less proficient than a native speaker badly. In fact, just from your question I know that there are native speakers who have a grasp of the language which is worse than yours!

  • Sorry, for writing an inappropriate question and thanks for the answer ! – aablah May 31 '12 at 20:57
  • @aablah off-topic =/= inappropriate. It was a totally appropriate question, just not fit for this particular website. All the best. – deutschZuid Jun 1 '12 at 0:08

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