For better or for worse, the pandemic has changed peoples’ lifestyles. With the culture of work becoming more flexible and remote work becoming mainstream, people have more time on their hands than ever before. Being able to get to work without much preparation and not having to travel allows people to invest more time in other activities.
However, all this spare time comes with a condition — most of it needs to be spent at home. The worst of the pandemic might have passed, but it still isn’t over. People who want to make most of their time at home will have to be wise about it. One of the recommended activities to invest time in at home is learning a new skill.
This article will discuss how you can build their language art skills from the comfort of their home.
What is language arts?
No one can blame you for thinking that language arts sound complicated. The term makes it sound more complicated than it really is, but it just means “art of communicating.” Building language arts skills means learning how to be proficient at using language to express an idea.
Language can be communicated through reading, speaking, writing, listening, and viewing. These five are the primary parts of language arts you need to focus on. Since people use language all the time, it’s not difficult to hone language arts skills. You may find that building language arts skills primarily involves doing things you already do.
Read more, write more
As in every learning process, practice takes a major role, but even more so in language arts skills. Knowing how to read and write is one thing, but being proficient in reading and writing is entirely different. Proficient readers and writers have knowledge and skills that make them better at understanding and creating texts.
Becoming a proficient reader and writer isn’t complicated, but it will take effort. By reading subtitles on films and TV shows and writing down statuses and comments on social media, you are already practicing reading and writing. Certainly, these aren’t enough to achieve proficiency, but they show there’s a lot you can learn even at home. With access to the Internet at home, you have endless material for reading and writing.
To hone your reading skills, start reading more texts. You can read texts online or books you already have on your shelves. What matters is that you read texts that tackle different fields of knowledge that you find interesting and increase your reading volume. Another advisable activity is to reflect on a body of text after you’ve finished reading it, as this will allow you to absorb the information better. Similarly, honing your writing skills can be done by writing more. You can start a journal or get into writing fictional stories if you have plenty of ideas.
As you read more books or articles and write more and more, your library of knowledge will expand, and your skills will naturally improve. However, keep in mind that this is a continuous practice that you should maintain even if you’ve achieved proficiency.
Speak better, listen better
Being a great reader and writer doesn’t always translate to being a great speaker and listener. Honing your reading and writing skills can be done without the participation of other people, but speaking and listening will take more effort when done alone. Building your speaking and listening skills will require you to spark up conversations with other people. Start talking more frequently with your family and friends with the mindset of conveying your message and emotions as clearly as possible. Consequently, work towards becoming a better listener by doing your best to understand what the other person is trying to say. Avoid cutting off people when they’re talking and give feedback by doing facial expressions and verbal sounds.
If other people are not available, there are plenty of listening resources you can access online. From audiobooks to podcasts, you have a lot to choose from. As for speaking, the Internet is filled to the brim with online chat platforms where you can exercise your silver tongue.
Consume visual media
Yes, you binge-watch Netflix shows and anime, so you actually do consume visual media, but not in a way that improves your interpretation of images. Instead of mindlessly watching through an entire season of a TV show, this time, try to watch every episode with a presence of mind. Pay close attention to every detail. Start questioning why certain visual details exist in a particular scene.
Get in an online class
If you have the financial resources, you can enroll in communication and language arts courses. Yes, you can hone your language arts skills without formal education but taking up a course still offers many advantages. If you’re a person who finds it hard to learn by yourself, getting into a course is perfect. If you want to accelerate the learning you’ve done by yourself, a course works well, too! Just make sure you’re investing your money in a well-crafted course that corresponds to your skill level.
Take advantage of writing tools
A possible hurdle you may face when trying to write is problems with fluency and motivation. You may find that you have a less-than-ideal grasp of grammar and a relatively limited vocabulary. Instead of being discouraged, look for writing tools that will motivate you and help you get better. Writing on Grammarly will help you correct grammatical errors you usually commit; the Hemingway App will help you be more concise; 750 words will push you to keep writing every day. These are just a few of the countless writing tools available online.
The comfort of your home might be the best place for building language arts skills. If you start reading, writing, speaking, listening, and watching more, with a presence of mind, you’ll be able to notice the things you need to improve.