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Daily activities for higher Production and Literacy scores

By DET Practice - TADE Hub
June 19,2023 | 09:21 AM

In the Duolingo English Test, both Literacy and Production evaluate the Writing skill. In other words, your Writing skill is an important element for your Literacy and Production sub-scores. As a result, we will be exploring the top 05 daily habits to help DET takers and all English learners advance their Writing skills. 

If you want to take other English proficiency tests, such as the IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE. You can also apply the following 05 daily habits to boost your writing skill to the next level. 

Before we get started, we already shared an article to help English learners improve their Speaking skills. Feel free to take a look at it anytime you like, “Daily Habits for Higher Production and Conversation”. 

Activity 1: Read as much as you can

Oh, wait! Why does Reading help us improve our Writing skills? You may wonder! Let’s check several benefits of reading every day to see how helpful it is to ace our Writing with a specific example. Your article link is here on NPR

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  • Learn new words, phrases, idioms, collocations, etc: No matter how great your English is, we always find new words, phrases, idioms, collocations, and so on while reading. The harder content we read, the more we can learn from it. Of course, we also need more time to read all content. From the above example, all red frames are words, phrases, and collocations that we can learn from. If you read this article, you may notice others because our skills are not the same. You may know some words that we don’t! So, if you find new words, let’s take note of all of them but DO NOT look up for meanings immediately because it interrupts our Reading process. We only need to take notes, leave them there and come back to check all meanings once we finish the content.
NPR articles, Duolingo English Test, increase Production and Literacy, DET Practice Platform, DET Preparation course
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We strongly recommend you check all words or phrases in Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries or Cambridge Dictionary as they are official dictionaries from Oxford and Cambridge, which are two of the most prestigious and trusted universities on earth. For example, we have the words “grappling with”, then we search for “grapple with” and have the following meanings. 

 Based on the sentence “…is grappling with widespread wildfires from Alberta...”, we know that the second meaning fits it. So, “grappling with” means “try hard to find a solution to a problem”. Next step, we search for meanings for the rest words and phrases that we take notes on earlier. And our final step is to read the whole article again to reinforce all the new words we learn and completely understand the content. 

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  • Learn how to organise: Whether we read books or news, we can forever learn how they connect sentences and sentences, paragraphs and paragraphs by paying close attention to linking words and punctuation. First of all, let’s take a look at 16 Linking words categories on our Practice Platform (only available for Premium accounts) as they help English learners identify linking words while reading.

It depends on our purpose to choose appropriate categories. In each category, there are lots of options to use. From our above example, all green frames are linking words. Specifically, we have “as a result”, which is in the Results linking word category, which shows a result from previous information. It’s the same for other linking words, we need to understand their functions in each sentence in order to use them appropriately and accurately. 

  • Learn new ideas: Apparently, each article is about a particular topic. And our example’s talking about El Niño, which is a phenomenon related to climate change. After reading the whole article, we have new information and learn more ideas to discuss El Niño. What if we have a Writing question about climate change in our English proficiency tests? Yes, it becomes much easier to brainstorm ideas on how to best answer the question. As a result, we strongly recommend English learners read a wide range of topics to equip themselves with as many topic ideas as possible. 

We know how beneficial Reading is to improve our Writing. So, where should we read? It depends on your interest, we can read paper or digital books, or digital news. We don’t recommend any books because there are uncountable books with diverse genres. So if you’re into any book genre, let’s go find some about it. Regarding digital news, we do have recommendations. 

  • NPR: A free source of American English, which is best suitable for taking the DET. Why? In Read and Complete, we are only allowed to fill American English in, there is no way around it. Regarding other question types, we can use either American or British English. On this website, there are diverse topics for readers to choose from, such as World, Business, Climate, Health, Sports, etc. 
  • HBR: A great source for those who’re into business, we can find almost all business-related topics. Nonetheless, it’s only free for several articles on a monthly basis, then we have to subscribe to keep reading. 
  • Forbes: Another great news source that provides a wide range of topics to boost your reading and writing skills. However, it’s the same as HBR which we need to pay after reading several articles, which is a barrier to students.

Activity 2: Chat with your friends

Reading as much as you can from Activity 1 is one way to input knowledge. And it’s time to output it as a practice to master using it and prepare for our English proficiency tests. Chatting with your friends via phones or laptops is one of the most basic methods that we can do at any time we like. You can chat about all things in life with your friends as long as it’s in English. Or we can set up our rules for sharing recent articles that we read, for example, the phenomenon of El Niño in Activity 1. Technically, it’s the best way to reinforce your knowledge by sharing it with your friends and talking about it together. 

Activity 3: Keep a diary

It’s a great habit that everyone should have in life. We’re not discussing its benefits as there are uncountable sources talking about it already. However, in terms of practicing English Writing skills, this definitely is one of the best ways to do it. Don’t know how to start yet? It’s simple! There are two steps to follow. 

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  • Step 1: Decide what to write

It depends on what you care most to decide what to write. But why should we do it but not write everything we go through every day? If you are able to write everything in your diary, that’s perfect. Nevertheless, most of the time, people don’t have time to do so after a long day. Therefore, deciding what matter most to us helps us start this activity easier and keep it as a habit in the long run. For instance, if you care most about family happiness, and you see a little girl showing her affection to her mother in a surprising way, then it’s your content to write.

  • Step 2: Take notes on all key moments

We already decided what to write, for example, family happiness from Step 1, and we have a key moment in which the little girl shows her love to her mother. If you are able to write your diary at the time you experience something, let’s do it. Otherwise, we only need to take notes on key moments and then we write details when we are available. 

  • Step 3: Write details

Most of the time, people set up their time at night to keep a diary on a daily basis because they are comfortable at their home, private and quiet to focus on reflection. It’s the best time during the day to do a journal in a detailed way. It’s time to write details about your experience of the little girl showing love to her mom at day time. 

Activity 4: Write about particular topics

If you read every day, the best way to do this activity is to combine it with Activity 1: Read as much as you can. We read the article about El Niño and climate change earlier, so why don’t we write something, for example, a summary about it to remind ourselves of all the new words, phrases, and information that we claimed? You can task yourself with the last challenge of the day, which is to write a summary of the article you read earlier in at least 150 words or more depending on your choice. 

When you write about particular topics, always remember to divide it into three main parts, including:

  • The opening: Introduce the article you read. What is it about? What is the main content? In this part, we only need to write basic information regarding the article and then connect it to the body.
  • The body: We write detailed content here. What is currently happening? Why is it happening? Where and when is it happening? What is the matter and what can we do to solve it? By asking related questions to the article, we can write the summary much easier simply by answering all questions. 
  • The ending: Let’s end the summary by sharing your perspective. Do you learn anything from the article? Do you think it’s worth sharing with others? 

Another option to practice writing about particular topics right on the DET Practice Platform is that we offer thousands of practice questions on diverse topics. After submitting your answer, aside from our instant feedback, users can also check sample answers to learn how we answer the question and ideas to express in such a situation.

Activity 5: Review your work

No one should miss the activity, and it should be combined with Activity 3: Keep a diary and Activity 4: Write about particular topics. No matter how good we are, most of the time, we make spelling or grammar mistakes unconsciously. Thus, reviewing our work builds an effective habit to aim for higher scores on our English proficiency test day. If you remember to review and check your work after completing it, you will never forget it on your test day. As a result, we may identify grammar or spelling mistakes to correct them and get higher scores. Because in any English proficiency tests such as the IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, or DET, grammar accuracy and spelling are two important grading elements. 

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Most importantly, DO NOT rely on Grammar Checking tools. When English learners practice, they usually use Grammar Checking tools immediately after completing their work. PLEASE, DO NOT DO THAT. Feel free to use it but only after you review it manually. 

*Special one: Utilise AI-supported tools such as Grammarly, QuillBot, or GrammarCheck

Again, only use Grammar Checking tools after you review your work by yourself, check it with your own eye to develop your checking skill because on your test day, using Grammar Checking tools is highly prohibited in any English proficiency tests. However, when we practice, we should use Grammar Checking tools one last time to review our work because even if we check it by ourselves, sometimes, we will miss something. 

Hence, here we recommend some tools for your study. We will show you their platforms for FREE accounts, a detailed example, and how they fix our mistakes and recommend improvement.

  • Grammarly: One of the most popular Grammar Check tools in the market, all possible grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes will be underlined in red. Suggestions to correct mistakes are displayed on the right if we click on each mistake. Additionally, they offer detailed feedback on each suggestion to help you better understand your mistakes.
  • QuillBot: Similar to Grammarly, all possible grammar, spelling,  and punctuation mistakes will be underlined in red. Users only need to move their pointer to each underlined word to check feedback.
  • Grammar Checker: This tool is a bit different in terms of showing mistakes compared to the first two recommendations. Each mistake will be highlighted in color backgrounds, and once we click on it, the suggestions will appear below the word. 

Writing skill is the same as other skills. We need to put effort into practice, learn from our mistakes and advance our skills day after day. The more scores you want to improve, the more time you need to study. So, do not expect your scores will come easily without practicing. It’s daydreaming. 

If you plan to take the Duolingo English Test and want to improve your scores faster, let’s explore our LIVE-interactive AI-scored Practice platform offering the following benefits.

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  • Thousands of practice questions;
  • At least 15 Full tests;
  • Over 200 sets of Interactive Reading and Interactive Listening;
  • Nearly 300 sets of Interactive Writing;
  • Instant feedback for all question types;
  • Same grading elements as what the Duolingo English Test uses to evaluate test-takers' skills;
  • Three supportive vocab lists;
  • An integrated dictionary.

With FREE accounts, users can experience all question types and feedback for each. It’s time to visit DET Practice – TADE Hub, create free accounts, and experience your most efficient practice platform to boost your DET scores.