How to improve your skills in academic English

Jul 23, 2021

The demand for academic English skills is on the rise in recent times. While you may have a stronghold on the English language, you still need to improve your skills to excel in academic English. Academic English is something different and focuses mainly on the right usage of grammar and words. It mainly requires exceptional vocabulary. Moreover, the terms of academic English are very rarely used in regular writing and speaking.

When you want to study in the top universities, improving your academic English skills is important. Moreover, you may even have to pass the English language proficiency tests like Academic IELTS. If you are willing to improve your skills in academic English, here are some best tips that can help. Let’s take a look.

Focus on Developing Vocabulary in Academic English

There is a significant difference between normal English and academic English. The academic English vocabulary is more abstract, technical, and formal. It mainly includes words applicable in academia and less used in informal conversations. For instance, if you are writing an academic essay, you must use the word ‘education’ instead of ‘school.’ In order to develop your academic English skills, you must get familiar with the complex vocabulary. To expand your academic vocabulary, you can look into the Academic Word List and other valuable resources.

Read More

Writing Complex Sentences

Reading a lot is one of the best ways to enhance your skills in academic English. Try reading as much as you can. You can read newspapers or anything that interests you and immerse yourself as much as possible. Also, make sure to read a lot of journal articles and books relating to your subject.

The good news is that now you can easily find a number of open access journals. This means you do not require a subscription in order to download and read the articles. With a large collection of digital journals available, you are sure to benefit a lot. However, in case you find it quite difficult to read the academic papers, you can opt for an introductory book.

While reading, make sure that you read actively. It means to keep note of the academic expressions and words. You need to also lookup for the words in a dictionary in order to understand their meaning better.

Engage with Academic Professionals

Another effective way of improving your academic English skills is to engage with professionals. Try meeting and engaging with professionals who are well-versed and experienced in the domain. It can be the faculty members of your university, your seniors, or any other professionals. It can help in expanding your academic vocabulary while enhancing your listening as well as speaking skills.

Watch and Listen to Online Lectures

In addition to reading, watching, and listening to online lectures can help in honing your academic English skills effectively. Many universities upload their entire classes online. You can watch those lectures and make yourself familiar with formal English. There are a number of YouTube channels where you can watch short academic videos as well as lengthy lectures. Listening to such videos will enable you to learn how to explain and argue a point and ways to substantiate it with valid evidence and examples. If you want to engage yourself more with the videos, try looking for videos relevant to the subjects you are passionate about.

Leverage Online Tools

Online Lectures

There are a number of tools available online that can help you improve your academic English skills and become good at essays and assignments. Some of the best online tools are English for, The Academic English Cafe,, A Guide to Grammar and Writing, and more.

Signing up at English for can help you get access to regular posts and articles to strengthen your grip on academic English. Similarly, through The Academic English Cafe, you can watch videos, take up quizzes, and access model essays to enhance your relevant skills. Moreover, can change the concept that expanding your vocabulary is a boring task. Instead, it helps you learn new academic words and understand their meaning efficiently with a number of fun activities.

Try Writing Complex Sentences

Undoubtedly, writing is a vital part of academic English. In order to develop your writing skills in academic English, you need actually start writing. Try writing more complex sentences by using the appropriate punctuations and academic vocabulary. You can start by writing summaries of articles or books that you have read. Gradually, you can move towards writing academic essays on different topics. Make sure to focus on your sentence formation and structure. It needs to be more formal.

In the initial days, you might find this quite boring and difficult. You may even want to give. However, make sure not to give up and keep trying. Once you acquire this skill, it will no longer be a difficult task for you to write appealing academic stuff.

Practice and Avail Feedback

Practice is the ultimate key to improve your skills in academic English. If you watch a lot of videos but do not implement them or practice them, you will definitely not see the results. In order to see improvement in your academic skills, you need to work hard and keep practicing. Moreover, to measure your growth and development, you can get feedback from your teachers, friends, or family members. Once you identify your weaknesses through the feedbacks, start working on them. Through regular practice, your academic English skills will definitely evolve and provide you with the best benefits.


These are some of the best ways to improve your skills in academic English. Irrespective of the profession or course you choose, having proficiency in academic English is the need of the hour. It may seem to be a daunting task at first. However, taking the right approach or availing the assistance of professionals can make it easier for you. You can also take up academic English language courses and enhance your skills. With the appropriate academic English skills, you are sure to excel and succeed in any academic setting.


Sid writes educational content periodically for Wizert and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got more than 5 years of experience in technical content framing, digital marketing, SEO and graphic designing.

Related Posts