Learning a second or third language is no easy task, especially considering how hard it is to completely master a single language. Luckily, there are plenty of language tools out there that assist with comprehension, especially for English. While some have been in use for centuries, others are relatively new, but all of them can be a great asset for anyone wanting to perfect their English language skills. Almost all of them are simple and require virtually no effort to use; you just have to know what to look for.
Spellcheck is used by millions of people every day, but not many of them realize that they are even using it. In newer programs, spellcheck automatically fixes any issues that it sees. For instance, if you type “bleuberry” into Microsoft Word, spellcheck will correct the word so that it says “blueberry”- you don’t have to do a thing. Most academic assignments and business correspondence is done on the computer, but if you are ever faced with a choice between handwriting something or typing it, the latter will ensure that your spelling is accurate. Word also comes with a limited grammar-checking function so that you can assure that you’re getting your message across appropriately. While the grammar tool can be helpful, it is not always correct, so use wisely.
The dictionary is an invaluable tool for anyone who is reading difficult text full of hard-to-understand words. The English language has more unique words than any other language, so having a dictionary handy will always keep you knowledgeable about any word that you see or hear. In addition to teaching you the definition of the word, the dictionary will also teach you how to properly spell and pronounce it. In addition, a reverse dictionary (which can be found online), allows you to search for words by inputting definitions. This is extremely helpful if you know what you want to say but aren’t quite sure how to say it. Taking things one step further, the “Urban Dictionary” can be one of the most useful if not exactly traditional English tools because it contains words or phrases that are not used in proper English. When learning English as a second language, having access to a resource that teaches you about slang and idiomatic expressions helps improve your language comprehension in informal social settings.
The thesaurus is a must-own language tool for any writer out there. A thesaurus will give you all of the synonyms for any word in the English language. This saves authors from having to use the same words over and over again in their writing, which can make the text choppy and hard to read. There are many other language tools that can be found in books or on the web, from the obscure to the ones that you could benefit from in day-to-day life. Using them properly will ensure that you are a master of the English language in no time.