Once we have learnt to read fluently, we can read almost anything that is not too technical in terms of our own skills. In other words, we can, for example, read anything in a newspaper but we might find it difficult to understand an economics research paper (unless we are economists) because of the technical language. In contrast, many people find that writing remains a challenge throughout their lives. Many of us are faced with many different writing challenges throughout our lives as our priorities and our careers change, and we take on more challenges. One of these, of course, is the challenge many under-graduates face when they are asked to write academic essays, but others include the need to write a good CV, to write reports as part of our job, or the need to take minutes in a meeting.
What other differences are there between the skills of writing and speaking? One of the main differences is that when we are speaking we regularly produce grammatically incorrect expressions whereas when we are writing we are normally expected to write grammatically, and not only that, we are expected to spell the words correctly too!
If you listen carefully to an average speaker you will notice a number of mistakes and hesitations. A speaker may start a sentence and then stop half way through and change direction; a speaker may pepper his/her speech with hesitation sounds (umm…;... [continues]
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