Quora is a website for people to ask questions and write answers.
It has been around since 2010 and is extremely popular.
It is also a great website for English learners to use to help them improve their English skills.
The two main skills it can help you with are; reading and writing. But it can also help broaden your vocabulary and improve your speaking skills.
Plus, it is free for everyone to use, so why not take advantage of it?
Want to see how to use it for your English?
Let’s take a look…
What is Quora?
Quora is a website for people to ask questions about… well, anything they want.
If you have a question about how to feed your pet goldfish, Quora is the place where you will find an answer.
You could have questions about badminton, the production of iron, how pencils are made, the city of Caracas or deep-sea diving — Quora will feed you the answers.
I have used Quora regularly since someone introduced it to me a few years back. And since then I have been a regular visitor.
You can see my answers right here — Quora/DavidBuckley
How to use Quora
Using Quora is very simple.
Simply go to the site — Quora.com — and sign up using your real name and email address.
Yes, Quora insists on people using their real names.
I personally think this is a good thing, so try to avoid using names like Frankie CoconutJuice or you might get a message asking to verify your account.
After you sign up, you are taken to a page where you choose which categories you are interested in.
This is very important so don’t just pick any topics just to get to the next page.
Choose your topics carefully as these are the topics that Quora will feed you every time you log in to the site.
It is also important to choose topics you are interested in helping with your reading skills.
There are dozens of topics, so you should find categories that interest you.
After that, you are ready to take part!
Choose Topics You Like!
I can’t stress this enough.
If you want to make big progress in your English reading skills, you need to read about things you are interested in.
There is no point in reading about things that you have no interest in — it will just become really hard work.
Read about topics you like or are interested in and you will often forget that you are actually reading.
So please choose the topics carefully.
So you have selected the topics you like — now you can start reading.
Go to the home page on Quora and simply scroll down to find questions that take your interest.
When you find a question that catches your eye — click on it.
You might find that this question only has one or two answers. Or it may have over one hundred.
But either way, you can now start reading the answers that people wrote.
The great thing about Quora is that most of the people adding their answers are not professional writers. So they often write in a very simple, conversational style that is often easy to read.
As you read, you may come across new or strange words in English that you have not seen before.
Any time you see a new English word, you need to write it down.
I strongly advise you to have a notebook handy when you are reading answers on Quora. In this notebook, you can write all the new words you encounter.
Later on, you should look up the meaning of the new words in your dictionary and write this down in your notebook too.
Over time, you will find that your reading skills will improve and your vocabulary will get bigger and bigger.
But you have to make this a daily habit. Start simple by reading Quora answers for only 15 minutes a day.
Then build up to 30 minutes or more if you can.
By reading Quora every day, you should see a huge spike in your English vocabulary.
As I mentioned before, you have to have a system for doing this though.
You must write down ALL new words in your vocabulary notebook. You cannot just trust them to your memory. It doesn’t work that way.
Use a real dictionary to look up the meaning of all the new words and write that down next to the word.
Then try to create a sentence of your own using the new word.
It should look something like this:
Originate — where something began, to create or initiate.
The English language originated in England.
If you are strict with yourself and do this with any new words you find on Quora, your English vocabulary will grow rapidly.
As your confidence grows, you will find that you will want to ask your own questions.
Why not try?
It’s easy — just go to the home page on Quora and look at the space at the top of the page.
That is where you ask your question.
Click on this space and a little square will pop up that looks like this:
Quora tells you what to do when asking your question — you should use question words like what, how, why, etc.
And you can ask your question in your real name or anonymously. This means that your identity will be private — no one will know you asked the question.
Once you have completed that, you just click ‘add question’ and your question is now on Quora.
Any time your question receives an answer, Quora will send you a notification. They will tell you if someone has answered.
Click on the notification and check the answers regularly.
These are the people who are directly responding to your question!
Now you can read all the answers. Give the best answer an upvote if you think it is really good or useful.
After you have asked a few questions — and you have put lots of new words in your vocabulary notebook — your confidence will soar.
You will soon have the courage to write your own answer to a question you have seen.
Maybe you know the right answer to the question and you would like to share your knowledge.
You can try this too!
Just take the plunge and answer one of the questions you see on Quora.
You can write your answer in a Word document before. Then you can read it to yourself and check the spelling.
Once you are happy with it, paste it under the question and click ‘submit’.
Now your answer is live on Quora.
Keep checking back, because you may find that people give you upvotes — or add a comment under your answer.
The more views and upvotes your answer gets, the more your confidence will go through the roof.
Now you are using English to communicate with people all over the world!
And yes, you can improve your English speaking skills by using Quora.
Because many of the answers are written in a very casual, conversational style, this makes them great for practising speaking.
All you have to do is read the answers out to yourself.
Find somewhere private where you can do this — for example, your bedroom — and read out loud.
The more you practise the list of new vocabulary you are collecting in your notebook, the more you will want to try out these new words. Not just in writing, but in speaking too.
Read out a few answers every day and you can practise English speaking as much as you want.
Make time for this whenever you can!
This is how you can use a great website like Quora to help you with your English.
You can practise English reading, vocabulary, writing — and speaking — just by visiting Quora for a few minutes every day.
What are you waiting for?
Let me know your thoughts about using Quora in the comments below!