Learning a language is not an easy task, especially if you are doing it for the first time. But there are certain techniques used to boost skills while learning, for example, the Spanish language. One popular method is writing for learning when you focus on writing more than any other aspect of language (e.g. reading, listening, speaking). Here’s how to get from beginner to expert and how writing can boost your Spanish language skills.
#1 Organizing Ideas
First of all, writing can help you organize your ideas. It’s important to be able to put your thoughts on paper by using the language you are trying to learn, so starting with your writing skills is crucial for your language-learning journey. For example, keeping a journal or a diary in Spanish can help you practice and develop your language skills if you are already used to writing down ideas and thoughts in a dedicated notebook.
Let’s say you are used to keeping to-do lists for every day. Or you absolutely love shopping lists because they help you get all your groceries and whatnot without forgetting anything. Why not write them in Spanish? This will help you learn new words and practice applying the ones you already know.
#2 Keeping Notes
As mentioned above, you can keep notes in the language you are learning. You don’t necessarily have to organize your own ideas – you can just write down something you need or heard after translating it to Spanish to memorize new words and phrases. For instance, you may be attending a lecture or workshop and you could take some notes in Spanish instead of English – or translating your English notes to Spanish afterward to practice your skills.
Writing isn’t just about writing articles and books, doing your Spanish homework, or wrecking your brain while writing a lengthy essay. It’s also about doing simple day-to-day writing i.e. keeping notes, making to-do and shopping lists, etc. Learning a language shouldn’t be stressful and tiring – it can also be fun and lighthearted if you allow yourself to do different things and experiment!
#3 Checking Progress
Another very important benefit of writing as a way to learn a language is the ability to check your progress. You will pretty much have a solid piece of evidence that you can refer to when you want to see whether your skills and knowledge have developed over time. Looking back at your past performance and mistakes can motivate you to keep going because you will see just how huge the difference is between your first steps and your latest achievements.
Let’s say you have several notebooks that are all filled with your writing in Spanish. Make sure to date them and check them from time to time when you feel demotivated and don’t think you can keep studying the language anymore. It is truly one of the best ways for keeping yourself inspired when learning a language.
#4 Develop Other Skills
Contrary to popular belief, developing one of your language skills does not necessarily mean that you will decrease the level of your other language skills. In fact, the contrary is probably true because developing one skill can help you develop other skills. Writing and speaking can influence each other a lot just like writing and reading and even writing and listening.
So, let’s say you love keeping a diary in Spanish. You might be able to write basic sentences but to reach an intermediate or an advanced level, you will need to read more to learn more vocabulary and get acquainted with more complicated grammar. Listening and speaking can also help you with learning new vocabulary and grammar, but this will all depend on what kind of method is best for you.
#5 Getting Feedback
One thing many language learners forget about is feedback. If you don’t get enough feedback about your skills, your progress, and your work, you won’t be able to advance and get to the level you want to be at with the Spanish language. Writing provides you with a unique opportunity to get the feedback you need.
As mentioned above, when you keep a journal or even just a notebook, you will be able to go back and see what your writing looked like before to realize just how much progress you have made. Showing these journals or notebooks to native speakers or professional Spanish teachers can help you get the feedback you need to improve your writing skills.
#6 Developing A Personal Connection
Writing can help you develop a personal connection to the language you are learning. Everyone has their own unique mental voice (the voice in your head) as well as their unique writing voice or writing style. Unsurprisingly, you can develop a voice like that both for your native language and for a foreign language you are learning. In fact, more often than not, your native-language and foreign-language voices will be different.
Developing a personal connection with a language you are learning can be especially easy to achieve if you are keeping a journal or a diary specifically for your thoughts. This is important because when you are keeping a journal, you let yourself word sentences the way you feel they should sound. This will let you develop your own way of thinking in Spanish without having to translate everything from your native language all the time.
#7 Recalling What You’ve Learned
Last but not least, writing can help you recall what you are learning and what you have learned already. Indeed, it’s not just about going back to see your progress or to get feedback – it’s also about revising all of those words, phrases, and grammar structures.
For example, your personal dictionary can be used for recalling words and phrases while a dedicated notebook will help you keep all your grammar organized. Even grocery lists can be used to revise words and phrases you’ve learned recently!
To sum up, learning Spanish just through writing is possible if you get the best practices right. Consider the benefits listed in this article and start improving your Spanish language skills by focusing on writing.
This article was written by Ana Mayer, a project manager with 3+ years of experience. While projects can do without her participation (which means almost never), she likes to read and create expert academic materials for the Online Writers Rating, Best Writers Online review website. Such work gives her the opportunity to write articles on the most relevant topics of today.