Learning a new language can be difficult, having another way to accelerate your learning should be essential. When beginning to learn a language, reading and speaking of simple words initially can help you to become familiar with the new information. As you progress, forming sentences and conversation can help you make further progress.
Writing is also a great way of helping to achieve further mastery of your new tongue. The repetition of words and ability to write these sentences at your own pace can aid your development. Creative writing prompts can be defined as any thought, story, experience or even a single word which helps you to recall when learning.
If you are learning a new language it is likely at some point you will have to write which could present some differences to spoken word.
Here are some handy tips to help you on your new language journey!
1. Write a diary of your day
Writing a diary or journal of your day gives you a chance to practice writing in the past tense and it tests a greater diversity of your skills. Simple description of the tasks you performed and structure of your day but also adding in how the day went with the addition of thoughts, feelings and emotions.
2. Set some targets for yourself
It’s always good to be accountable each day and have a purpose. So why not practice this in a different language – it is a daily exercise which could mean consistent practice and your goals can differ each day to diversify your practice and test your knowledge. Writing again in a different tense tests your grammatical ability in a different language.
3. Describe your friends and family
Description of people allows for a good test of your progression and development. “There are many factors when describing people you can write about. How do they look? What is their personality like? How do they make you feel? This could be added for a more advanced test”, says Teresa Oshea, a tutor at Writinity and Last minute writing.
4. Write down a childhood memory
Again to practice complexity of language, moving away from simple, straight forward sentences should be considered to accelerate your learning. This task certainly challenges anyone as it can involve speaking in various tenses, use of emotion and extensive detail to bring a memory to life – this is a test of real linguistic skill!
5. Rewrite a piece of foreign text
This creative prompt could be a good way to measure progression if you were to compare your previous written work by trying to rewrite it in a slightly different wording or improve on past mistakes – this clearly lets you see where you have made improvement.
For complexity and the ultimate test – pick something which is specific and detailed. “You may choose to go with a piece of classic literature which has unique or rare words or you may choose to look at some scientific literature again which may contain words, phrases and sentences which make your brain work” explains Donna Doughty, a creative writer at Draft beyond and Research papers UK.
Learning takes place when we take on new information, memorise and repeat, the progression of learning is the ability to keep absorbing new knowledge and adding it to what we have already stored.
A varied approach to learning is essential in order to maintain progression and avoid plateau. Each person has their own style of learning whether it be spoken, seeing, doing or written.
Creative writing prompts allow us to practice the written component of a new language which may be lost if we are simply only learning it to speak, writing is a great way of repetition which can often be a valuable tool to allow us to absorb information.
Try the above prompts with someone who is learning with you – work together and check each other’s work – this can help you to eradicate errors and become efficient together rather than struggle on your own. Trial these techniques at first with a dictionary or phrasebook to aid your practice – as you progress try without. You can even set yourself a challenge against the clock to gauge your proficiency.
Learning a language shouldn’t be difficult and including variety in your learning is key to improving your capability to achieving fluency of speech and written word.
Ashley Halsey is a professional tech writer, working at Lucky Assignments and Gum Essays, writing on all sorts of topics relating to marketing strategy and technology for business. She spends most of her spare time travelling with her family and gathering information for her latest piece of writing.