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  • Hi, everyone! I'm Abbe, and today I'm talking aboutskill that a lot of independent language learners, in particular, avoid practicing.

  • Because it gives them horrible flashbacks from their high school language classes.

  • That skill is writing.

  • Now, don't worry, I'm not gonna make you write any essays or book reports today.

  • But I am gonna give you some easy tips to improve your writing.

  • And not only that, I'm gonna make you love practicing it with some exercises that are fun and effective.

  • If you're skeptical, stick around!

  • If you wanna learn about other skills or have language-specific questions, go ahead and subscribe to our channel, where we post tons of free content about language learning

  • And turn on your notifications while you're at it!

  • Now, we've told you time and time again to focus your efforts on speaking and listening when you first start learning a new language.

  • We believe that those skills are the skills that give you the most bang for your buck because they allow you to communicate with people most quickly.

  • And being able to do that gives you a major sense of accomplishment, right?

  • Which in turn motivates you to keep learning.

  • But it is worth your while to learn how to write well in your target language.

  • I'll tell you why in just a second, but first, I wanna hear from you.

  • I'm taking a poll.

  • Do you mostly communicate in your target language through speaking or through writing?

  • Leave me a comment with your answer; I can't wait to see what you all think!

  • All right, back to the good stuff. Here are just a few reasons why writing is important.

  • Practicing writing can make new words stick like glue in your long-term memory, since it engages your kinesthetic memory, especially when you write by hand.

  • Check out the learning pyramid.

  • Writing would be considered "Doing".

  • And the average retention rate is 75%, compared to something more passive like listening or reading.

  • It can also force you to think about the mechanics of your target language.

  • How sentences are built, when different tenses are used, which turns of phrase are most natural, etc., which also benefits your speaking skills.

  • Knowing how to write well in a foreign language is going to make you an important asset to your current company or set your resume apart from the rest of the candidates in the applicant pool.

  • And it can be a great creative release that relieves stress and anxiety and improves your overall mental health.

  • Okay, by now, hopefully, I've won you over if you didn't think that learning to write was important at the beginning of this video.

  • Now it's time for six tips on how to improve your writing, along with fun ways to put those tips into practice.

  • Tip number one: Try to write every day.

  • I often like to start my day with 5 to 15 minutes of freewriting, which is almost like a form of meditation.

  • Don't set any expectations for yourself, don't stress about conjugation, and don't go back and edit your work.

  • Simply set a timer, put pen to paperand yes, I recommend doing this by handand write continuously about anything that comes to mind until the timer goes off.

  • Free-writing is a fun, stress-free habit for getting your daily writing practice in and to help your ideas begin to flow more naturally in your target language.

  • Tip number two: Don't start with a novel.

  • The best way to get overwhelmed and disenchanted with writing in a foreign language is by trying to take on too much at once.

  • So if you're having trouble finding the willpower to practice writing, put your plans for that Italian novel on hold, and instead, opt for lots of shorter prompts.

  • One fun way to practice short but frequent writing bursts is by posting on social media.

  • Especially tweets, since you're given a limited number of characters to work with.

  • You can tweet about your day, you can tweet out your favorite celebrities or brands, tweet your thoughts about news articles... just make it relevant to you!

  • Posting on social media can be a good way to keep yourself committed to your language practice through public accountability, which Luca has talked about in other videos.

  • However, you can also create a separate account dedicated to your target language if you don't want all of your followers to see your practice.

  • Tip number three: Don't make it feel like school.

  • If you think you hate practicing writing, get as far away from "traditional" writing prompts as possible.

  • For you, I recommend chatting or instant messaging with a conversation partner.

  • It's basically the 2021 version of an adult penpal.

  • If you can find someone who you quiclick well with, the time will really fly by when you're writing back and forth, and it won't feel like practice, just like you're messaging a friend.

  • Some people even swear that dating apps are the reason they've gotten so good at writing in their target language!

  • Don't knock it 'til you try it!

  • With most dating apps, you can set it up to "search for matches in a particular city", so just choose one where they speak your target language.

  • That tip leads me to my next tip, which is...

  • Tip number four: Get feedback.

  • It's best to get feedback about your writing from a human, but if you're not comfortable with that quite yet, using free automatic writing checkers is another option.

  • LanguageTool is a good one to check out because it supports many different languages.

  • Microsoft Word also has some built-in writing assistance features.

  • If you're learning Spanish, I'd recommend the online tool called SpanishChecker.

  • BonPatron for French, DudenMentor for German, and Grammarly or Write & Improve, which is a free tool developed by Cambridge, for English.

  • Write & Improve is pretty neat because it also gives you prompts for different levels if you're not sure what to write about.

  • A way to make this resource fun is to think of it like a competition with yourself and see if you can beat your previous score for the least amount of mistakes.

  • I should warn you that these automatic tools aren't always accurate, so do your own research to make sure that they didn't flag any errors by mistake.

  • Tip number five: Don't get too much feedback!

  • You obviously want to know what you can improve on when you write, so feedback is important.

  • But you don't want to feel like you're constantly being graded, so it's important to keep some of your writing to yourself and practice just for the sake of practicing.

  • Like with free-writing, the simple act of writing a lot can help you improve.

  • I'd suggest keeping a personal blog, journalor diary for this purpose.

  • And you don't have to just fill it with your own writing.

  • For instance, I keep a notepad full of quotes, sentences, and expressions that I come across in things I read and that I particularly love the sound of because it inspires me to be a better writer.

  • Tip number six: Read.

  • And on that note, to begood writer in any language, you have to be a reader.

  • Especially when you're learning to write for a specific purpose, you need to read a ton of similar texts written in your target language and mimic the style rather than translating directly from your native language.

  • By the way, translating can be another fun writing exercise, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a translator.

  • Pickspecific text genre to read and analyze.

  • Business emails or memos can help with professional language.

  • Newspaper op-eds can help you work on your logic and argumentation.

  • Poems and songs are great for learning about rhythm and rhyme.

  • And then, once you've picked a text, try to copy that style as closely as possible.

  • So, to sum up my tips and fun ways to practice writing:

  • Incorporate writing into your daily language practice, and, to do so, try free-writing.

  • Keep your practice sessions short.

  • Since you'll be on social media anyway, try to write a few short tweets or Instagram captions each day.

  • Find the practical side of writing.

  • Texting a language partner or crush is one fun idea.

  • Get edits and feedback about your writing, for instance using an automatic writing help tool.

  • Keep some of your work private so that you don't put too much pressure on yourself with a personal blog or journal.

  • And read, read, read!

  • Imitating different styles and genres or translating things you read are entertaining ways to practice your writing skills.

  • I hope you have as much fun writing as I do!

  • And be sure to let me know in the comments if I've managed to change your perspective about writing practice.

  • Take care and happy learning!

  • If you learned something new from this video, give it a thumbs up. Then, hit subscribe and turn on your notifications.

  • Havelook around our channel for more hacks and tips.

  • And if you're watching on another social media platform, like or follow our page.

  • See you next time!

Hi, everyone! I'm Abbe, and today I'm talking aboutskill that a lot of independent language learners, in particular, avoid practicing.

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Writing Practice for Beginners: The FUN

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    nao posted on 2022/02/10
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