Some of us need to write in order to remember. When I meet a new word, I like to write it down. I might never see my written note of the word again, but the physical act of writing it has fixed that word in my brain. The same is true for notes I use to remind myself to complete professional tasks or household chores. A note will sometimes lie unnoticed on a desk for days, but, in the meantime, I will have remembered to buy washing-up liquid or finish that report. The note has served its purpose. So, if you’re like me, you know how important writing is.
Use writing to support your learning of English. Then, when you need to write something in English one day, it will be easy. It’s a win-win situation.
Begin one word at a time. Write out the vocabulary you want to learn.
Copy out the sentences you like from your text books, the ones that seem to have been written about you.
“I swim every morning” [Wow! That’s me!]
“My husband hates football” [Yes! Score!]
If a sentence isn’t quite true, try changing a word or two. Experiment with your English.
“I swim every Saturday”
“My husband loves football”
“My husband loves playing football”
“My son loves playing football”
Draft an email every day, even if you don’t send it.
Start keeping a diary. Write a few lines, or even a page, talking about what you’ve done each day or what your plans are for the next day. If you include your hopes and dreams, you can use conditionals too!
Perhaps you enjoy creative writing in your mother tongue. If so, the skill can easily be transferred to English. Even if you’ve never written a poem in your life, this could be your chance!
Play with the words you know. Let them roll around in your mouth. Think about rhyme and alliteration. Write a haiku or a limerick, some blank verse or free verse. You don’t have to follow any rules if you don’t want to. Just think in English and see what happens.
Draft a letter to a newspaper, suggesting an improvement to the traffic system. You don’t have to send it so you can be as radical and imaginative as you like!
Try writing a complaint to a manufacturer or service provider. Or a description of your local park. Start blogging about something that makes you passionate or even about your experience of learning English. Who knows, you might end up writing the novel of the century.
It’s important to ask an experienced teacher or an educated native speaker to check your written work, so that you don’t practise bad habits and embed mistakes.
Now, pick up that pen or click on that keyboard. Start writing. Right away!