Hola. Asalaam alaikum. Anyoung haseyo. Guten Tag. Konnichiwa. Salve. Nǐn hǎo. Zdravstvuyte. Bonjour. Xin Chào. And hello to my fellow language learner looking to squeeze in some more writing practice.
Am I the only one who gets totally sick of conventional, boring ways of learning a language? Plus with the fact that writing opportunities are slim to none on typical language learning platforms, well-rounded approaches to acquiring another language are hard to come by.
And I don’t know about you– but personally, I like to write more than “the boy eats bread.” Sure, that’s a good starting place, but at some point, you’ve got to branch outside of elementary sentences.
Most language learners have the hardest time getting in speaking practice out of reading, listening, writing, and speaking. So writing is the only form of output practice learners can efficiently rely on.
Output is a necessary function of learning any language, despite the teaching obsession with reading and listening. I’m an avid preacher of creating a learning process that’s personalized to each learner. Each language student should be able to find an acquisition process that they themselves love.
Which is why I created this list solely for the purpose of you being able to find a writing method that you enjoy. These ideas aren’t traditional or conventional. Each one is unique in its own way and achieves it purpose of bring you closer to your language learning goals.
To write down anything, first you’ll need a quality notebook or journal.
A language journal is a great way to hold yourself accountable for reaching your language goals. Speaking from personal experience! I consider it to be the ultimate upgrade to any language study routine.
So be sure to check out my self-designed language journals with multilingual covers and strong boss babes depicted. Latin languages, European languages, African languages, and more represented.
You can also grab some matching stickers to really make your language study sessions fun.
All those designs plus more are also available as printables on Etsy! So get excited. Now on to the list.
- Write journal entries in your target language.
- These can be as basic or as advanced as you want! You’re totally free to refer to reliable sources for words you don’t know. The goal of journaling is ultimately to improve your understanding of grammar and contextual writing.
- Share text posts on language exchange applications.
- Most language exchange applications include features that encourage other users to correct your text posts. Meaning your engagement on these platforms can be extremely educational. Check out The 5 best Language exchange applications to use when you’re too broke to travel, for some app ideas!
- Text native speakers through language exchange applications.
- There are tons of free exchange platforms out there. Just expect most native speakers to text back in your language as they too are trying to practice their writing skills.
- Join and post in Facebook groups.
- There are Facebook groups for literally everything, and language learning is no exception. There are at least 100+ different groups solely dedicated to discussing foreign languages. Plus there are lots of groups that focus on one language in particular. These are best for allowing you to practice writing and have other members actually understand what you’re trying to communicate.
- Message fellow Facebook group members who speak your target language.
- Most of the time, these other users are more than happy to snag a new language exchange partner!
- Post comments in your target language on Instagram pages of users who speak the language.
- Personally translate your Instagram captions into your target language.
- Hey, you might even be able to gain a following among native speakers!
- Personally translate your Facebook captions into your target language.
- Comment on YouTube videos produced in the target language.
- Scrapbook and write photo descriptions in your target language.
- Respond to Reddit Forums written in your target language.
- Add your own posts within online language learning forums.
- Write a letter in your target language.
- Even if it’s just a letter for your future self.
- Create a video collage/slideshow that includes text frames in your target language.
- Video editing applications make this easier than ever nowadays. Try out iMovie, Premiere Pro, or Vivavideo for video editing that includes text features.
- Try your hand at writing a children’s story.
- Try out writing a song in your target language.
- Write a poem in your target language.
- Rhyming words and all for extra fun!
- Try translating a news article into your target language.
- Of course, this will be better practice for slightly more advanced language learners.
- Transliterate a Youtube Video into your target language.
- Pretend like you were hired to create closed captions for the video creator!
- Translate a children’s story into your target language.
- Translating “Cat in the Hat” or “The Three Bears” shouldn’t be too hard.
- Try translating a song into your target language.
- This can be something as basic as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to something like “My Heart will go on.” Translating a song you actually enjoy will no doubt be more enjoyable though.
- Write Twitter posts.
- Do a bit of research on hashtags that indicate you’re looking for other users to correct your writing.
- Respond to Twitter posts.
- Try writing a script.
- Best for my readers who actually like acting and watching plays.
- Translate one act in a play into your target language.
- Like perhaps the last act in “Romeo & Juliet?” I’d like to think it’s one all of us know pretty well.
- Write down your favorite phrase of the day every day.
- Translate scriptures into your target language.
- If you’re a Christian, bear in mind that the Bible has been translated into 698+ languages, so you can even check your own translations for accuracy. Select verses of the Quran have been translated into 114 languages (but I’ve also heard it said that the only true version of the Quran is the classical Arabic version so treat translations to your own discretion.)
- Practice your calligraphy skills on quotes in your target language.
- Try creating your own mini dictionary of essential terms or short phrases.
- You can either translate the word into your native tongue for it’s “definition” or actually write a definition in your target language.
- Transliterate a podcast in your native language into your target language.
- Transliterate a podcast in your target language into your target language.
- This will help you hone in on your listening skills and improve your pronunciation even if you don’t understand what the podcast is talking about.
- Comment on blog posts written in your target language.
- Try translating your favorite recipe into your target language.
- Write a recipe in your target language.
- Measurements and all if you’re really feeling daring!
- Transliterate a movie scene in your target language.
- This could either be a scene originally produced in your target language or a language you’re fluent in. You could even translate your favorite quotes from the movie instead of a scene. “Luke, I am your father,” is just one famous quote that proves how easy this can be. (And I’m not even a Star Wars fan!)
- Create cards and label items in your home.
- Create a deck of cards for charades with others who either know or are also learning your target language.
- Write out all your bullet journal spreads in your target language.
- I’m talking weekdays, month names, goals, habit trackers, — everything. I talk more about using your bullet journal for language learning in 20 Amazing Language Learning Bullet Journal Spread Ideas.
- Physically create a word search in your target language.
- Or focus more on practicing your reading skills, by inputting your desired words into an online crossword puzzle generator. Then you’ll have a pre-made puzzle where all you have to do is find the words.
- Create your own crossword puzzle in the target language.
- Either allow the definitions to be translations or actual definitions in your target language.
- Make your own game cards for Bingo, and plan to play it with a group of friends also learning your target language.
- Arrange words written in your target language randomly on multiple Bingo boards. Create cards with the English translation that would assumably be read aloud. Only those who know their vocabulary have a chance at winning!
- Create a comic strip in your target language.
- As long or as short as you want! Garfield’s comics have long been only 3 squares, so don’t start overthinking coming up with a plot.
- Design printable wall art in your target language.
- This is a whole industry on Etsy, so you can even consider selling your work.
- Design greeting cards with inner text. (As in phrases written on the inside of the card.)
- Again, you could totally consider selling these.
- Create a mind map of words/phrases that are related to one another.
- Mind maps are a seriously incredible tool for engaging with your target language. Read 10 reasons you need to include mind maps in your language study journal to learn about all the insane benefits.
- Practice writing through Lang8.
- Lang-8.com is a language exchange social networking website geared towards language learners. The website is run by Lang-8 Inc., which is based in Tokyo, Japan. Currently, there are over 750,000 users spanning more than 190 countries and 90 languages.
- Create text posts on a social media platform used by speakers of your target language.
- Like LINE for Japanese, XING for German, KakaoTalk for Korean, etc. A quick search on Google will tell you the popular apps used by speakers in your target language.
- Join a real-world simulation game that allows you to communicate with other users.
- Hotel Hideaway is an app I’ve personally used that is available for users of many languages.
- Converse in an online chatroom with speakers of your target language.
- Create a quiz for yourself that you’ll use in the future to brush up on your memory.
- The quiz’s questions will be written in your target language, and future answers will most likely be in English (or your native language.)
- BONUS: Use my self-created 51-page language learning printable bundle for goal planning, tracking, vocabulary, grammar, and guided study! I put a lot of time into this bundle so you could fully simplify your language learning journey. Plus, using these spreads myself have made my language study sessions so much more interesting and organized. You can view some of the pages you’ll score in the image below!
I totally understand that the student hustle is a struggle bus though! Giving up 1 hour of minimum wage just might not fit into your budget. So I also created a free mini language tracking bundle exclusively for my email subscribers. You ladies mean the world to me, and you all deserve to take full control over your language learning journeys.
Sign up here for your pages or by clicking the image below!
Before you’re off to writing
If you liked this article, then you’ll love 10 effective ways to organize your language notes! Digital writing is great… but nothing is quite like good ole paper and pen.
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For other languages, I strongly recommend Innovative Languages. Native-taught courses & podcasts available for both free and paid subscriptions.
Before you head off on your language journey– I want us to stay in contact with one another. Us language learners have to stick together right?
My language craziness expands to multiple platforms so you can also find me cranking out polyglot inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest. Don’t hesitate to direct message me or comment on one of my posts! I’d love to get to know you beyond this blog.
Aside from that fun, if you’re still here then I want to make sure you don’t miss out on your free language learning toolkit.
All exclusive content curated specifically for atypical language learners looking to make the language acquisition process as fun and unconventional as possible.
Equipped with a 4-week checklist, 100 fun learning ideas, the keys to a “naturally simple” approach, a rapid acquisition 2-week plan, and science-based guides to creating a language journal you love. All straight to your inbox. And trust me– I never spam.
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Keep learning languages my friend! And I look forward to seeing you again real soon.