by Jane Smith
Learning to speak a foreign language is very difficult. Not only do you have to understand what another person is saying, you have to think quickly enough to figure out how to respond. It can be frustrating to feel like you have a handle on a foreign language, only to try speaking it with someone from that background and come out on the other end completely turned around. What many people don't realize, though, is that one of the best ways to successfully speak a new language is to learn how to write it. Why? Basically, when it comes to a foreign language, if you can write it, you can say it.
In the simplest sense, writing practice is the ultimate way to really learn new vocabulary and practice verb construction. It's easy enough to memorize new nouns and verbs, but it's quite another animal to use them fluidly in speech. Practicing new words in writing is a perfect way to engrain them in your mind and remember how to use them again. You will also understand how to integrate them into full sentences.
Writing practice is also the best way to learn how to speak your mind in a new language. Most language courses handle daily conversation and academic writing and do a great job of preparing students for speaking to people of a completely different background. Unfortunately, they cannot prepare anyone for the reality of actually figuring out how to say what you want to say at a moment's notice, in a completely new language. Most beginners struggle with never feeling like they can completely convey their true thoughts, because they just don't have the words. That's why writing is so important. Writing long-form articles or essays in a foreign language is one of the only ways to practice making an argument or conveying a point of view.
Finally, what writing ultimately does for new language speakers is give them time to think and practice the language at the same time. Because there is no opportunity to sit and think about how to actually use a language when you have to speak it in conversation, writing helps you develop the ability to truly communicate. No matter what you would like to say, once you've taken the time to figure it out on your own, write it down and read it over, it will be much easier the next time when you want to make a point out loud. In fact, the more often you write, the more your brain will be able to memorize your unique communication style. After truly learning how to write in a foreign language, you will find your own, personal style of communication and sentence structure.
Instead of struggling with speaking until you find yourself more and more overwhelmed, try to combine learning to speak with learning to write. Not only will you find yourself understanding more of what others are saying, you will find that you're actually able to reply.
Jane Smith's informative blog posts can help you make sense of any personal history situation. Whether you are pursuing a tenant background check or pulling an employee's criminal record, feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writing systems | Language and languages | Language learning | Pronunciation | Learning vocabulary | Language acquisition | Motivation and reasons to learn languages | Arabic | Basque | Celtic languages | Chinese | English | Esperanto | French | German | Greek | Hebrew | Indonesian | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Latin | Portuguese | Russian | Sign Languages | Spanish | Swedish | Other languages | Minority and endangered languages | Constructed languages (conlangs) | Reviews of language courses and books | Language learning apps | Teaching languages | Languages and careers | Being and becoming bilingual | Language and culture | Language development and disorders | Translation and interpreting | Multilingual websites, databases and coding | History | Travel | Food | Other topics | Spoof articles | How to submit an article
Why not share this page:
Learn languages for free on Duolingo
If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.
Note: all links on this site to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.