Grammar and lexicological exercises can only get you so far when you’re learning a new language. Such methods are only helpful when you’re learning the basics. Once you reach a certain plateau, it’s time to challenge yourself and actually use the language.
To master a new language, there is nothing better than an interesting writing prompt. Your entire performance will depend on the knowledge you already have.
Use these four examples and strengthen both your written and verbal performance. It takes some time to get used to creative writing, but this habit puts your foreign language skills to real use.
1. Write about your day
Creative writing prompts are different from one another. While there are complex examples, the first task you need is a simple prompt that you can do on a daily basis. Writing about your day is a perfect challenge to begin your creative writing in a new language. Why is it such an effective exercise for any language enthusiast?
From a complexity standpoint, taking up this creative writing prompt is good if you’re not yet proficient in said language. Writing about your daily tasks can build up your confidence, as many things test your basic linguistic knowledge.
By writing about the entire day, you will use past tenses of verbs such as to be, to eat, to sleep, etc. It’s always important to revise and strengthen the basics. When you exercise the same thing over and over, you will find learning new words and structures much easier than before. This is why you should start a diary. Write in the language you’re learning.
There is another important factor – the inability to express yourself. As you realize you can’t express your thoughts so easily, you will have extra motivation to learn, remember and use in later occasions.
2. Opinion-based summaries
This creative writing prompt is for more intermediate foreign language learners. In the first phases of second language acquisition, we are still limited to simple questions and even simpler questions. To drive your language performance to the next level, you need to consciously analyze existing forms of language.
The most important facet of this analysis is giving an opinion. Of course, verbal exercise might still be a challenge, but you can practice using this writing prompt.
Analyzing known texts might be seen as “cheating,” you can test your skills by ordering a test from an assignment writing service. Pick a topic that you know little about. You can also give your summary on some of the best essays you find. Just make sure you’ve found the best essay service so that your task is intelligible and realistic.
The key thing to remember is to avoid paraphrasing. Even if you aren’t sure of how a certain thing is said, don’t explain it – just mention it. After that mention, you have the space to give your own opinion. Building your word structure is one of the best tips for improving summary writing. As your language skills improve, you can increase the complexity of these tasks. Start with a 250-word task and then move on.
3. Describe in dialogue
One of the best ways to learn a new language is to shift the rhythm of a certain event or sight. In the beginning stages of acquiring a language, we tend to “decipher” things using only the means by which they happen.
For instance, if you see a monologue, you will store it in your brain only as a monologue. Sights, on the other hand, are memorized using colors as key pointers.
To practice a new language, you need to memorize everything as a malleable thought. This gives you the opportunity to use that thought actively, instead of just storing it easily. Take an event that you saw last week on the news. Prepare it and read it several times.
After you’ve remembered the plot and the details, write a fictional dialogue about what happened. Make it extensive and remember to mention everything. This transfer from one form of discourse to another will let you observe a single thought or situation from several “sides.”
4. Expand on a detail from a previous creative writing prompt
“Inspiration is in the details,” tells us Peter Smalling, a team leader at Essay On Time. “One thing that language learners always forget is their old writing. Every old prompt has a million small details that you can expand on. It’s much more than you initially thought, believe me.”
If you need a constant source of writing inspiration, look no further than your older work. Read it once, then highlight all the interesting tidbits and details. Pick one, base a topic around it and expand for as much as you can. This will put your linguistic capabilities to the test.
For additional inspiration, you can order content from a site such as Best Essays. Any scientific or literary form of content is a gold mine for potential details to use as writing prompts. Pick the ones that suit your skillset the best, but still challenge yourself.
5. Write a sensible short story
The final test on this list is perhaps the most difficult creative writing prompt. Creating your own unique work is no small task, even for native speakers.
Keep in mind that this test doesn’t have a time limit, nor should it be done quickly. As your advance and master the language, you will learn more and more words and start thinking in that language.
Develop a story on the go and observe how your style and attitudes change. Not only is this the most complex linguistic test, but it’s also a valuable chronological image of your performance. The beginning will sound rough, but the later parts will reflect your improvements.
Creative writing prompts are perhaps the best way to learn a new language. They challenge your mind in different ways and replicate real-life language use. Combine them to create the best setting for you, in which your language skills can flourish.
Joseph McLean has worked as a freelance writer for over 7 years, with a diploma in English literature from the University of Queensland. Throughout his career, he has advised big companies and freelancers about planning campaigns and writing successful blogs. In his spare time, you can find him travelling all over the planet.