How Writing Can Boost Language Skills
Writing is an essential part of learning any foreign language. When we learn new words or phrases, we always write them down to remember how they look visually. And due to writing, they remain in memory for a long time as grammar rules. In addition, there are various situations where we need to make up at least a few sentences correctly in our lives. That's why writing in a foreign language is just as important as developing the ability to read, listen and speak. This article will explain in detail how writing can boost your language skills.
The Science Proves The Value Of WritingAmerican scientists from Johns Hopkins University decided to answer a substantial question of modern education: whether to teach students to write by hand or read and type only by computer.
Both children and adults are used to writing due to computer keyboards or smartphones. Unfortunately, their handwriting ability is getting worse. However, children continue to be taught to write by hand in school. So is it worth spending time teaching kids how to write by hand in this computer age? Thus, the experiment was to dot all the i's and t's.
Their main task was to determine if handwriting had any advantages related to reading, spelling, and comprehension. Psychologists assigned 42 adult volunteers to learn the Arabic alphabet from scratch in the experiment. The test participants were divided into three groups. The first group wrote down new information by hand ("Writers"), the second group typed on the keyboard ("Typists"), and the third group did not write at all ("Spectators").
All three groups learned letters one at a time:
- They were shown a video of them writing a letter and pronouncing it. After watching the video, the "Writers" had to write the letter they saw.
- "Typists" were given the task of finding the letter on a keyboard.
- "Spectators" were asked to recognize the new note on the screen.
After six sessions, the learned letters were recognized by all subjects and with few mistakes. But the "Writers" recognized the letters faster than the other two. In addition, some letters the "Writers" learned in just two sessions. The researchers also decided to determine to what extent the groups of test subjects could generalize new knowledge and whether they could at all.
That is, the researchers tested whether the "Writers," "Typists," and "Spectators" could read and make up words from the letters they had learned. The "Writers" ended up doing better than the other two groups in the new letter exercises. The main lesson is that although the experiment participants recognized all the letters well, the letter-trained groups were the best in all other respects. It also took them less time to achieve it.
Researchers also noted that the "Writers" group gained more of the skills needed to read and spell because handwriting enhances visual and auditory memory. Whether writing is good or bad, writing by hand provides a perceptual-motor experience, which integrates that new information learned by hearing and seeing. Combining information from all senses provides more profound knowledge, makes memory work better and ensures complete learning.
In addition, fine motor skills help children develop speech, and in adults, they keep the cerebral cortex working correctly, which increases the quality of life in old age. American psychologists have answered an essential question in their study of modern education, whether to leave handwriting in school or teach children to read and write using only a computer. Their answer: it's necessary to teach writing.
Otherwise, those who cannot write by hand will learn less than those who can. Thus, the best success in learning a foreign language is achieved by the student who listens, watches, writes, and then discusses all the received knowledge with their peers. So it's true what the philosophers say: life develops in a dialectical spiral, and we are always returning to the old, but at a new level.
A Few Useful Tips To Improve Your Writing Skills
And now we'd like to give some recommendations on how to improve your writing skills in a foreign language. .
Practice all the time - It is vital to write in the target regularly. It improves your writing skills and develops a useful new habit. You can even start by simply rewriting some notes and articles.
Expand your vocabulary - Words are the foundation of any written text. The larger your vocabulary, the more accurately and diversely you can express your thoughts. Don't forget to learn new words and use them immediately in writing. Writing down word phrases of two or three words will help you remember vocabulary better than just reading them separately.
Use synonyms - Synonyms have several functions. They help avoid repetition of the exact words and allow you to express your thoughts more precisely and vividly. Use idioms and phrasal verbs -Various speech patterns will help you convey your message more brilliantly.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes - No learning to write is without mistakes. Sometimes students are so afraid of making a mistake that they hesitate to write. In the end, they get stuck. We advise you not to worry about mistakes. Instead, write as your skills allow at the moment. Then, check the written text, and try to see all your mistakes. That way, you can correct them later.
Work on your spelling - Many words are similar in spelling in any language but very different in meaning. The meaning of such words in oral speech can be understood by context, but mistakes in their spelling can lead to a distortion of meaning. So please pay attention to it.
Check your texts for punctuation - Also, pay attention to punctuation to be understood correctly.
Writing plays a prominent role in learning a foreign language for children and adults. Thus, teaching writing in a foreign language is essential for the modern school. Furthermore, as a universal reinforcer of knowledge, writing contributes to memorizing lexical and grammatical material and, consequently, to teaching listening, speaking, and reading.
Tiffany Porter has been working as a writer at Topwritingreviews reviewing a variety of writing services websites. She is a professional writing expert on such topics as digital marketing, blogging, and design. She also likes to read and provide consultation for creating expert academic materials for the review website.