5 Ways How Creative Writing Helps to Learn a Language
Creative writing is fun. At the same time, it requires a precision of expression. Some people believe that creative writing is all about pouring whatsoever comes to your mind on paper. However, in reality, this activity involves playful but thoughtful usage of language, which might be a tough task. To compose a remarkable literary text, whether a poem or a novel, one has to be careful with vocabulary and other nuances. Considering the fact that this activity involves a special attitude to language, it might be a good learning practice.
In general, it is important for a learner to perceive this activity as a game with strict rules. For example, making a dialogue between the characters of your story is not only amusing but also needs perfect understanding of their intentions and the way they express their thoughts. In this case, making original compositions can motivate learners to explore various layers of language in a playful manner.
Let’s discuss five creative writing exercises, which can help your grasp a foreign language more efficiently.
Keep it serious
Of course, the first thing one has to consider is the set of particular rules of a foreign language that might be quite different from your native one. If you have ever tried learning more than one language at the same time, you must know that the differences between them could be tricky. A loan translation is the most common trap here, therefore, you should be attentive.
Practice creative interaction
Teaching creative writing, most tutors offer their students to practice interaction and write the stories together. So instead of asking your fellow-student, “Can you write my research paper for me?”, you’d better ask him, “Will you play a creative writing game with me?” If you have someone who shares your desire to learn a language of your dream, you can try this method out. It is simple: your partner and you write different parts of a novel or lines of a poem one after another. Say, you write a line and give the sheet to your partner. In turn, he writes the next one and passes the sheet back to you. You can add line after line until the poem is written.
Write and rewrite
You will have to rewrite your drafts over and over again even if you think that they are perfect already. Revising your previous text improves your language significantly. When you do so, you should pay special attention to the word choice and try different vocabulary options for the same phrase. As a result, you will grasp the scope of a language and memorize more new words. As you may know, expanded vocabulary is something that helps you learn more efficiently.
Try different genres
There are no genre limits for you. You can try anything from short stories and poems to dramatic plays. Time may be your only restriction here, therefore, you are recommended to compose short texts. For instance, you can start with poems, since they condense thoughts perfectly and encourage author’s brevity. Also, psychologists claim that constructing multilingual poetry can improve the awareness of cross-lingual differences. You don’t have to be a perfectionist here. It is okay if your poem doesn’t follow all the formal constraints or doesn’t have flawless rhythm and rhyme.
Write “what-would-have-happened-if” texts
As you may know, both creating original compositions and learning a new language requires reading. Try reading foreign books to expand your vocabulary and to boost your imagination. For instance, you may indulge in fantasies for a while and imagine what would have happened outside the text of the book and compose a small story or a dialogue between two characters. Make sure that you know the story well before you start. Study it carefully and compose your own version.
Creative writing is one of the best ways to learn a new language. However, you should remember that it is not an uncontrolled stream of mentality but a lively practice that requires high level of accuracy and awareness. So stay focused on the particular ideas, explore your imagination and you will make the most of it!