No matter what language you’re trying to learn, writing as a part of your language learning is important and beneficial.
Most of the activities we do every day — from work meetings and presentations to writing emails and normal conversations — bring out the need to communicate. Especially in today’s globalized business environment, language skills are considered to be very important, surely boosting anyone’s career.
In fact, a lot of companies look at employing people with proficient language skills. This way, they can speak with confidence, deduce meaning, and exchange information with others.
But in order to be a good and effective communicator, you have to develop these four basic language skills: listening, reading, speaking, and writing.
Breaking these down, speaking and writing are productive wherein the action of producing language is part of the process of second language learning. As for listening and reading, there isn’t a need to produce language, only the need to receive and understand it.
Why should I write?
Most people learn a language with the main goal of speaking it, but rarely consider writing because it doesn’t help hold conversations. But no amount of listening or reading will allow you to shape your language structure entirely.
If you really want to be fluent in a language you’re trying to learn, you should aim to speak, listen, read, and write in it. Could you say that you’re able to create something based on your own knowledge?
Listed below are a few reasons why writing is important in learning a language.
It allows you to organize and refine your ideas
Writing is a much slower process, letting you organize your thoughts more before shaping your sentences. When writing, you can gradually process your words, maybe even look them up first before transferring them onto paper or even a digital document.
With that, you’re also able to learn new vocabulary, spellings, and pronunciations as you go. Once done, you can also look back on what you’ve written and correct them if needed.
It gives you a “hard copy” of your progress
Practice makes perfect, even more so in writing. Who doesn’t make mistakes, right? That’s why you should write as much as you can when learning a language. So that over time, you’ll see the progress of your language learning journey in order to evaluate your weak and strong points.
If you don’t pay attention to your mistakes, you’re likely to make them in your speaking skills as well.
Treat writing as a way to not just apply your knowledge, but also a tool to continually improve your vocabulary and sentence structure. Plus, you can also practice your reading skills with it!
It helps others give you feedback
As much as you should correct your outputs, you should also let other people check them. After all, feedback in writing is key. Otherwise, you’ll make the same mistakes again and again without even knowing. So, why not get constructive feedback crafted personally for your work?
With the right resources, not only will you be guided through the process of your writing, but also get the right advice to become better at it.
It helps you recall what you’ve learned
With all the words, phrases, and rules there are in a language, it may feel hard to memorize them all. But many studies have shown that writing is proven to be helpful in retaining information because putting your learning into practice is important for cementing it in your mind, as practice creates new neural pathways in the brain.
When we write, we are putting some degree of thought into evaluating and ordering the information that we are receiving. That process is what helps fix ideas more firmly in our minds, leading to a greater recall.
So, when you constantly write in your target language, you’ll be less and less likely to forget what you’ve learned.
It can also develop your speaking skills
A 2015 study on the relationship between writing and speaking reveals that learners who have skills to produce academic language in writing can easily transfer argumentative skills to speaking skills. So, if you develop your writing skills in a new language, you will increase your competence in speaking that language as well. It’s a win-win!
As the global workplace forces us to improve our communication skills, we should pay further attention to our writing abilities since communication is transmitted more through writing than any other type of media.
Being able to write well is a skill that will get you a long way in the workplace, partly because it is fairly rare in many places, and writing specific types of documents takes great skill to do.
So, as you master a new language, know that polishing your writing skills with it will likely pay off in the longer term. And an even greater edge for any professional, writing well in a global language or two.