When you're trying to learn a new language, what's your main focus? If you intend to use that language in real life, then you're probably focused on speech. You could learn how to speak through practice alone, right? Well, it's a bit more complicated than that.
Proper writing skills are the foundation of your learning experience. When you learn how to write flawlessly, you're practically improving your speech.
According to Mila Rogers, a writing tutor from EduGeeksClub, an improvement in your writing skills will make a huge difference in the way you speak. "Will writing skills improve your pronunciation? No, you'll have to practice speaking for that. The writing practice, however, will make you a fast thinker. It will improve your vocabulary. It will make grammar an essential part of how you use the language. It gives you the confidence to speak up."
The Close Connection Between Speaking and Writing
Foreign language learners have a hard time dealing with syntax and vocabulary needed for academic writing. When it comes to everyday conversational language, they can start using it with moderate effort. We realize that from our practice, but it's also what a research study from 2015 proved. The research also showed that the learners who had the skills to write in an academic tone could use the argumentative skills through their speech.
There's our proof. Writing skills do turn us into better speakers. The only question is: how do we practice writing in a way that makes us speak better?
The Tips: How Your Writing Practice Will Boost Your Speaking Skills
1. Write about Something You're Interested In
Don't treat your writing practice as something you must do under any circumstances. Don't treat it like an academic assignment. That's a good way to kill your interest and abandon the practice after a short time.
Write about something that could easily become a topic of conversation. Pick a topic you're passionate about. You just watched a movie that overwhelmed you? Why don't you try expressing your thoughts and feelings in writing? Of course, you'll use the language you're learning.
It's important to give personality to everything you write. Write as you would speak. Be serious about grammar and syntax, though! It's important to get those aspects right, so you can translate the skills into your speech.
2. Write More
Quantity is important. In a strange way, quantity will produce quality when you're focused on writing. The more you write, the better you become.
Try this technique: writing something every single day. Pick a method that inspires you to keep going. Maybe you love Moleskine notebooks, so get one for this practice. Maybe you like using Evernote. You can even start a private online journal on Penzu. Whatever method you pick, keep it consistent.
3. Say a Lot with a Few Words
Isn't this tip contradictory to the previous one? No. When we said to write more; we didn't mean use more words to say something you could say with fewer words. Clutter is never good.
When you speak, you're not trying to use pretty words. You're just trying to prove a point. You sound more self-confident when you eliminate the clutter in your speech and say everything in a straightforward, clear manner. That's the best way to avoid confusion. It's the way writing should be practiced, too.
When you start reducing the clutter in your writing through the editing process, you're also learning how to speak more clearly.
4. Get Feedback
Expect mistakes! If you're a beginner, expect tons of them! No one ever learned a language perfectly from the first attempt. The only problem is: how will you recognize those mistakes? You're trying to write well, so how do you know when you're not doing it right?
Get corrections! Find someone who knows the language. Ask your teacher to check out some of your work. You can even start a blog and ask native speakers to comment on your entries. Finally, you can become part of a Facebook group that connects the learners of the language you're trying to master. You can collaborate to make each other better. LingQ is also an option – it's an online community that connects you with native speakers of different languages.
5. Read Out Loud!
The above-listed tips will make you a better writer; that's for sure. They will also improve the flow of your thought, which will reflect on your speaking practice. What about pronunciation? Can the writing method help you with that aspect, too? Yes. That will happen when you read what you write.
Of course, you could pick a few blog posts and read them out loud. You could read a book, too. Reading your own writing, however, means you're expressing your own thoughts. You're creating language.
First, you can use your normal language to read the text you wrote. Does anything sound weird? Maybe you're insecure about grammar? Check those points. If you don't know how to pronounce a word, ask someone to pronounce it or search Google to listen to the proper pronunciation.
When you're done reading with your normal tone, read the text again. This time, however, exaggerate the pronunciation by using a higher pitch. This will force you to speak up more clearly.
When you're writing, you're focusing on several things at once: grammar, logical flow, syntax, word choice, and personality. This is a slower process when compared to speaking, so you have more time to focus on everything. As you practice more, the process will become faster. You won't even notice how you're doing the same thing when speaking. Yes; writing really makes you a better speaker!