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Learning by writing a story


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Here's a fun method of learning/teaching a language: Let the student learn by writing on any topic of his/her choice. That way, he/she can work on words that he/she wants to learn. This method actually worked for me. Have you tried doing this?

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Hey, that's a pretty interesting idea.

I've never heard this tip before, but it definitely seems like it'd be a great way to learn words that a student is personally invested and interested in.

It would be pretty tedious looking up conjugations and word translations for every new word you wanted to use, though, so I wouldn't recommend trying this until the student has a pretty decent grasp on the language already.

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Nope, not a story, but actually writing did help me learn the language.  I wrote about things familiar and close to me, like for example my life and that kind of things.  Writing can help, but what you write about makes a big difference.  For me it was like that, since I was never able to learn using grammar books or at school (not like we had the greatest English ever o anything like that, lol).

I think feeling deeply immersed in your learning experience is the key here, to feel a real interest and the excitement that comes after realizing you just communicated with another human being in their own language and you were understood by the person!  Nothing more thrilling than that!  That's why I think char rooms and writing mails is great for students.

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Hey, that's a pretty interesting idea.

I've never heard this tip before, but it definitely seems like it'd be a great way to learn words that a student is personally invested and interested in.

It would be pretty tedious looking up conjugations and word translations for every new word you wanted to use, though, so I wouldn't recommend trying this until the student has a pretty decent grasp on the language already.

Ah good tip! It would definitely be too much for a new student. I guess I should clarify that this should be for someone who wants to hone his/her skills after learning the basics. Thank you for pointing it out!  :smile:

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I don't think it's too much for a newbie language learner. It's actually a fun way to improve one's writing skills also.  :smile:

Just like when trying to learn thru speaking where you start and stick with the basics first.  I believe it can also be applied to story writing.  Make the story simple like those stories from children's fairy tale books.  :grin:

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Yes, I did use writing to help me learn languages, Spanish in particular.  I was studying a lot of Spanish and Latin American literature in college and I sometimes felt inspired to try writing simple stories and character sketches.  I also tried poetry from time to time. 

I think it would be great to incorporate writing stories in the classroom or other language-learning settings; online tutorials, one-on-one tutoring, etc.  While it may feel a bit intimidating at first I think it would be very helpful towards increasing vocabulary and solidifying the rules of grammar. 

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This is a great idea. I also learned English that way. My teacher would tell my class to write a story about anything and then she would correct it for us. We made them into little books and read them aloud to the class. Writing stories is a great activity and really helps with improving grammar and sentence structure.

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I think this is a great way to learn, too! It doesn't have to be a fictional story, either. I used to have a student that I'd just have keep a journal that I could read about how he spent his days. At first, I would just correct the grammar in the entry, but my own English literature teacher said that it might come off as overwhelming to see so many little things wrong on one page, so instead I just picked up on the most frequent type of mistake and then I would just tailor a written exercise so that my student could work on correcting that.

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Whoa, cool! I did this when I wanted to improve my English for a bit (as in, stories - I delete the files right away when I realize my work isn't that worth reading HAHA), but I'm not sure if I could do this just as easily when it comes to foreign languages. We're going to have Spanish as a class soon in college (as in, by July), so I think I'll have to try this tactic, haha.

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I actually do this all the time! It really helps you learn new words and express yourself. I find that even when I'm writing a story in my native language it really helps me get a grasp on new words and I feel more literate, haha.

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This is what I actually had to do when I first started learning English. Other than writing short stories I was also asked by my teacher to write letters, emails, and also attempted to get me to write a song which turned out to be very funny and sounded very stupid  :laugh:

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Nope, not a story, but actually writing did help me learn the language.  I wrote about things familiar and close to me, like for example my life and that kind of things.  Writing can help, but what you write about makes a big difference.  For me it was like that, since I was never able to learn using grammar books or at school (not like we had the greatest English ever o anything like that, lol).

I think feeling deeply immersed in your learning experience is the key here, to feel a real interest and the excitement that comes after realizing you just communicated with another human being in their own language and you were understood by the person!  Nothing more thrilling than that!  That's why I think char rooms and writing mails is great for students.

I do agree. Immersion is the key. I'll cite two examples from my experiences.

First, I live in a country with so many dialects. I attended a class on learning a dialect that was used in the place where I was to stay for some time. I got a background of their dialect however I only remember some words and up to the time that I left the place, I was not able to speak their dialect. Why? Because I was not able to converse the people native to the place. Most of the time, I was only with people who spoke my own dialect.

However, in my second experience, I lived in a community with various cultures and languages. There were Filipinos, Thais, Vietnamese, Papuans, and a Cambodian. I tried to focus on trying to learn the Pijin language. Conversing with them was very effective. I learned that through constant communication, we would not only learn the proper words to be used, but also learn the proper pronunciation and intonation. Immersion also provides a support group that would constantly correct you and encourage you to do better. It's a warm and wonderful learning experience. :smile:

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When I was in middle school I was taking a French class , I hated every minute of it. One day we had a substitute and she gave us a list of words to put in to a short story. This was one lesson plan I really enjoyed , I think I learned more in one day from that single lesson than I had learned the entire class. For the first time I felt confidant in the use of a new language and was motivated to use what I had learned.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm not a big fan of these storywriting ideas. I mean, I've done it countless amounts of times in school for both english and swedish class, and I must say... It isn't really the best way to show your knowledge if you ask me. Some people just have a very bad imagination, and even if they know "everything" about the language, they might be so anti-creative that they can't come up with anything to write, even if you give them a good idea to work around.

I don't personally have this problem really, but I still find it easier to write about something that i don't have to come up with myself. I do like writing about myself though, as I really have no limit on how long I can talk about myself. I have so many thoughts in my head that I can just keep writign about them in eternity, more or less. Not really so that I describe myself a lot, but rather so that I think a LOT about EVERYTHING. So yeah, I can fill several A4 pages with my thoughts on any given subject, atlaest if it's like, something like my past, or something.

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This is actually a good idea. I haven't done this before so I'll probably give it a try on my free time. I think it will definitely improve my vocabulary as I would be writing a story and would be using words to explain or express a thought. I also noticed that good writers are actually good in English. Practice indeed helps a lot.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Writing a story is an creative idea to learn a language, you can write a story in your own language and then translate it to the wanted language, that's a great way to learn grammar, spelling, and new words.

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I think this is a good idea too. There is one flaw in it though. If a student does not know a huge majority of the words that he would want to include, it seems like he is just learning how to use a dictionary because of the constant use, instead of writing a story. I think some vocabulary should be learned first, and then it could be used to make a specified story using it, in order to reinforce and stain the words and phrases into the student's mind. It's still a really fun way to learn a language.

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Writing stories or focusing on one topic is a great way to learn a language. I recall doing a lot of that in high school. The teacher would choose topics like myself, my church, school or community, among others, and we would write on these topics and be graded.

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I had this experience twice in the university while studying English and later with a teacher os spanish. And I can say that here the answer and the correction is the most important. First of al it was fun. We were eader to receive the answer of the teacher )which sometimes was bigger then the our story). Good way to practice skills and fun.

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  • 1 month later...

Great tip! I enjoy creative writing and usually encourage my students to do more writing. The more they write the better because it enhances their vocabulary and sentence structure.

Most often, their response is ''Ah! Madam, it's too much.'' Those who have challenges are usually too lazy to write.

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We had written assignments to write when I was in highschool. Only for English though, which wasn't a problem for me. It was more a pain in the behind to write two paragraphs about a certain topic. I was just too lazy to do it, so I complained about it.

It sounds like a great idea though, but has some flaws. Some students can't, for the life of them, figure out what they want to write about. If you simply provide them a topic, they can do it. But not if they have to come up with the title themselves.

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Yeah we did that back in college in our language learning class. The teacher would give us the words in the language we're studying and she'd ask us to write a story using those words and then it would elevate to the point that we had to write a story using that particular language we're learning. It really did help me out.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's a fun method of learning/teaching a language: Let the student learn by writing on any topic of his/her choice. That way, he/she can work on words that he/she wants to learn. This method actually worked for me. Have you tried doing this?

Wow, this is certainly a great teaching AND learning method, and I will definitely put it into practice both on the teaching, and on the learning side!

Yes, I have written stories and reviews in Spanish in the past, but I've never practiced it on any consistent basis, and I don't think I've really ventured down the road of writing creative/fictional stories in this beautiful second language of mine!

I think that this method can and should be applied for all age groups , but specifically for children, because I think that getting a child to work and develop his or her creative genius and overall writing skills, is such a THRILL as a teacher, and great for his or her ability to socialize and develop his or her academic skills!

Thanks greatly for the suggestion! Good job!

Bendiciones

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