Fun Ways to Practice Writing in Spanish

The great news about writing practice is that it’s easy to execute and doesn’t involve many other people or resources. Even as a beginner, you can learn to check yourself relatively well with an online translator. What should you write about, and how? Read on for ideas, starting with the most basic tactics.

Name and describe - To start, you can use whatever vocab you are learning, or want to start with, and describe scenes with it. You can pull up pictures of a school, healthcare setting, office, park, family or a town and name what you see. Once you’ve mastered that, add adjectives to the end of the nouns to describe them. Colors, sizes, textures, ages (i.e. young or old) add richness to your expression.

For example: El libro rojo for “the red book.”

If you’ve been practicing animals, pull up a scene of a dog park, or a children’s book about a zoo. Write a list of what you see and make it as detailed as you can. Then check it with a dictionary, textbook, vocab list or google translate. Do this with each set of new vocab you learn. (This works for concrete words, while abstract words like “patience” and “simplicity” will be harder to practice, but not impossible).

Write short sentences - Don’t wait long to start challenging yourself by writing sentences. This is where the visual parallels between English and Spanish help. The veb ser means to be, and es is just like is. You can start using es (and son) right away to describe permanent characteristics. For example:

The dolphin is big. Lucy is my mother.

El delfin es grande. Lucy es mi madre.

Longer sentences won’t be far out of your reach once you learn simple verbs either. For example, a student can start working with and writing these sentences after a few weeks of practice, or perhaps a few days with previous experience:

The children eat lots of quesadillas.

Los niños comen muchas quesadillas.

Write a journal - To learn more Spanish faster, it’s important to write about pertinent situations. You should describe real things and events, as opposed to just invented situations from learning materials and stories (TV and books). To accomplish this, you need look no further than your own life! After learning twenty verbs, write down events that happen in your day. Even if you only write in the present tense and not in much detail, you’ll help vocabulary stay in your mind once you look it up.

Logging different activities will help you recall words faster and create sentences sooner. This, in turn, will quicken your foundation for speaking too. Writing about what happened at work can expand your work vocabulary list.

Preparing a script that incorporates the words you need for greetings and conversations with families or interpreters can help you prepare for your interactions. You can also more quickly learn vocabulary about speech mechanics, swallowing and positive exclamations that celebrate clients’ communicative gains!

Describe videos

Just as you described static pictures, writing down what happens in live videos will challenge you to speed up your word recall, conjugations and spelling. Rather than writing, typing may be a better way to avoid pausing videos too much. The videos don’t need to have any Spanish in them, they need only have enough known objects for you to describe or narrate about them. They could be in English.

Type to un amigo

Since navigating greeting conversations is indispensable to using your language outside of study, there is no reason to put off communicating with others. For most people, writing to them is less intense than speaking anyway! So type to a conversation buddy, classmate or someone on a language learning app early and often. Unless you never plan on speaking or writing your language, you should develop the following vocabularies ASAP:

-Meeting someone for the first time

-Describing your own past

-Describing your own work, hobbies and other life details

-Asking others about all of the above

This is far from an exhaustive list of writing activities, it doesn’t even include traditional practice exercises from a textbook, workbook or printable worksheet. Feel free to get creative to invent your own writing activities. Beware though, writing practice can become so consuming and comfortable that you neglect reading, and especially listening and speaking practice! Always try to keep your practice balanced in the four skills.

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