Wednesday, 15 August 2012

How Writing Daily is Like Learning a New Language

With less than five weeks until I fly out to Germany, I’ve been busy trying to learn the German language. I haven’t been doing too well until just recently, when I realised that it is a lot like writing daily. How so?

It takes commitment: Writing isn’t easy. Learning a language isn’t easy. I’ve heard that the best time to learn a language is when you’re still a toddler because our brains take it all in better. (Unfortunately, what two year-old has a desire to learn German?) For us older folk, we need to be committed to learning a new language, just like we have to be committed to writing. If we’re committed, we’ll take active steps to achieving our goal, whether it’s writing a masterpiece, or simply mastering the basics of German. One way we can show we’re committed is by…

Making it a daily task: If we only look at our Learn German books once a week, we’re going to make reeeeaaallly slow progress. Likewise, if we’re only opening up our WIP whenever we have nothing better to do, it will take years to write a rough draft (trust me, I know). We really have to make language learning/writing a daily task. You need to make time get into a routine – maybe you can spend half an hour writing when you get home from school? Maybe you can spend thirty minutes practicing your German before you go to bed?

Small doses frequently: Tell yourself that you won’t go on Facebook until you’ve written two hundred words. Make a chart with some German words/phrases and read them once before you open your laptop. I think it’s easier to write/learn German daily if you write/practice frequently throughout the day. It can be hard to find one block of an hour, or even thirty minutes, but six lots of five minutes throughout your day? Easy.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with me, or disagree? What other things would you add to this post? Let me know in the comments section!

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