Writing

Writing in your foreign language gives you the chance to include new letters, add funny accents and to rearrange word orders. You get to create new sentences that look more like artwork than just words on a page.

Writing in another language also means you need to learn new punctuation marks or letters that don’t exist in English, so it’s really important to practice writing them out accurately and putting them in the right place - for example, you’ll need to master upside down exclamation marks if you study Spanish¡

Learning to write sentences correctly in your foreign language shouldn't be too difficult if you follow our top tips to improve your writing skills and accuracy. 

Tips to learn new words

Create your own vocab book! You can build up your book by adding new words that you come across in class or at home to the relevant topic section. Writing these new words out accurately and learning them will help to you write sentences more easily for classwork or homework

Top tip:

“ Set aside a time each day or twice a week to look through your vocab book - this only needs 5-10 minutes but will really improve your vocabulary. ”

  • Set aside a time each day or twice a week to look through your vocab book - this only needs 5-10 minutes, so it can definitely fit in during the adverts of your favourite TV show, while you’re waiting for dinner, or just before you leave for school in the morning. 
  • Learn new words with your friends! Get together once a week and share the words you have in each other's vocab books.
  • Ask a parent or friend to test you - you could always negotiate a prize for yourself or a forfeit for them if you get all the answers right!
  • When you learn new words, draw pictures to go with them. Images will help your brain absorb the words a lot quicker. It's easier to think of the image to help remember a word.
  • Repeat any new words out loud a few times to really get a feel of how to say them. When you next need to use the word, say it out loud to help you spell it correctly.
  • Keep your words listed under the right topic and written out neatly. It will be much easier to look over and learn.
  • Write the words out in a list and tick them off when you know them off by heart.

Most of all... make sure you have fun when learning new words.

Tips for writing

Make your work really colourful (use highlighters, gel pens, colouring pencils) so you can see important things quickly.

Insider info:

“Make sure you copy down things really carefully, so when you come to use the word again you’ve got the correct spelling for it. ”

  • Write accents in a different colour so you’re used to putting them on words - they’re very important! 
  • Colour code masculine and feminine words too, we don’t have them in English but in other languages it is really important to get the gender of words right. 
  • Highlight or make a note of any words you don’t know, then add them to your vocab book to learn.
  • Make sure you copy down things really carefully, so when you come to use the word again you’ve got the correct spelling for it.
  • Make sure you can read your own writing - it’ll make looking back over it so much easier.
  • Ask your teacher to check through any written work that you have done at home - you don't want to get into bad habits by spelling something wrong. 
  • Look in your text book for example sentences and phrases that you could put into your own work.
  • Get plenty of regular practice at writing. Write emails or text messages to a friend, you could even write your mum's food shopping list or create a to-do list in your foreign language.
  • Don’t use an online translator. They aren't 100% accurate and can can get word orders and verbs all wrong. Plus it’s obvious to your teacher that you’ve used one. 

Using a dictionary

Dictionaries are great for finding the right word or phrase. But they are also full of confusing, little abbreviations that are actually really useful. They tell you what type of word it is and its gender, how to make it into the plural or how to write it in different tenses, like what the gerund is (these are the '-ing' words) which will speed up your search for finding the correct word. So here are some to help you understand what they mean:

  • NF- feminine noun
  • NM - masculine noun
  • ADJ - adjective
  • ADV - adverb
  • FPL - feminine plural noun
  • MPL - masculine plural noun
  • V - verb

If you follow these tips, then you'll soon be confidently and accurately scribbling away.