It is a well-known fact that all EFL learners can benefit from creative writing. As it engages the cognitive and affective part of the brain, it is a great way to learn grammar, spelling, vocabulary, discourse and phonology. But what exactly is creative writing and how can it benefit the development of learning a foreign language? Stay tuned to find out.
What Is Creative Writing?
Creative writing can be defined as the process of creating texts that have an aesthetic purpose, rather than just pragmatic and informative purpose. Which makes creative writing a great tool for learning a language since it’s not solely confined to the rules of the language, and allows the learner to have input while playing around with a language at the same time.
Benefits of Creative Writing
Unfortunately, many beginners tend to think that writing is for advanced learners only, when in fact it can be a great instrument for learning and improving on all levels. Oliver Turner, a seasoned writer from Essays on time, gives his opinion on creative writing and acquiring a language: ‘Creative writing can have many positive benefits for the learner. Frequent practicing teaches them the ability to focus on the language, visualize the way it works and learn various language patterns in an interesting and exciting way that can lead to better language acquisition and grammar usage’.
There are numerous ways creative writing influences an EFL learner, but here are just some of the ways you as a learner can benefit from it.
- Creative writing enables a writer to manipulate the language in unusual ways, in order to express something. This engages you on a much deeper level of processing a language, which gives you better results in return.
- It also enables you to break away from monotony. When students or learners are trying to tackle a new language, it’s easy to get frustrated and bored with the same old curriculum. Different creative writing exercises give you a chance to step out of the box, and change the course of learning by doing something less predictable, as well as something you’re controlling yourself.
- Students prefer learning slowly, and as writing is a process that takes time, there’s less pressure. This also means students are able to focus and concentrate on word formation, vocabulary and usage.
- Creative writing enables you to work on your cognitive strategies as well, and improve through analysing and trying out new ways to formulate meanings. That is, once you’re able to let go, and accept the fact that language learning is a process that entails lots of mistakes.
Incorporate Writing Regularly
But in order to reap all these benefits, you must be able and willing to learn consistently. No matter what method you may use, every learner reaches a point when they are satisfied or simply bored with the same method of learning. Creative writing, as any other instrument used for acquiring a language needs to be done consistently.
- Release your creativity. Think of a language as a game. Play with it, and try to use the words that you know and have to be as creative as possible. Push your boundaries. Kids love playing around with words, but once you become an adult you should be able to play around even more effectively, because your vocabulary expands and you can write extensively.
- Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. A part of being able to be creative and play around with a language actually means you’re going to make mistakes along the way. This shouldn’t discourage you from further writing. Think of it as a puzzle that needs to be solved, and even though you don’t know where all the pieces go right now, you will eventually finish it.
- Pick a time for each week and use it to write. Whether it’s the weekend, or when you have free time make sure to set aside and schedule creative time. There are plenty of websites online that can help you find topics and share your creativity.
Language learning can be a difficult and equally fun process, if you tap into resources that are in front of you. Creative writing is a very valuable resource that can take a lot of pressure off learning, but at the same time influence a faster acquisition of the target language.
Sophia Anderson is an enthusiastic language tutor and a part-time writer from Australia. She believes that learning something new every day is a must. Her inspiration comes from reading books and online blog posts that cover a wide range of her interests. Talk to her on Facebook or LinkedIn.