Learn by Writing
(Read along with me, out loud but quietly (en voz baja), so you can hear my pronunciation.)
Writing is an good way to improve your English. It increases your vocabulary, and improves your grammar and comprehension. And writing (by hand, especially) has been proven to help your memory. One of the best things you can do is to keep a journal, and write something about your day every day.
In writing and speaking, we use nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs and other parts of the English language. Knowing how to use these parts of speech can help you speak more eloquently (elocuentemente), write more clearly (más claramente), and feel more confident when communicating.
A noun names a person, place, thing or idea (Pancho, apple, loyalty);
A pronoun takes the place of a noun (he, who, what);
An adjective describes a noun or pronoun (funny, colorful);
A verb expresses action or being (run, take);
An adverb describes a verb, adjective, or other adverb (quickly, very).
The goal (objetivo) is to combine parts of speech together to form a proper sentence. The right words and punctuation make all the difference in good communication.
A description is a picture in words that helps the reader see, hear, taste, smell and feel what you’re writing about (que se trata el cuento). Following is an example of writing, along with some suggestions.
Paragraph #1 should include a sentence or two or three that tells what the story is about.
I have a small tabby cat whose name is Flaco. On a cold and rainy winter evening, I found him sitting on my front porch (sentado en mi porche). He looked skinny and hungry, so I gave him some cat food. I asked my parents if I could keep him, but my dad said, “No, he might have fleas.” (podría tener pulgas).
Try to choose vivid words (palabras vivas), to create a mental image in the reader’s mind. It is helpful to put the details in time order, spatial order, or order of importance (orden de tiempo, espacio o importancia).
As the days passed, I continued to feed the poor cat. I was sure that he didn’t have a home. After I fed him, I would pet him and scratch him behind the ears. I kept begging my parents and one day my mother said OK.
I named him Flaco because he was so skinny. Flaco is a Spanish word for skinny.
It’s a good idea to keep the sentences short. A well-placed comma can make it easier for the reader to understand. Sense words help the reader picture what you’re describing.
Flaco has bright green eyes that glow in the dark. He has spots and stripes. He is black, gray, white, brown, orange and copper. His fur is very soft (piel suave). And he runs really fast––as fast as a road runner, I think. Flaco likes to curl up in a ball and sleep in my lap while I watch TV…
A good ending wraps up the descriptive story.
… He is funny, especially when he plays with a tennis ball. Sometimes he acts so crazy. Flaco is lovable, handsome (he’s no longer skinny) and smart. And he’s mine.
Time to think––In learning to speak a second language, it’s not easy to say what you want at a moment’s notice. Most beginners feel they can rarely express their true thoughts (expresar sus verdaderos sentimientos o pensamientos). That’s why writing is so important. Keeping a journal or writing stories articles gives you time to think and practice the language at the same time.