The Internet has taken over the world. It’s taken over our entertainment, our hobbies, our careers, and even our education. Is that a bad thing? I’ll let you mull that over but let’s skip that question. The robots and machines are here so we might as well put them to good use.
Now, I will admit apps confuse me. Technically, I’m a millennial and should understand all techy things but somehow I missed that boat. I don’t like them. They take space up in my phone and attempt to do things for me that I am quite capable of doing myself. Instagram is life but everything else can go. However, blogs…. Now that is something that is right up my alley!
Blogs are a funny thing. You have cooking blogs, fashion blogs, mommy blogs, esoteric blogs, and my favorite, language blogs. I never knew such a thing existed until… well I started my own. I thought I was writing to the darkness until I realized there’s other crazies out there with the same interest as mine. Learning and playing through words.
Blogs are an amazing tool for language learning. Especially for independent language learners. It’s a fun commitment unlike your typical high school homework focused on grammar. Here are 4 reasons why to blog!
1. Diary of Progress
Now don’t think about this as your typical diary where you write down what you do everyday. Or do! Actually the choice is completely up to you! But it really is a great tool no matter what your level is. If you’re just starting out, this could be a great place for you to keep up with your new vocabulary words, list of songs you’ve found in the language, grammar points you’re working on. It’s as if you’re explaining things you’ve learned to someone who is just starting out. The best way to learn is to teach as they say.
Once you’ve made some progress, you can expand to writing paragraphs using the present tense about your day then the past about what you’ve done then the future talking about what you want to do. It can be literally any topic…. Just in another language. If you’re really committed, blog weekly, you might even get a few readers who speak the native language you’re writing in who can help you with any questions or errors you may make. Which brings me to my next point….
Here it is. My most used word of the blog. Community. It’s just what it’s all about. It’s the instinctive reason why we do everything we do. Human connection is what makes the world go round. And this doesn’t have to be in-person connection. Online counts just as much.
It’s hard for me to constantly surround myself by Spanish or French speakers. But I can definitely control that online. That’s why mostly everyone that I follow on YouTube never says a single word in English. It’s the one place I can make sure I’m learning about what I’m interested in the language of my choice. This can also be done in blogs. Connect with other language bloggers, create monthly challenges, take turns blogging, build a community.
What’s hard to find in real life is bountiful on the internet, whether for good or for bad. Take advantage of that.
3. Unlimited Practice
Most people think of blogging as sharing stories through the written word. But there’s so much more you can do. Vlogging is a thing anyone can do! You can put up videos of yourself speaking in the language. It doesn’t need to be this perfectly edited full length movie. It can be literally snippets of yourself throughout your day saying one or two sentences. Think of it like Snapchat or Instagram Videos. Save them all, make a collab of them, and post 1-2 minute videos. It’d be a fun way to alternate between speaking and writing. The days you’re working on listening, embed a YouTube video of the songs/videos you listen to or links to podcasts you may be working on. Or go back and listen to all of your videos. Whatever it may be, show your journey, show your progress, be in awe of how far you’ve come.
4. Vocab Implementation
Now, I’m guilty of this. I read books in the target language, I look up words, I write them down on the closest thing next to me, and I never look at that list again. In fact, I’m sure it’s gone the minute I stop writing on it. The same force that takes away half of my socks from the dryer takes away my vocab lists. Someday I will recover them all but for now I’ll stick to blogging to fix all of my problems.
Now, blogging isn’t just a great way to keep tabs on all the new words you’ve been introduced to but it allows you to actually put them to use. The ony way you’re truly going to absorb the new vocab is by implementing them whether that be through writing or speaking. About once a week, I like to go over my list of new words (the ones I haven’t lost I mean) and see how I can make a story out of them, how I can insert them into what I’m writing about, or just try to write a definition for them in the L2. So many ways to enhance your learning!
Now who’s ready to blog??