8 Writing Activities You Can Do at Home to Practice Your English

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Writing exercises are one of the best ways to practice your English skills. You put what you have learned in language classes onto paper, helping your brain retain that knowledge. Writing also helps you construct sentences better because you can organize and refine your thoughts.

Written works also give you a physical copy of your progress, which you can look back on later and improve, or even show to a teacher or peer for feedback. The best thing about writing, though, is that you can do it by yourself at your own pace in the comfort of a chosen place. Here are eight writing activities you can do at home to practice your English.

Journal Writing

Journal writing, or writing in a diary, is a fun, personal activity that one does to keep track of one’s day. Writing in a journal is a great way to decompress and reflect on one’s thoughts. It does not follow any rules; the activity encourages its author to be candid about what he or she is writing down. This is what makes journal writing an ideal activity for beginning English learners. It trains you to think in English then write it all down on paper. Technically speaking, there is no right or wrong. (Of course, you should aim to follow proper spelling and grammar.) You can just write what you feel like writing without being judged on the topic. So you have the flexibility to be creative.

Photo Description

Photo description is a writing activity that involves photos. You can do this with a family photo album, a magazine, or even just scrolling through Instagram. Pick a photo, then describe it in the most descriptive way that you can. Write about the people in the photo, the emotions it makes you feel, or even how you imagine the experience to have happened. Photo description can help you learn new words (keep a dictionary handy so you can look up specific words to describe the photo!) and practice how to integrate them to make up descriptive sentences.

Song Translation

Listening to English songs is a fun way to learn the language. It is an effective method, too, since the harmonies help you remember the lyrics (i.e., the words) better. However, another way to use music to learn English is by translating songs from your local language to English. Listen to the song, then write down its lyrics in your local language. You can also just print out a lyric guide from the Internet. Then, on a separate sheet of paper, translate the lyrics to English. This activity will help you better grasp the English language, guided by your native tongue, which should be much comfortable to work with. It may also help you be more creative in your comprehension skills since languages may mean or say things differently when translated. 

20 Questions

20 Questions is a question-and-answer writing activity that, as the name suggests, requires you to answer 20 questions. You can do this exercise with a partner wherein the two of you exchange a set of 20 questions. You both answer each of the given questions, then exchange answers. It doubles as an interesting get-to-know activity—especially with people you communicate with through writing (like long-distant friends)!

The questions do not have to be too complicated. But at the same time, they should prompt answers that are answerable by more than just “yes” or “no.” If you have questions that can be answered by these, just add an explanation. Examples of questions could be “What did you like most about your summer vacation?”, “What course do you want to pursue in university and why?” “Can you describe your dream home?”

Autobiography

An autobiography is a story of a person’s life written by that same person. It is a piece of literature that is often done by prominent personalities like politicians, CEOs, and celebrities. That said, there is no rule that you need to be one of these people to write one!

Anyone can write an autobiography, and this activity can be a fun challenge for intermediate to advanced English learners. Think of it as a step up to journal writing. You can write about your thoughts, experiences, and emotions, but you are bound by stricter technical rules. That means that you must follow a certain set of writing criteria, similar to those followed by books and other formally written publications.

Script Writing

Scriptwriting is another engaging writing activity that challenges a person’s creativity. Here, you must imagine different scenarios, then write them into scripts, complete with scene settings and dialogs. You can choose to follow it in a play format (as in the theater) or television or movie format.

Since it has the help of visual elements, script writing does not need to be as descriptive as writing stories or novels. You can just note visual cues with the dialog, then imagine the actors or actresses delivering them when the lines are spoken. You can create scripts at the top of your head. But if you need a little inspiration, you can refer to movies, books, or even just photos. You can use old stories, then re-imagine them ending in a different way.

Finish the Sentence

Finish the Sentence is a good writing activity for beginners. If completing full sentences is a bit challenging, having a head start can help. This exercise involves having a set of beginnings of sentences. All you have to do is complete them. You can find these activities online, or you can ask your teacher or peer to give you some sentences you can work on. Examples can be “The thing I miss most about…”, “My favorite type of weather…”, or “My mother…”

Letter Writing

Writing letters addressed to other people improve both one’s writing and communication skills. You can practice your writing skills by being able to complete sentences and paragraphs to convey your message. Meanwhile, you can hone your communication skills by considering what you want to say to another person, how you want to say it, and what emotions you want to convey in your message.

Writing e-mails is a more modern form of letter writing which can also be good practice especially for people who are employed, particularly those in the field of business.

Before you can even begin to practice your English skills at home, you must have a solid foundation that you can work on. LingualBox, a one-on-one online English tutoring site, can help you master the English language. We can help you move from basic to intermediate to advanced, guiding you with helpful courses tailored to your needs. Book a class today to get started!


Author
Jica Simpas is a writer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. She has over two years of writing experience in producing travel and food-related content. She is currently exploring new writing ventures to expand her practice.