Why I use this quick and easy technique, and you can too
I started learning French at school and later did some university courses. I had a bilingual job in Wellington for several years and then spent a few years coaching English and German in Paris.
To keep my French going now that I’m back in New Zealand, I read books, watch movies, talk with my French friends and message them.
That all helps.
But it’s easy to get rusty and make silly mistakes. Sometimes, I still can’t say exactly what I mean.
So I want to keep pushing my French, painlessly.
Which means I do express writing regularly. I choose a topic from a list I’ve prepared, set a timer and write non-stop for 5 or 7 minutes.
This helps me try out words and expressions I’ve noticed in my reading. It helps me revise tricky grammar, particularly in the past or future. It helps me when talking about what matters to me.
To make express writing more useful, I ask my French coach for feedback. He corrects my mistakes and gives me suggestions for more natural-sounding phrases that I can use next time. And I keep a log that shows my progress.
Express writing works well at all levels – it benefits everyone from beginners to advanced.
Naturally, I share it with my clients in my English courses.
When I help health professionals, they express write about current cases, challenging diseases and new treatments.
With I work with people who’ve recently retired, they express write about their hobbies, travel plans and episodes in their family history for their English-speaking grandchildren.
Once the basic version of express writing is humming along nicely, we add some extras to make it even more effective.
© Christina Wielgolawski