8 Perks to Having a Language Journal While Learning Spanish
One of the best language learning tactics is to keep a journal in Spanish. It’s already well-known that journaling has dozens of positive effects on your well-being, but did you know it can also help you learn a second language?
In this post, I focus on 8 benefits of using a language journal. I’m going to show you how to create your very own journal in Spanish and tell you exactly what should go inside of it.
Grab your notebook and get ready to write!
What is a Language Journal?
Learning a foreign language is about more than just studying—it’s an entire experience! You get to explore new friends, cultures, and perspectives. This journey of discovery is incredibly rewarding but it also throws a lot of new information your way.
That’s where language journals come in!
They are a great way for you to jot down all of your goals, lessons, mistakes, and experiences into one place. They’re perfect for language reviewing and note taking on-the-go. You can start out by writing in English but slowly switch to Spanish as your skills improve.
8 Benefits of Using a Journal in Spanish
From improving depression to boosting immune function, there are dozens of physical and mental health benefits to journaling. Keeping a journal in Spanish can even help you improve your second language!
Take a look at these 8 easy ways you can use journaling to enhance your Spanish skills.
1. Achieve Your Language Goals
Did you know that you’re more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down? When you’re learning a second language, goal setting is essential. When you set specific goals and deadlines, you’ll be much more committed to the language learning process. Having these timelines written down on paper solidifies their importance and validity.
2. Keep Track of Important Words and Phrases
Anytime you’re learning a new language, there are hundreds of unique words and phrases that you can learn. It can be difficult to tell which ones you should focus on!
Language journals provide a space for all the most important words and phrases that you need to know. Start out by making a list of topics that are relevant to you personally. For example, if soccer is your favorite sport, you’ll want to write down sports vocabulary.
Continue this process until you have covered all of your favorite categories. Eventually, your language journal will become your own personal Spanish dictionary!
3. Improve Your Writing Skills in Spanish
Once you have a substantial amount of vocabulary in your language toolbelt, it’s time to practice using it in sentences. Language journals are a perfect place to create silly sentences in Spanish. No one else will be able to see what you write so there’s no pressure! You can make as many mistakes as you need to while still getting lots of Spanish writing practice. For even more experience, try your hand at translation. Write a sentence in English or Spanish and then convert it to the other language. After a while, you will see a huge improvement in your writing!
4. Use It As a Helpful Travel Companion
If you’re traveling in a Spanish-speaking country, be sure to always carry your journal with you! This way you can easily make a note of everytime you need to look up a certain word or phrase. Overtime, you will quickly discover your most used words and phrases.
This tactic is especially helpful for slang! Ask your Spanish-speaking friends for the most popular lingo and their definitions so that you can impress the locals.
5. Track and Record Your Learning Milestones
Looking back on old milestones is incredibly motivating for language learning. For example, rereading the first full sentence you wrote in Spanish can inspire you to work harder. Your journal also contains all of the Spanish experiences that you’ve gone through.
It can be fun to look back and read about that time you spoke to the waiter at the Mexican restaurant or had your first conversation with your Spanish-speaking friend. These are the kinds of exciting and meaningful experiences that you won’t want to forget!
6. Learn Frequently From Your Mistakes
Every good language learner knows that mistakes are a natural part of the process. However, that doesn’t mean you necessarily want them to happen again! Instead, you can write down all of your embarrassing or goofy language mishaps.
You can also add in advice or write down what you learned from the error. These journaling tactics ensure that you will learn from your mistakes rather than repeat them!
7. Improve Your Long-Term Memory
Those teachers who always made you take notes in class were setting you up for success. Writing by hand improves memory, especially when compared to typing on a computer.
Plus, by regularly writing in your journal in Spanish you get to apply the knowledge that you’ve already learned. This process of active recall reinforces the lesson and makes it easier to remember later on.
8. Organize Your Thoughts and Emotions
Sometimes language learning can feel frustrating or overwhelming. Language journals allow you to let out these emotions on paper so that your head can stay clear and focused. Writing down your concerns or problems on paper can make them feel less intimidating and help put them into perspective.
Another effective method is to create a gratitude journal in Spanish. This type of journaling decreases stress, heightens generosity, and improves mood. Keeping your mind healthy and happy is key to successful learning.
How Often Do You Need to Journal in Spanish?
You may have your language journal ready but how often should you actually use it?
Well, the answer isn’t completely straightforward! This is a personal decision based on your own goals and schedule. However, I strongly recommend journaling daily if possible, even if it’s only for 5 minutes!
When you journal in Spanish everyday, it becomes a habit. By incorporating journaling into your daily routine, you will be less likely to quit. Plus, the more you journal the more you get to experience its numerous benefits!
How to Start a Journal in Spanish
You might be wondering, “what exactly should go in my journal?” There is no single right or wrong way to journal in Spanish. However, if you follow these key tips your journaling will be more effective and beneficial to your language learning journey.
Title and Date Your Entries
Dating your journal entry in Spanish might seem excessive or unimportant at first, however, this is an essential step! When you are months into your language journey, it will be extremely helpful to be able to look back at your old Spanish level. By comparing old entries with new ones, you will immediately be able to see all of your hard-earned progress.
Titles are another important piece of your journal in Spanish. Not only do they make your entries more interesting, but they also help you organize your journal. If you need to look back for a specific entry, the title will provide key insights into its passage. This makes it easier to look up old entries and stories in the future. Make your titles as descriptive as possible so it’s clear what the entry is about.
The most common mistake in journaling is overthinking instead of writing. This hesitancy stops journalists in their tracks. The best way to combat this perfectionism is by writing fast. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to over criticize what you’re writing. Instead, let the words flow from your head to your pen seamlessly.
Look Back at Old Entries
You aren’t finished with your journal just because you stopped writing! Writing is only the first step in the process. Afterwards, you need to review your old entries and reread what you wrote. This process of review is essential so that you can track your progress and stay on track.
Make Notes for Your Future Self
Journaling is sort of like talking to yourself. No one else will know what you’re writing except yourself. As you journal, think about what you would want your future self to know. Picture where you might be in your Spanish journey 5 months or even 5 years from now. This is the perfect opportunity to send yourself a message of encouragement.
Do You Want Even More Spanish Practice?
Journaling is great, but it won’t get you to fluency on its own. To really solidify your Spanish skills, you’ll want to practice Spanish regularly with a certified teacher. You can sign up for a free trial class at Homeschool Spanish Academy for consistent 1-on-1 support. Our native-speaking teachers from Guatemala can help you level up your Spanish and get you closer to fluency faster.
Spanish classes are more than just a language experience—-they’re also an investment! By choosing to learn Spanish, you’re setting yourself up for a financially successful future. According to the Economist, you can earn $50,000 – $125,000 more at work just because you know a foreign language! Sign up for your free trial class today and your future self will thank you.
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