11 Unconventional Italian Writing Practice Ideas to Get You Writing
We have a simple but effective rule for you to remember: To write, you have to write.
Seems like common sense, we know, but writing is a skill that gets better the more you do it.
In other words, practice is vital. But don’t worry—Italian writing practice doesn’t have to be tedious.
Here are a few fun extras to add to your language program that’ll send your writing skills soaring!
- 1. Send Texts: Say TTFN to Procrastination
- 2. Twitter: Keep It Short and Sweet
- 3. Facebook: Log On
- 4. Make Lists: Do Your Shopping in Italian
- 5. Copy: Imitate to Learn
- 6. Worksheets: Get Nostalgic for School
- 7. Journal: Tell All to Your Dear Diary
- 8. Bullet Journal: Aim for Fluency
- 9. Write Letters: Send Some Snail Mail
- 10. Read: Learn by Example
- 11. Blog: Find Your Audience
- 12. Write: Get Creative
1. Send Texts: Say TTFN to Procrastination
The simple text message is a form of writing. This basic form of communication is usually condensed into the fundamental vocabulary that you actually use to communicate.
Core vocabulary is the foundation of reading, writing and speaking!
Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us are pretty proficient texters.
Why not put your texting prowess to extra good use by adding texts in Italian to your daily routine? And while you’re at it, turn your entire phone into a learning machine by changing the language to Italian.
To change your iPhone language follow these simple steps:
Open Settings → Tap General → Select Language & Region → Tap Device Language → Select Language → Confirm
It’s just as simple for Android users:
Open Settings → Tap Languages and Input → Add Language → Activate Language by dragging it to the top of the list of languages (it should now be #1)
Now that your phone is ready, find a buddy or a language learning partner and start texting in Italian! You’ll be surprised at how proficient you can become at some basic writing skills just by texting.
2. Twitter: Keep It Short and Sweet
Twitter recently expanded its tweet length to 280 characters, which gives a bit more room for communicating.
Even so, the average tweet is short and sweet—kind of like eating a sumptuous bombolone (donut) for breakfast.
But while eating too many high-calorie breakfasts will impact your waistline, practicing Italian writing while tweeting can never be too much of a good thing.
Twitter is fantastic for writing practice because it forces expression in succinct phrases.
That is, we eliminate the unnecessary and get straight to the point with Twitter. It’s a forum for writing clearly and concisely, and that’s worth practicing in any language!
Need a couple of relevant Italian Twitter accounts to follow? Try ACMilan and become one of the nearly seven million followers who keep track of the Milan football team! If you’re into super-fast cars, consider following Scuderia Ferrari.
Find your own Twitter accounts to follow by searching for some Italian hashtags. Check out the top 30 trending Italian hashtags on Hashtagify to see what people in Italy are talking about this week, and join the conversation!
3. Facebook: Log On
Sure, we all know that Facebook can be a huge time suck. And you might think that political memes, dancing cats and family vacation photos can’t possibly be pertinent to Italian writing practice.
It may surprise you that, while the time-suck thing is spot on, you can use Facebook to practice your writing.
How? By posting in Italian!
And if you’re not comfortable writing your status updates in Italian, how about commenting in Italian?
Still not quite sure about it? Then why not check out a few Italian Facebook pages and see how much fun—and entirely un-threatening!—this can be!
Fatto in casa da Benedetta (Homemade by Benedetta) is a cooking page that always has mouth-watering photographs and incredible recipes. Laura Pausini, the singer, keeps a dynamic page with updates about upcoming concerts or new releases.
So log on and start learning!
4. Make Lists: Do Your Shopping in Italian
Writing practice comes in many forms—including lists!
Unless you draw your lists instead of writing them, all the lists we keep count toward writing practice.
But that’s only if you make your lists in Italian!
Your weekly grocery list, daily to-do list and even holiday shopping list are all examples of writing practice.
Lists help with vocabulary acquisition as well as keeping core vocabulary right on the tip of your tongue—figuratively speaking, of course!
5. Copy: Imitate to Learn
Writing can be intimidating but, as your confidence grows, so should your writing practice.
One great way to boost your confidence quickly is by copying from others.
That’s right—this is one instance where being a copycat is encouraged! Of course, this is for personal purposes and not as an act of plagiarism. So don’t publish what you copy—keep it to yourself.
What should you copy? Almost anything—Italian quotes, great lines from magazines, newspaper excerpts and easy short stories are all first-rate choices.
The act of copying builds confidence and also gives you “a feel” for writing.
Copying passages and sentences builds vocabulary, shows grammar rules at work and is an excellent way to actually see how Italian words are ordered.
Once you’ve gained some confidence, branch out.
Look for and then copy down some quotes that are really meaningful to you. They can be about anything—life, love, friendship. The possibilities are endless.
The point is to practice writing; it doesn’t really matter what the subject matter is. Be ambitious! Commit to a daily number of quotes.
Another way to learn from your copying is by sentence mining. Dissect everything you write into its components to learn how expertly-written sentences are put together, then use this knowledge to write your own sentences following the same formula.
6. Worksheets: Get Nostalgic for School
Worksheets are a language-learners friends. They’re especially great for beginners to the language but they’re also useful for more advanced students who want to refresh their skills.
Some worksheets are downloadable and printable while others are meant to be worked online.
Online Learn Italian changes their worksheets periodically so check back often to grab the newest ones. They’re downloadable, so print them out and have them handy!
These worksheets cover grammar and basic vocabulary. There are no wasted moments when you’ve got pre-printed worksheets with you—just pull one out and get to work!
Italian to Learn Free has worksheets to be completed online.
They offer the advantage of an instant check feature so you’ll know right away whether your writing makes the grade. It’s good to see what points need improving and this resource provides that instantly.
7. Journal: Tell All to Your Dear Diary
Working on an Italian journal is a super way to get daily writing practice in. While you’re chronicling your life or keeping memories safe for a later date, your writing ability will be drastically improving.
Thinking in Italian, giving your thoughts form, considering Italian word order and then getting all of that from your head to the page is an epic adventure.
This isn’t a task for a beginner but you don’t need to wait until you’re fluent in Italian to do this, either.
Remember, a journal is for you—write like no one’s ever going to read it!
If you find yourself struggling to come up with topics for your journal, make a journal prompt jar and fill it with ideas. Then, when you’re facing down some writer’s block, just reach in and pull out a random prompt to write about!
8. Bullet Journal: Aim for Fluency
If you’re feeling a bit more confident, step up the journaling game and keep your life organized with an Italian bullet journal.
A bullet journal is a journal that keeps track of appointments, goals, fitness and dietary routines and any activities on your calendar.
If you commit to keeping a bullet journal in Italian you’re not only prioritizing your life but you’re also working on your language learning!
All the extra writing practice will feel like part of your routine—and that’s exactly how your Italian skills should feel: natural, routine and just part of your everyday life!
9. Write Letters: Send Some Snail Mail
Snail mail is huge. The United States Postal Service delivers nearly five million pieces of mail each day.
Why not add one of yours to that number?
Letter writing provides tons of writing practice. And the great part of the whole endeavor is that it offers unlimited potential for language learners at every skill level.
If you’re a beginner, keep the sentences and thoughts brief and simple. More proficient? Add thought-provoking concepts and complicated sentence construction to your missives.
Finding an Italian pen pal is a snap. Check out Pen Pal World or Global Pen Friends to find someone who shares your interests. Then write on—and make a new friend!
10. Read: Learn by Example
Reading provides an excellent opportunity for writing practice by giving you content and a theme.
Remember the old-school book reports many of us wrote when we were in school? We read, then wrote about what we read. That’s still a useful practice.
There are amazing Italian books to choose from.
Translation apps can provide explanations for words or phrases you’re unsure of.
Write a review.
Form an online book club with other Italian language learners, then read and discuss books in Italian.
Read subtitles on any TV show or movie you watch. Accurate subtitles can be hard to come by, so using a learning app is the way to go. For instance, use FluentU to read the transcript of any of its authentic videos, then read along with the subtitles—which you can toggle to just Italian, or both Italian and English for additional support.
Power up your writing practice by reading in Italian!
11. Blog: Find Your Audience
Blogging is like writing a journal with an audience. It’s a great way to improve your writing skills, get some feedback on your Italian and even start a conversation.
Blogs allow you to share your hobbies, ideas or travel experiences with others.
You could start a page to discuss Italian restaurants or share information about interesting podcasts. Or you might want to document your Italian learning program.
Honestly, the choices are endless!
For extra practice, provide an English translation of what you’re writing in Italian.
The only limit to a blogging journey is the writer’s imagination. So put on your thinking cap, get your writing mojo ready and begin!
Be inspired by blogs like “Bleeding Espresso” and “Ms. Adventures in Italy.” They definitely inspire us!
12. Write: Get Creative
Are you feeling especially brave?
Think you’d like to see your name on a cover someday?
If that’s the case, open a file or a notebook and write your own story, play, novel or article in Italian! Jump right in—right away and write away!
Searching for story ideas? Try the daily writing prompts at “Story A Day” and you’ll never be at a loss for words!
There’s no fast track to achieving proficiency in certain skills.
Want to ride a bicycle? Practice.
Want to paint? Practice.
Want to write? Practice!
Practice is the key to all of these—and many more—life skills. But practice doesn’t need to be a hassle or drudgery. It can be entertaining, too.
Incorporate a few of our low-pressure exercises into your daily language routine and you’ll hardly feel like you’re studying Italian!
Your writing ability will increase—while you have fun! What’s not to love about that?
Buona fortuna! (Good luck!)