Making the most of student journals - TOBELTA reading and writing conference presentation 9th august 2014 sandy millin

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http://sandymillin.wordpress.com/journals - slides from my presentation at the TOBELTA Reading and Writing Conference, 9th August 2014

http://sandymillin.wordpress.com/journals - slides from my presentation at the TOBELTA Reading and Writing Conference, 9th August 2014

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  • DoS at IH Sevastopol, been here for last year
    1st heard about journals at TESOL France in November 2011, but took long time to start doing it, but now am a convert
    Using journals for three years, here and in Newcastle, as well as for own learning. Also keeping diary since I was 17
  • What do you think? Comments in text box

    I think:
    regular
    - single location (notebook/online/app etc)
    conversation – mine… (also called ‘dialogue journal writing’)
    can be reflective – learner diaries?
    whatever you want!
  • First question – in class or outside?
    Then further things to decide:
    in class: automatically makes it obligatory; length of time – I recommend 15-20 mins, when – I recommend start of class (though some SS may come late on purpose – never happened to me!), at end can be neglected, rushed; also good for fast finishers; how often – depends how often you have classes – I did it every day in Newcastle
    Out of class: how often – weekly; obligatory or not?; balance with amount of other homework
  • Anyone and everyone!
    Multilingual groups from elementary upwards – here are int and advanced
    Monolingual groups – here are pre-int. Gave them option and three of them started doing it regularly
    121 – if they want!
    Teens – girls (Red 4 – some did it more than others), even boys (great for fast finishers)
    Could probably be with YL too – picture plus a couple of sentences?
  • Get a notebook – max A5 – bigger is daunting! Lower levels = smaller? (SS or teacher can provide)
    First entry in class – collect and give back. Shows SS what to expect. First step hardest ;) (for you and them…consistency is key!)
    Why? (will talk more about this later) but important SS know – balancing writing and speaking skills, regular is better and this is an easy way to do it
  • Show quote (Vika)
    Elicit ideas

    Then show mine – start off with ‘about me’ – always first!
    Plinky was site, closing soon, now only on Twitter
    NYT
    Journal Jar – random prompt
  • Ask SS if they want you to correct
    My method: outright correction
    SS have time to ask me about it before/after class, or when everyone’s writing journals
    Can see how they improve over the course – promotes feedback and reflection
    Quotes from three students (C1 Advanced)

    Assessment – will it be assessed. If so, how? % of final grade? By frequency of writing/quality of language?

    Primary focus = content! You have to be willing to share. Conversation. Quote (C1 Advanced)
  • Potential issues
    Reluctant writers – (quote from Vika) in class means no choice. At home = don’t force them. Meant to be enjoyable, not stressful. Has to be equal – you’re willing to share too. Will hopefully see benefits from other students. On the other hand, fewer writers = less work for us ;)

    Personal nature – (quote from Vika) doesn’t have to be. Can be factual e.g. tell me about your town/city. If students ask personal q’s, ‘I’d prefer not to answer that’ – good training. If students reveal personal information = they trust you. How would you deal with that if they took you aside and spoke to you about it? Same principle. Never had trouble with this aspect though as I was sharing too.

    Time – (my quote) yep, but worth it. If in class, planning time saved! More about good things on next slide.

    Commitment – (my quote with HW Red 4) don’t do it if you don’t think you can keep it up! Dropped after initial enthusiasm.
  • Apart from correction which we stated before… (quotes from C1 advanced)

    Regular writing – often neglected. Writing fluency! (quote Ela – we speak a lot and it makes us comfortable, don’t write, so not comfortable!)

    Handwriting practice

    Can experiment with new language. e.g. opinions phrases

    Improves rapport

    Personalised and fairly natural. Real purpose/audience.

    Individual teaching in a large group.
  • Also great for needs analysis

    Topics

    Spellings- had spelling list and did test every day before/after journal writing
    Spelling game – click to link to blogpost
    Grammar auctions
    Gaps in vocabulary – collocations, prepositions
    Punctuation – especially commas!
    Handwriting practice – letter formation, writing on the line,

    Personalised homework
  • With Russian teacher

    Nice notebook  - couldn’t choose, so bought two

    I write and teacher corrects

    In 2nd notebook, rewrite plus corrections

    What I’ve learnt: letter formation, reading handwriting, improve spellings and case endings, steal language, notice grammatical patterns
  • Tech alternatives, not tried for this purpose
    Like pen and paper!
  • ET professional – only to subscribers I think :s Describes using journals for creative writing
    Three research studies

Transcript

  • 1. Making the most of student journals Sandy Millin http://sandymillin.wordpress.com/journals Twitter: @sandymillin sandymillin@gmail.com
  • 2. What do you mean?
  • 3. • 15-20 minutes • Start of class • Fast finishers • Every lesson? • Weekly • Obligatory? • Other homework? When? In class Outside class ImagestakenfromELTpicsbySandyMillinandJamesTaylor, usedunderaCCAttributionNon-Commerciallicense
  • 4. Who?
  • 5. • Get notebook • Start in class • Discuss why – writing v. speaking – regular How? ImagetakenfromELTpicsbyRoseliSerra,usedunderaCC AttributionNon-Commerciallicense
  • 6. What? It was good and challenging, but sometimes it is hard to make new topic of writing.
  • 7. • Correction? What do I do? • Assessment? • Content! It’s more interesting than other writing exercises, because it implies a conversation (between teacher and student). I honestly think that it really helped me, because you corrected my mistakes and I hope I won’t make them again. Make language problems obvious. Sometimes I haven’t been aware of this  good to know so that I can work on it. I know my weak point and I will try to improve it.
  • 8. • Reluctant writers • Personal • Time • Commitment But… Well, I think that writing a letter is good way to express your feelings, emotions and handwriting. I liked it very much, but I was too lazy to write it((( I need to have a life! Oh, yeah, journals, I forgot about them!
  • 9. Why? In all my other classes I barely wrote. That’s not very good because it’s one of my sticking points in English and therefore it was the perfect exercise for me. We tried to use the vocabulary we learned before so it was a good way to practise. It’s also interesting because we wrote about thing we like. It’s a way of knowing each other better and practicing my writing. A piece of individual teaching in a large group!! For the students is good to write about their daily life. It’s positive to learn about your students. As you see, I’ve used different ways of expressing my opinion 
  • 10. • Topic choice • Spellings • Grammar auctions • Gaps in vocabulary • Punctuation • Handwriting practice • Personalised homework Then what? The journals are a good way to test student’s writing. You can immediately evaluate them for their writing skill.
  • 11. My experience
  • 12. 21st century?
  • 13. Tell me more! • My blog: Writing journal with students • Adam Beale: Learner diaries • ELTchat: Getting the most out of student journals • ETprofessional Issue 83: Practice makes perfect • Self-expression as a bridge for creative writing • Dialogue journal writing in EFL education • Enhancing EFL learners’ writing skill via journal writing
  • 14. Making the most of student journals Sandy Millin http://sandymillin.wordpress.com/journals Twitter: @sandymillin sandymillin@gmail.com