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!)
Can experiment with new language. e.g. opinions phrases
Personalised and fairly natural. Real purpose/audience.
Individual teaching in a large group.
Also great for needs analysis
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,
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
Making the most of student journals - TOBELTA reading and writing conference presentation 9th august 2014 sandy millin
Making the most of
• 15-20 minutes
• Start of class
• Fast finishers
• Every lesson?
• Other homework?
In class Outside class
• Get notebook
• Start in class
• Discuss why
– writing v. speaking
It was good and challenging,
but sometimes it is hard to
make new topic of writing.
What do I do?
It’s more interesting than other
writing exercises, because it implies a
conversation (between teacher and
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.
• Reluctant writers
Well, I think that writing a
letter is good way to express
your feelings, emotions and
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!
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
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
other better and
A piece of individual
teaching in a large group!!
For the students
is good to write
about their daily
As you see, I’ve
• Topic choice
• Grammar auctions
• Gaps in vocabulary
• Handwriting practice
• Personalised homework
The journals are a
good way to test
You can immediately
evaluate them for
their writing skill.
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
Making the most of