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Variations in Journal Keeping for Second Language Learners

Variations in Journal Keeping for Second Language Learners

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Variations in Journal Keeping for Second Language Learners

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  1. "During the act of writing, I have told myself something that I didn't know I knew." -Gail Godwin, quoted in Johnson (2001) Variations in Journal Keeping for Second Language Learners Katie Subra, English Language Fellow Minsk State Linguistic University 12 February 2014

  2. Two Student Quotations • "I'm really proud of me that I tried to write a poetry today. I actually don't like poetry but with the help of using words or phrases from the book it is easier. At the end I liked my own poetry and it was interesting to hear the other poetries. Our group decided to make a new poetry. Each person gave the most happiest phrase and we put it together and the most surprising thing: it works! You really feel what every poetry wants to express. You automatically feel if it's a happy or sad poetry." • --written as a reflective journal entry after the process of constructing a found poem

  3. Journal Writing Can Take Many Formats • Dialogue Journals • Daily Journals • Personal Diaries • Blogs • Voicethread or other software for Voice-recorded journals (Smartphone apps, Audacity) • Pre-writing/Speaking Exercises

  4. Get your pencils ready!Dialogue Journals • Turn to the person next to you and introduce yourself (name, department, title) • Begin by addressing a letter to this person (Dear Tanya,) – 7 min. • Briefly describe what you do in your job • Describe why you became a teacher • Describe the most rewarding experience that you have had in your career (or in your life!) • Ask your partner 1-2 questions • Trade letters, read it, and write your reply – 5 min. • Trade again…

  5. Daily Journals MY DAILY JOURNAL • Each day I will write in my journal for at least ten minutes based on the topics that my teachers assign. • Each day I will try to write as much as I can without stopping. • Each day I will try to focus on expressing my ideas clearly and fully. • After I make an entry in my journal, I will go back and read what I have written to check for punctuation, spelling errors, and grammatical errors. • At the end of each unit, I will turn in my writing journal so that my teachers can check my progress. • As I make progress this semester, I will see that my daily journal entries are improving and getting longer THIS JOURNAL BELONGS TO: .

  6. Personal Diaries • Include pictures or clippings from daily life (train tickets, photos, magazine ads, concert stubs…) • Write freely with descriptive language • Write whenever you feel like it – over the course of 1 semester • Self-selected entries can be turned in for teacher/peer feedback • Write a final reflective entry that lists and describes entries that: • Use descriptive language (clear ideas, language variety, details, adjectives…) • Contain errors that you now know how to fix • Are fun to read aloud – consider reading this aloud to your classmate Finally, describe what/if you learned from the experience and how/if you will continue to use your personal diary/journal in the future.

  7. Blogs – Setting up a virtual class dialogue through journaling

  8. Blogs – a Sample Assignment

  9. Blogs – a Student Post


  11. Pre-writing/SpeakingEx: Story-Telling • Write a summary of a favorite fairy-tale from childhood – 4 min. • Share your story in a small group – 4 min. • How is story-telling important to your culture? And for homework…

  12. Story-telling Homework • Read a fairy tale from another culture and research the importance of that story to that culture & fill-in the following outline: TITLE I. Origin A. Where does that story originate from? B. And what is the setting? II. Main characters - Do they represent good/evil? A. Protagonists B. Antagonists III. What does the story tell you about the culture? IV. Symbolism in inanimate objects (clothing, food, plants, colors…) A. (Ex: a red hood = temptation) B.

  13. Journal Writing for Academic Enrichment and Beyond • Even in an academic writing class, informal writing and personal narratives have their place. • Other uses for journals could be:  • brainstorming • cultural enrichment • peer critiques • developing fluency • overcoming fear of writing

  14. "For second-language learners, interpersonal journals, such as dialogue journals, can provide the opportunity to practice authentic language through the interactions of writer and reader. Pressure to be correct is reduced by stressing the goal of communication, not grammatical accuracy. Fluency can be gained more readily through the simple act of writing for personal communication on topics of meaning to the writer. Journal writing can also be a powerful tool in the emancipatory or participatory classroom. Journals can provide learners with the opportunities to reflect on practice and its implications for social change and personal empowerment." Orem, 2001

  15. "I have to confess that at the begging of the semester, I wasn't able to write anything. ... So when I started my reading and writing classes, I was afraid of the writing part, because is something that you usually don't study when you are learning English in your home country. ... So this was a barrier for me, so in some days was really hard and wasn't good to write.But the time was passing, and it was getting easier than in the first days. • Now, in the end of the semester, I realized how important was the daily journal. Writing journals daily, improved a lot my grammar. Also the structure of my essays are getting better. And I think that the most important helpful was to make me think and write about interesting topics. This journals helped me to have more discernment about some topics that I used to know about such as Advertisement,the Amish and Kafka. Also opened my mind to new ones, such as death penalty, restorative justice and different traditions." • --written as a final reflective journal at the end of a course

  16. Resources – • Blogsite - • International Folk Tale Archive - • My Personal Website - • Orem, R. (2003) "Journal Writing in Adult ESL: Improving Practice Through Reflective Writing." EBSCO Publishing. • VoiceThread Program -