Journal writing in English may not be at the top of your to-do list in 2016, but perhaps it should be. Keeping a journal is rewarding, providing a space for reflection and a way to record your days. Not only are they a place for self-expression, but journals are also an effective tool for improving your English. If you’re not sure if keeping a journal is worth your time, consider the merits of this practice.
Five reasons to consider journal writing in 2016
- In order to improve your proficiency in a second language, you need opportunities to practice. For those of you who don’t live in an English speaking community, those opportunities are often difficult to find. Even those of you who live in America, England or Australia may find it hard to connect with native speakers. Given the importance of practicing, journal writing may be the best way for you to make progress this year.
- You’ll be challenged as your struggle to put your thoughts and feelings into language. For example, the challenge of finding words to express your thoughts, feelings, and activities of the day may be just what you need to expand your vocabulary.
- By committing words to paper, you will pay attention to grammar and will test your current understanding of the language. When we speak, we don’t usually notice our grammar very carefully; however, reading over a journal entry, you have a chance to take a second look and self-correct errors.
- Furthermore, by having some control of he journal topic, you develop a voice in the second language. A common obstacle in language learning is developing an identity in the second language. The more you express yourself in the target language, the more it becomes a natural part of yourself.
- Personalizing your language study will make it much more interesting. The more you feel personally connected and in charge of your language learning, the more likely you will make progress.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog post. I’ll be giving tips and ideas for your journal writing. In the meantime, consider buying a journal of starting one online. Either way, it could be just what you need for better English in 2016. Teachers may also want to check out my journal article on dialog journals here.