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Dialog Journals

by Wende Crow | 19 Nov 2015
Resource Description: The purpose of this activity is three-fold: first, students are expected to maintain a regular writing practice to improve communicative competence and descriptive writing. Second, students can build and improve their vocabulary for describing feelings. And finally, the teacher and students maintain an ongoing dialog throughout the quarter or semester. 
Audience: Adult
Audience Language Proficiency: Advanced, Intermediate
Duration: Quarter or Semester

 Students will build communicative competence, improve reading and writing skills, and increase cultural knowledge.


Activity Description:

At the beginning of a class session, the teacher can have students purchase a composition notebook in which to write their entries, and distribute the journal assignment at the beginning of the second week of class. Waiting at least a week before beginning the journals gives the teacher the opportunity to build rapport with the class and help students feel more at ease. When journals are collected each week, the teacher is to write a response to what the students wrote with comments, questions, and suggestions for future topics. 

 This activity helps teachers get to know their students and understand their learning needs, and it provides a safe outlet for students to use their English. Teachers can expand error correction to suit their needs, but I have found it most helpful to only underline errors from known trouble areas and show the students the correct form within the response. 

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TESOL Interest Section: Adult Education, Intercultural Communication