Do you think writing a journal is a good way to study English?

Q: Do you think writing a journal is a good way to study English? 

A: I think it depends on the person. There is no study tool that will be a great fit for every single person. I had a student once, who, upon starting Koike Juku, began to write a journal in English immediately. He would write about what he did each day, then we would go over his sentences to correct his grammar (this was before KJ had started the 5 sentence program, which I am sure he would have loved!) and he would ask about his grammar mistakes until he was sure he understood. He was a very meticulous student, and this practice was really excellent for him and taught him a lot. But most of us are not as meticulous as he is, hahahaaa!

I think writing is great practice, because it’s a totally different skill from speaking. BUT, I have noticed that many students feel terrible pressure if they can’t think of a topic, and feeling extra pressure to study often has the opposite effect and causes people to stop. So my answer would be this: If you already enjoy writing a journal in Japanese, then try doing it in English. If you are not a journal writer, try a different writing task like writing a blog entry in English, or pretend you have a penpal and you want to explain Japanese life to that person. Find something that works for you – it doesn’t need to be a journal though!

(和訳)

その人次第だと思うわ。誰にでもぴったり合う勉強方法はないもの。かつて小池塾を始めてすぐ英語で日記を書き始めた塾生さんがいたのね。彼はその日にやったことを毎日書いて、私たちは一緒に文を復習して文法を直したの。(小池塾が5文を始める前のことだったから、彼は5文をとても気に入ったと思うわ!)彼はとても凝り性だったから、この練習は彼にはぴったりで、彼はたくさんのことを学んだわ。でも私たちのほとんどは彼ほどまめにはなれないわよね(笑)

書くことは話すこととは全く別でとてもよい練習だと思うけれど、たくさんの学習者がトピックを思いつかないとひどくプレッシャーを感じて、勉強するのに余分なプレッシャーを感じることが逆効果でみんなを立ち止まらせてしまうのよね。だから私の答えはこうよ:日本語で日記を書くことが楽しいなら英語で書いてみてごらん。日記を書かない人なら英語でブログを書くなど別の形のライティングをしてみるといいわ、文通相手を想定して日本の生活をその人に説明するのもいいわね。自分に合ったものを見つけてー必ずしも日記じゃなくていいわよ!

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