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Focus and Feedback Crucial for Success in Journal-Writing
Elementary School Teacher Uses Double Entries

Donna Rahmand shares here her comments from a recent TESL-L discussion about the use of journal-writing in ESL.

I work with elementary school ESL students and I have recently started using journals with my students. I use what is called a double entry journal. I have the students write in their journals, and later in the day, I read what they have written. I correct any errors that were made in their writing. I also write a short comment about what they have written.

I have my students write about the topic we have discussed for that day. Some teachers don't use this approach. They may use a single entry journal, where only the students write in it. I like using the journal as a way of corrosponding with the students.

Incidentally, I never grade the journal. I correct them by circling in pencil all of their spelling and grammatical errors. This way they can correct them, and erase the circle. This keeps their journals neat (which is very important to them). Anyway you use a journal is fine, as long as it gets the students writing.

By Donna Rahmand

2002 ESL MiniConference Online