03 November 2010 at 18:07
Salam, Pn Rahmah. I'm interested to do journal writing for my Form5 students next year. I just wonder how to make a good start with those students. Most of them (All of them actually) are not very good in English especially in writing. When I ask them to write some of them said "I cannot, I don't have idea". I'm grateful if you can help me. I'm not an English option teacher actually so I don't think I could manage to do excellent job as yours. Hope can share your experience. TQVM.
i've received some emails concerning journal writing too. it's good that ur interested. however u mustn't be too ambitious if ur ss are weak as u mentioned. for ss to write something they must have some basic writing skills. i don't do it for all my classes as i know some are just not able to. if u have an average class or better then i will recommend it. for a start, u can explain why it's important to have contact with English through journal-writing. u can give them a list of topics if they have no idea what to write. you can find them easily over the internet. choose those that are easy and suitable for ur ss level. for those who can write, then it's not a problem. they don't need the suggested topics. get ss to write a paragraph or two first before they progress further. it all depends on the level of proficiency they have. obviously the better ones write longer. i award prizes for the best journals at the end of the year. all the best. you might want to read from the internet first on why we choose journal writing. all the best!
To: Rahmah Sayuti
Sent: Thu, August 12, 2010 11:39:58 PM
~the thinking teacher~
Salam Ms Rahmah,
really appreciate yr sharing and may Allah bless u n yr family. One more thing I want to ask yr opinion regarding journal writing. I've asked my students to write a journal n I'm using the sample that u put in yr blog as an example to my students. They have started to write their 1st page. As for yr info my students very weak in English because they r rural area students n have very limited access to the english sources and environment but i'm trying my best to encourage them to write n speak in english. Going back to the journal my students have written i found so many grammar mistakes in it. What should i do? should i correct all the mistakes because i'm worried if there to many red colour correction it will discourage them to keep writing in future..What is yr opinion..
from my experience, journal writing is best done with average to good students. but don't be disheartened. carry on with what u've been doing but don't expect too much from ur students. short entries will do. i don't mark the errors because my aim here is fluency and not accuracy. what i mean by that is i would like my students to be able to write 'fluently' although with . they will nt be stuck when writing essays they are used to writing their journals (ideas come naturally). on the other hand, accuracy is what i aim for in their written work (exercise books). i state this out very clearly to them so they understand why they are writing their journals- to let them express ideas freely. from my experience (i've used journal-writing for more than 10 years), ss do improve and have confidence in expressing their ideas in essays/exams. what i do is comment on their stories, reflections, events. i hope this helps. where are u teaching by the way? i'm glad that u are trying to do things with your students to help them improve their english. all the best.