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You know how they say: Well planned is half done. When we have a plan, we are more focused on accomplishing different tasks. That way, we use our time and energy more efficiently.
With that said, keeping a language journal is a great way to learn foreign languages. By keeping a journal, we can set our goals, see the progress, and make a language learning plan.
In this post, we will give you 10 useful tips and ideas on how to keep a language journal to speed up your language learning.
Let’s dive in.
Are you afraid to speak with native speakers? Yes, it can be scary, especially if you’re a beginner.
That’s why keeping a language journal can be useful for several reasons.
The journal can be a great evaluation of your learning process. Keeping a language journal is some kind of diary, a language learning diary. Therefore, you can see how you managed to move forward two months ago, for example, or which part of the language was very hard to learn.
As you already know, learning a language can be hard at times. When you start learning it, the line of progress isn’t always straightforward. It is rather curly, with ups and downs. Writing a journal can help you see how far you have come, which parts were challenging to succeed in, and which ones were a piece of cake.
Not only can you write about words and phrases you’ve just successfully learned or understood to use correctly, but you can also write about your anxieties of learning a language in public or thoughts about it. Once you put on paper all your thought that are language-related, you’ll feel relieved.
By keeping a language journal, you can improve your memory. When you write down anything, you repeat it in some way and your brain gets one more opportunity to remember the information better.
In case you’ve never kept a language journal, the following tips can help get you started.
We’re going to start with something big.
Before you begin writing a language, journal, you have to be committed to it.
It means that you should write it regularly, that is, every time you have to write something new whether it is some grammar rule you’ve finally got it, phrases you find useful in everyday conversations, or your thoughts about the way of practicing the language.
At first, it can be demanding, but it’s all just practice. Once you get into it, you’ll know what and how to write the moment your pencil touches the paper.
Besides, people who write language journals will faster learn the language and be more confident while speaking with native speakers.
If you’ve ever written a diary, you know that writing down the time and date is vital. If you don’t write it, you’ll never know when something happened, when you had particular thoughts or succeeded in learning that so hard grammar rule.
Thanks to the time and date, you can track your progress easily.
Besides time and date, you can, but not necessarily, write down a title, too. When you get back to the particular date, you’ll know right away what that was about.
As strange as this may sound, you should write a journal for yourself. Or for the future you.’ When you get back to a particular period, you may not know precisely what was that all about, so you have to write in order to explain to yourself from the future.
Mention some important information, write down some kind of intro to understand better when you read it.
Keeping a journal without reading it over and over again doesn’t have much sense.
After all, the whole point is to read about your progress and path in learning a language.
So, if you want to keep track, remember something you’ve probably forgotten, and recall what are your reasons for learning the language, read and read what you’ve written in the past.
You don’t have to wait six months to read. You can start even after one week, for example. That way, you’ll know if you have some additional questions or doubts about that part of language learning.
No journal nor diary is written perfectly.
If you wait to write down without any spelling error, you won’t get too far. In fact, you won’t get anywhere.
So, don’t be obsessed with spelling and correct punctuations.
You can check and correct them later.
It can be double-useful because when you read it, you can also see what types of mistakes you usually make and try to affect that.
One of the things you should write down in your language journal is writing new words and phrases you’ve learned.
You can also add its synonyms or antonyms, which can help you understand the word better.
It can help you memorize new words easily and improve your vocabulary in a faster way.
If you aren’t a passionate linguist, grammar can be boring.
But grammar is one of the essential parts of the language, so, naturally, it is vital for you to learn grammar rules and exceptions and to apply them while practicing the language.
Therefore, writing about grammar in your journal can be pretty helpful.
You can also compare it with grammar in English or your native language and see if there are any similarities or differences.
Do native speakers have some specific customs?
Or do they use body language?
Which things you should never do in front of a native speaker?
Which parts of culture and tradition are your favorites?
All these things and many more you can write down in your language journal.
With these cultural customs, you will expand your horizons, better understand the locals, and, in the end, better understand the language itself.
Many of us make mistakes they aren’t even aware of. Those mistakes somehow become part of our learning habits. Even though it isn’t the end of the world, we should give our best effort to correct them.
That’s why it is ideal to write a language journal because you can notice those mistakes.
As long as you notice mistakes and write them down in the journal will prevent you from making them.
Go to a restaurant where they speak the language you are learning and talk to waiters. Order their famous dish and drink. Write down about the event.
Or you can go to a coffee with a native speaker. Talk about some everyday situations and after that, write all that down in your journal.
Not only that you can write down about the experience, but you will also immerse yourself in the language, which is the most efficient and fastest way to learn the language.
Now that you have all the necessary equipment, don’t wait any longer but start keeping a language journal.
True, that it won’t be easy at first, but your effort will pay off when you see your progress.
The day when you can confidently speak to native speakers is right there around the corner.
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