How to Write an Effective English Diary? Introducing Ineffective Characteristics

“Even though I’ve been keeping an English diary, I’m not seeing any results.”

“I want to know how to write an effective English diary!”

For those of you with these concerns, today I will introduce the effective ways to write an English diary and the characteristics that might make it ineffective.

Whether you have already started or are planning to start keeping an English diary, please take a look!

Characteristics of Ineffective English Diaries

First, let’s look at the characteristics of English diaries that do not produce effective results.

If you feel that “I’ve been keeping an English diary, but it’s not effective,” you might fall into one of the following two reasons:

  • Writing with only the expressions and grammar you know
  • Leaving the written diary as it is

Let’s explain each one in detail.

Writing with Only the Expressions and Grammar You Know

When writing an English composition, it is very important to use the expressions and grammar within your knowledge.

For example, imagine you want to write a sentence like “I changed my diet to oatmeal to successfully lose 5kg this year.”

If you don’t know the direct words or expressions like “lose 5kg” or “changed to oatmeal,” many people might modify it to expressions like “decided to eat oatmeal for a diet.”

While changing the wording without changing the nuance is important, it becomes difficult to learn new words and expressions that way.

An English diary is meant to be an output, that is, a practice ground.

Instead of writing only with the expressions and grammar you know, use a dictionary to actively learn new words and expressions.

Encounter new words through your English diary and use them as an output in your writing.

This repetition will help you master new words and expressions.

Leaving the Written Diary as It Is

Leaving your diary as it is after writing is another characteristic that hinders the improvement of your English skills.

Writing helps you grasp the words you know and the expressions you don’t, serving as a good opportunity to assess your current level.

However, if you don’t correct the mistakes, you might end up memorizing them incorrectly.

You might not notice spelling mistakes or miss out on more native-like expressions.

Simply writing an English diary won’t yield significant results.

To move to a higher level, get your diary corrected.

You can have someone correct your mistakes or teach you native expressions.

Make it a habit to “write a diary → get it corrected.”

How to Write an Effective English Diary

Next, let’s explain how to write an effective English diary.

If you don’t know how to write an English diary or if you are already trying but not feeling the effects, follow these three steps:

  1. Write the sentences you want to write in your native language first.
  2. Translate the sentences into English.
  3. Get them corrected.

Some people start writing their diary in English right away, but I don’t recommend this method.

This is because it limits you to the words and expressions you can write.

You will inevitably use the words and grammar you know, making it hard to expand your vocabulary.

Instead of starting to write in English immediately, follow these steps:

1.Write the Sentences You Want to Write in Your Native Language First

First, write in your native language what you want to record in your English diary.

The key point here is not to think about whether you can write it in English.

Focus on what you “want to write” in English, not just what you “can write.”

However, avoid high-level topics such as environmental issues or political content, which are not only difficult in vocabulary but also in content.

Write about your daily events or the weather in 2-3 lines.

If it’s too long, it will be burdensome and hard to continue daily.

2.Translate the Sentences into English

Next, translate the sentences you wrote in your native language into English.

Try translating them into English yourself, and use a dictionary if you encounter unknown words or expressions.

I don’t recommend relying entirely on a dictionary from the start.

First, think, “What would be a good expression in English?” and try to figure it out on your own.

It’s okay to make mistakes at this stage.

The important thing is to “think for yourself,” so write down what comes to mind.

Get Them Corrected

Finally, get your written sentences corrected.

  • An acquaintance who is a native English speaker
  • Language exchange apps
  • Correction services/apps

If you have an acquaintance who is a native English speaker and is willing to help, you can ask them.

However, many people might not have such an acquaintance.

In such cases, I recommend using language exchange apps or correction services/apps.

Don’t leave your mistakes unchecked; learn the correct English.

Tips for Improving Your English Skills with an English Diary

Next, I’ll introduce some tips for improving your English skills with an English diary.

In addition to the effective writing methods explained above, keep the following three points in mind:

  • Continue Daily
  • Read the written diary out loud
  • Gradually increase the amount you write as you get used to it

Continue Daily

One of the important things in learning English is “continuing daily.”

Have you ever studied English during your school days but now can’t even remember simple words?

Many people have also experienced forgetting Kanji due to less writing practice.

No matter how much you study, if you don’t continue, you’ll easily forget.

Writing 2-3 lines daily is enough. Make it a habit at a manageable volume!

Read the Written Diary Out Loud

Read the corrected diary out loud.

By not only writing but also speaking it out loud, you can remember it through “sound” as well.

Also, you might realize that you don’t know how to pronounce or read certain words.

Even if you know how to read each word, many people struggle with English-specific sound changes.

Incorporating reading out loud in addition to writing can further improve your English skills.

Gradually Increase the Amount You Write as You Get Used to It

The final point is to “gradually increase the amount you write as you get used to the English diary.”

Starting with 2-3 lines is fine from the perspective of continuing learning without strain, but gradually increase it to 4 lines, 5 lines, and so on, within manageable limits.

Consider writing longer texts only on weekends or once a month as well!

Increasing the amount you write will definitely hone your writing skills.

Such habits can also eliminate any fear of the writing section in English proficiency tests.

Improve Your English Skills by Keeping an English Diary Daily!

This time, we introduced the characteristics of ineffective English diaries and how to write an effective English diary.

Even if you are writing an English diary, progressing in the wrong way or leaving it unchecked will make it harder to see results.

  • Write the sentences you want to write in your native language first
  • Translate the sentences into English
  • Get them corrected

Continuing with the correct method introduced above is important!

However, continuing every day is not easy.

In the next article, I will explain “Tips to Maintain Motivation” for those who find it hard to continue with an English diary.

If you want to know how to maintain motivation and examples of topics for your English diary, please check out that article too!

Is Keeping an English Diary Worth It? 5 Key Learning Benefits