I am Japanese, and I have been learning English. I would like to share how I used an English diary, a method recommended to me by a teacher during my working holiday in Canada. My diary practice varied; some days I wrote on free topics, while other days I followed specific themes given by my teacher.
While in Canada, I dedicated about an hour each day to writing my diary. In the beginning, it took a lot of time as I researched various topics, which was quite challenging. However, this daily effort proved to be extremely important for my English learning journey.
Excluding weekends, I submitted my diary every morning, and my teacher would return it with corrections. The corrections weren’t detailed but included red lines through mistakes and the correct expressions written beside them.
More than the corrections, it was this daily habit that greatly benefited my English learning. Initially skeptical, I found that after about a month, I could smoothly incorporate diary content into everyday conversations, significantly improving my conversational skills. For instance, I could fluently recount events like leaving a banana in my bag, forgetting it, then crushing it with my laptop, resulting in a banana-scented mess – a scenario that previously would have taken me much longer to express.
My teacher often advised, “Reading your diary aloud is beneficial,” but unfortunately, I couldn’t practice this. Living in a thin-walled sharehouse and often studying in places like libraries where I couldn’t speak out loud prevented me from making reading aloud a habit, something I still regret a bit.
Continuing the habit of diary writing was indeed challenging, but it became easier after about two weeks. The power of habit is the strongest. However, skipping a day often led to thoughts like “I’ll skip tomorrow too,” leading to a continuous break. This experience taught me the importance of daily practice.
After returning to Japan, I had stopped for a while but resumed diary writing a month ago. Now, I write every morning; if I’m busy, I write a simple paragraph in about 10 minutes, and when I have more time, I spend around 30 minutes, including corrections. While I used pen and paper in Canada, now I use “LangJournal,” an app I developed. Using it daily not only helps me spot improvements but also, I must say, LangJournal is a very user-friendly and effective learning tool.
Currently, my English level is intermediate, and I aim to expand my expressions and further enhance my conversational skills. Through LangJournal, like me, you too can make significant progress in your language learning journey by writing diaries.
For those looking to effectively enhance their language learning through diary writing, I highly recommend my app, “LangJournal”. It’s designed to make language learning enjoyable and interactive through diary entries. Give it a try!