Hello, I’m Kohei, a writer. From my second to third year in university, and while working in Canada (2017-2018), I wrote a diary in English almost every day. As a result, my TOEIC score improved from around 650 in my sophomore year to 860 in my junior year, and after working in Canada, it reached 955.
Writing a diary in English contributed significantly to improving my English skills. Let me explain more specifically the benefits and my approach.
I began writing in English during my second year in university. An English writing lecture I attended, conducted by a British instructor, suggested starting with a simple diary. During my time in Canada, inspired by a video by Jun from HapaEikaiwa explaining the effectiveness of English diaries, I resumed this practice. (Reference URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VySCeL63SeU). This method is also recommended by native speakers and is excellent for those unsure how to improve their English skills.
First, it’s important to gather information on how to write a diary. Starting without any know-how might lead to giving up soon. Research online or through books to find the best approach for you.
Once you have an idea, start writing. Begin with short sentences. Writing in English can be tough; attempting long sentences from the start might lead to frustration. Start with simple content and aim to write at least three sentences, like:
“Today, I went to a shopping mall with my friend. After spending two hours there, we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant close to the mall. I didn’t buy anything, but it was fun.”
Reflect on your day in Japanese first, then express it in English. Initially, focus on simple narratives like “I went to the mall with a friend.”
Once you’re comfortable with simple sentences, move to the next step. I incorporated phrases learned from sources like Hapa Eikaiwa’s podcasts into my diary. Intentionally using natural conversation phrases learned from these podcasts helped me master them. If you’re aiming to learn academic expressions, reading BBC news beforehand and using the learned expressions can also be effective.
Reading aloud what you’ve written can double the effect. Aim to read your written English aloud at least 5-10 times. Correct any unclear pronunciations by consulting a dictionary. Review your entries regularly, such as daily or weekly, to reinforce learning.
As mentioned, my TOEIC score is just one example of the benefits of writing an English diary. It directly improves speaking skills since the process mirrors that of speaking English. It also enhances vocabulary, as you’ll encounter situations where you need to express yourself with new words. Grammar skills improve through correct application, and consistent writing enhances spelling. Pronunciation also improves, especially when incorporating reading aloud into your practice.
In summary, my experience with an English diary has been immensely beneficial, and I highly recommend it as a study method.