Friday, October 19, 2012

Dialogue Journals In Learners' L1

Ewald, Jennifer. "Second Language Students Reflect on Their Own Dialogue Journals"

     Dialogue journals benefit students by allowing them to express concerns or questions about the class to the teacher in an informal way. This study was conducted with 129 Spanish language students at the Spanish 101 level. The difference between this study and many other studies is that the dialogue journals were completed in the learners' L1. The effectiveness of the journals was measured according to whether or not the dialogue journals in L1 had the benefits of: "promoting good dialogue, constructing meaning, and reducing banking model effect" (Ewald 55).

     The dialogue journals promoted good dialogue by giving timid students an opportunity to express themselves in writing. It gave the students a forum to say things to the teacher they wouldn't feel comfortable saying in class. The journals also helped the students construct meaning by giving them an opportunity to reflect on what they were learning. Additionally, the journals reduced the "banking model" by giving the students voice. Teachers who use dialogue journals communicate the idea that students are not passive recipients of information but rather active participants in their learning. The journals also proved to the students that the teacher cared about how they felt about learning.  

    I never thought about the possibility of having students write dialogue journals in their L1. This article definitely illuminated the benefit. If anything it is valuable for the students to realize that their thoughts and feelings are valued by the teacher no matter how well they speak or write the language. It seems like dialogue journals in learners' L1 are a great way to lower the affective filter Krashen talks about. 

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