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Journal Writing in Second Language Education

Christine Pearson Casanave

Publication Year: 2013

Journal writing is not new--journals have been around for centuries. More recently, journals have been viewed as a means of scaffolding reflective teaching and encouraging reflectivity in research processes. As a result, some educators may ask, “What more do we need to know?” Those likely to raise this question are probably not thinking of the explosive growth of reflective writing enabled by social networking on the Web, the blogs and other interactive e-vehicles for reflection on experiences in our literate, “real,” and virtual lives This revisiting of journal writing from a 21st century perspective, informed by relevant earlier literature, is what Christine Pearson Casanave guides readers through in this first book-length treatment of the use of journal writing in the contexts of language learning, pre and in-service teaching, and research. Casanave has put together existing ideas that haven't been put together before and has done it not as an edited collection, but as a single-authored book. She has done it in a way that will be especially accessible to teachers in language teacher education programs and to practicing teachers and researchers of writing in both second and foreign language settings, and in a way that will inspire all of us to think about, not just do, journal writing. Those who have never attempted to use journals in their classes and own lives, as well as others who have used it with mixed results, will probably be tempted to try it in at least some of the venues Casanave provides guidance for. Those already committed to journal writing will very likely find in this book new reasons for expanding and enhancing their use of journals.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Series: Michigan Series on Teaching Multilingual


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Series Foreword, Acknowledgments

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pp. 2-8

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pp. vii-xii

This book on journal writing is for teachers in second and foreign language education who wish to understand the many uses of journal writing in teaching, learning, and research in second language (L2) education. It brings together three perspectives on journal writing that are ordinarily treated separately in books and articles: ...


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pp. xiii-xvi

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1. Introduction to Journal Writing

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pp. 1-33

While on some long walks pondering ideas for this book, I found myself asking: Why write a book on journal writing when others have already done so (e.g., Burton & Carroll, 2001; Fulwiler, 1987a; Gardner & Fulwiler, 1999a, 1999b; Mlynarczyk, 1998; Parsons, 2001; Peyton, 1990b; Peyton & Staton, 1991, 1993)? ...

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2. Journal Writing with Low-Proficiency Learners

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pp. 34-58

There is no better way to get a feel for what journal writing might mean to a low-proficiency multilingual writer than to try to write a journal ourselves in an L2 in which we are not proficient. I periodically did this with some master’s in TESOL students in a writing methods and practicum class, advising them in the previous class to bring dictionaries or whatever resources they needed. ...

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3. Journal Writing with Intermediate-Proficiency Learners

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pp. 59-94

Let me start out by confessing that I don’t know how to answer the first Preview Question that I posed. The category “intermediate-level learner” in my field of ESL/ EFL covers almost everyone besides the most basic beginner and the most advanced speakers and writers. In my work in Japan some years ago, we tried to divide incoming freshman English students into 14 levels/classes ...

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4. Journal Writing with Advanced-Proficiency Learners

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pp. 95-129

In the last chapter, I emphasized the great diversity of learner proficiencies within the label “intermediate.” As I mentioned there, it is easier to identify advanced learners, whether by test scores, writing samples, or the ease with which they read, speak, and comprehend the language of instruction. ...

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5. Journal Writing in Language Teacher Development

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pp. 130-168

In this chapter, I ask readers to switch from thinking about journal writing with L2 students to their own journal writing as teachers. Whether teachers are novices in a teacher preparation class, as yet with little or no experience teaching L2 learners, or seasoned teachers with many years of experience, journal writing can be used in many ways to deepen and further learning and teaching experiences. ...

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6. Journal Writing for Research Purposes

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pp. 169-197

The image of a journal that comes through in the preceding chapters is that of an expressive, introspective, and reflective record of some aspect of our lives as language learners and teachers. I depicted journals as vehicles for promoting reflective thinking and language acquisition and fluency in L2 students and, as we saw in the last chapter, ...

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7. Difficult Issues with a Wonderful Practice

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pp. 198-220

This book has provided an overview of the many uses of journal writing, with particular relevance for students, teachers, and researchers in second language education. Whether or not L2 educators teach writing or have an interest in it, journal writing is about writing, and about all the benefits that writing can provide any of us: ...


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pp. 221-226


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pp. 227-243

Other Resources

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pp. 244-249

Subject Index

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pp. 250-253

Author Index

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pp. 254-256

E-ISBN-13: 9780472029754
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472034574

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Michigan Series on Teaching Multilingual