Writing is key to recycling language learning material. I’ve always championed the boost journal writing offers to language learners as a regular writing habit. But once you’ve made the decision to journal, pen poised above paper, the question often lingers: what on earth to write about?
When I journal in a foreign language, my first instinct is to jot down what happened in my week. That’s a great start. But if you do that all the time, you’ll find the vocab repetitive. Unless you have a celebrity lifestyle, you’ll more often than not be talking about the same things (mainly lots of coffee and work). And it’s always in the same narrative style, too – lots of past tense and not much else.
Instead, it’s handy to get some prompting for your journal exploits. Ideally, a language teacher can do that for you as a homework task – but with AI platforms ever more up to the task of playing teach, it’s as easy as pie to get some pottted prompts for diary writing when learning independently.
After the main request, I’ve also added a request for some helpful vocab hints in here. You could even ask for grammar tips here. What kinds of structures would be useful to revise for this topic, for instance? Reflexive verbs for daily routine, perhaps? In any case, build in as much help and support into the prompt as you need.
After that, it’s just a case of building journal writing into your regular habits. Let your prompt list guide the way, and watch your written fluency take off!