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{March 6, 2010}   study diaries

What is a study diary?

It’s a notebook you and your teacher use on a regular basis. It’s where you note your feelings about your studies. Sometimes a study diary is for personal use only where you can record how you’re feeling. Sometimes it is a concrete, written link between you and your teacher. In either case a study diary is especially useful if you want to become an independent learner.

Why have a study diary?

The idea of a study diary is to encourage you to think about how you’re learning and why you’re learning.
It’s for you to record what is going well on your course and areas you’d like to improve.
It’s an opportunity for you to communicate with your teacher about the progress you’re making, how you feel about the classes and areas you’re having problems with.
It’s an invaluable means of personalising your course. Through your diary your teacher will be able to get to know you as an individual rather than merely part of a group.

When to fill in your diary and how much time to spend on it

Teachers may allocate a few minutes at the end of each class for this purpose. Filling in your diary should not create too much extra work for you or your teacher.

How to make a study diary

A study diary is a way of expressing yourself and so you may find it more natural to do this in your own language. If you intend to keep your diary completely private then you decide what language you write in.

You could split it into sections using the questions below as guidelines. Or you could have a page per class. You could also have half a page for your comments with the other half left free for your teacher to write his comments in. Their comments may include advice on how to deal with problems you mention when you write. Your teacher may also correct your English but they will discuss this possibility with you before you start you diary.

What should you write in a study diary?

You should consider the following questions to help you make the most of your diary:

What did I enjoy about today’s lesson?
What did I learn?
What did I find difficult?
What activities did I find interesting/boring?
What did we do in class that I would like to do again?

Your study diary is personal and doesn’t have to be restricted to talking about your lessons. You may want to share problems, concerns or positive things that are happening in your life. Sometimes writing it down is easier than speaking out loud.

Finally, remember that keeping a study diary, whatever format it takes, can greatly help your studies. It is a very useful learning tool, especially if you are studying by yourself, as it provides an ongoing record of what you are doing and how you are doing it.



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