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January 12 , 2010

Journal Writing in Second Language Education


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 21stcentury 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.

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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.

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