I am a big believer in homework, just ask any of my students at Smith’s 英会話 Hirakata. Listening exercises (TV shows, YouTube), some sort of reading (ie. newspaper articles), the mini-English lessons or diaries are my personal favorites. It doesn’t really matter what they’re doing as long as they’re doing something. Learning anything takes time so if students can do that little bit extra after class it really helps speed up the process. A common question I hear from students that write diary entries is “What should I write about?” Again, it doesn’t really matter what, but rather how. Writing is the exact opposite of speaking in that speaking requires us to instantaneously process information while writing requires more thought to clearly get our point across. Last year I helped my student publish her second book, “The Call that Changed My Life” which I wrote about in an earlier post. This year I am busy working on my first book which I hope to publish sometime later this year and what I’ve learnt from working on both books is that writing is tough, and it’s my native language.
In another post I shared with you one student’s diary entry which I found unique and one that really caught my eye because of his attention to every conceivable detail. Tonight I read another. This time it was just too funny not to. Here it is.
“I’m always considering what I should write in my diary. I’m always looking for good subjects for my diary. But it’s difficult to find good ones. Actually I often play sports or musical instruments but I have written about them so many times before. I have nothing to write about now. But I have to continue writing because I need to add a few more sentences to complete today’s homework. I need two more sentences so I can finish my diary.”
My comment, great. Even when you have nothing to write about, writing about that is still good grammar practice and it will make the reader laugh. In case you are stuck for things to write about I always encourage students to write not only about their own experiences but of their friends, past experiences, movies they watch, stories they hear, the list is never ending. Have fun with it.