Summer Journal Writing for Literacy Fun
Posted by Jennifer Vecchiarelli on June 28, 2017 in categoryMember Tips

There is nothing wrong with wanting to get lost in all of the distractions of summer. However, for the adult learners enrolled in adult education programs that may not offer classes during the sunshine season, it can be a perilous stretch of time for their learning process. 

Summer is the time to kick back and relax, go on vacations, attend various events with family and friends, and enjoy as many enticing outdoor activities as possible. We want to help adult basic education instructors and volunteer tutors make sure their students do not get too caught up in all of the enticing summer distractions so that they can continue working towards their literacy goals.

Here is one fun way to keep your adult learners engaged and on their path to learning and basic literacy success while class is not in session. 

A Good Old Fashion Summer Journal 

Incorporating journal writing into basic reading and writing instruction can be highly beneficial to adult learners. It is an instructional method that reinforces both reading and writing and encourages students to strengthen their literacy skills. Journaling can help students develop comprehension skills, boost their self-esteem through self-reflective writing, and build confidence in their reading and writing skills. Depending on the types of journal exercises applied in the classroom, it can even enhance the relationship between a student and their instructor, and build a unique sense of community with other classmates. 

Journal writing can be an especially valuable learning tool for English language learners (ELLs). ELL students develop more than their English writing skills; they learn more about themselves, a new culture, how they comprehend things in a new language, and what they can accomplish in using their newly learned language to express themselves.  

A Summer Journal for Summer Learning

There is no right or wrong way to write a journal. Encourage your students to start a summer journal that they can make entries in every day that will inspire them to keep writing and learning. 

Emphasize how daily journal writing will help them develop repetitive learning habits and continue strengthening their literacy skills by practicing spelling, sentence structure, linguistics, and pronunciation. Daily entries will encourage students to continuously use and apply what they’ve already learned in their classes and tutoring sessions, not only in their writing but also in conversation. Most importantly, emphasize that it’s fun. Writing in a journal is not supposed to be stressful or overwhelming—it is supposed to be fun, relaxing, and in this case, educational. 

What can they write about? 

  • Their day to day life
  • A project they are working on
  • A goal their working towards over the summer
  • Their goals for their next adult literacy class
  • How literacy classes have so far affected their lives and/or families
  • 75 Summer Writing Prompts – This is an excellent resource especially for ESL instructors who wish to help their students not only learn basic literacy skills, but also unique and historical facts about the United States. 

In the end, a summer journal is not a way to help adult learners continue their progress, but it can be used as something to look back on when he or she achieves their goal of becoming literate. It will be something they look back on and say, “I did it, I learned how to read and write.”

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