I Like Dialogue Journals, BUT...

OverviewI Like Dialogue Journals, BUT... manual

A dialogue journal is a daily written dialogue between the educator and student. When responding to the student, the educator models correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

I Like Dialogue Journals, BUT... online course

The Educator Does This:

  • communicate through writing daily
  • use mini-lessons for strategies for journal writing
  • model correct English in written responses
  • scaffold development of writing skills through the journal
  • make dialogue journal writing fun

What Observers Will See:

  • students using dialogue journals regularly
  • students using known words, word walls, word banks, and a print-rich environment as resources for writing
  • students developing skills in using the resources in the room to get words they cannot write independently
  • teachers responding to journal entries in positive and reinforcing ways

How It Works:

  • Student-centered: Dialogue Journals help make a connection with an adult.
  • Privacy: Keep the journal between the educator and the student. If sharing, get permission first.
  • Student first: Make sure the student, not the educator, writes the first entry. This helps set the tone.
  • Educators respond to students.
  • Continuous writing.
  • No corrections: Do not use the red pen. Instead, respond back in ways that show the correct grammatical and spelling conventions.
  • For all ages and abilities: Use journals with preschool through high school students, from those who just draw a picture to those who write much more complicated writing.

Bailes, C. "Dialogue Journals: Fellowship, Conversation, and English Modeling." Perspectives in Education and Deafness, 17:5 (May/June 1999).

Classroom Applications

Here is one example of a dialogue journal:

Example of a Dialogue Journal about MLK

Materials

Bailes, C., et al. (1986).  It's your turn now! Using dialogue journals with deaf students. Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. 

Burton, J., & Carroll, M. (eds.). (2001). Journal writing. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Kreeft, J. (1990). Student and teachers writing together. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. 

Peyton, J., & Reed, L. (1990). Dialogue journal writing with nonnative English speakers: A handbook for teachers. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. 

A Good Place To Start

Bailes, C., Searls, S., Slobodzian, J., & Staton, J. (1986). It’s Your Turn Now! Using Dialogue Journals with Deaf Students. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University, Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. Order at 800-526-9105 (tty/v); http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu.

Supportive Research and Descriptive Literature

Bailes, Cynthia Neese (1999). Dialogue journals: Fellowship, conversation, and English modeling. Perspectives in Education and Deafness, 17 (5), May/June.

Peyton, Joy Kreeft (ed.) (1990). Students and Teachers Writing Together: Perspectives on Journal Writing. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Schleper, David R. (2000). Dialogue journals…for students, teachers, and parents. Odyssey, 1 (2), Spring, 11-14.

Clerc Center Resources

I Like Dialogue Journals, BUT... (DVD/manual)

Writing Conversation in the Dorm (Odyssey, Summer 2000) (PDF)

Research on Dialogue Journals

Dialogue Journals – General (Abstracts in PDF)

Dialogue Journals with Children (Abstracts in PDF)

Dialogue Journals with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children (Abstracts in PDF)

Dialogue Journals and Reading (Abstracts in PDF)

Dialogue Journal and Writing (Abstracts in PDF)

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