Journals come in many forms and teachers should choose their own way of using them in the classroom. In journals, students undertake an important form of writing in the English classroom - writing to learn. When they write to learn, students attempt to make personal sense of their experience as well as build connections between what they know and new ideas they encounter. This type of writing helps students to construct their own knowledge, develop their thinking and reflect on their learning. It is part of the process by which understanding can be communicated to others in a range of written and oral genres.
Journals range from informal personal journals in which students express their private thoughts to structured learning logs in which student’s record thoughts, questions and comments about their learning and make plans for future work.