How this book was made
 
My university students in 1996, 1997 and 2004 wrote Language Learning Histories (LLHs) concerning their English learning from when they began, usually around junior high school, through to the present. Most are English majors, but a few are French, Chinese, or Spanish majors.
 
Most students tend to incorrectly assume (as you will read in their histories) that other students have ALL been abroad and are fluent. Not so.
 
 The assignment was simply to tell a story about their learning of English. They were guided somewhat by a series of questions that I gave them (see the handout above). After reading many them I realized they would be excellent material for other students to read, both for their language learning and their motivation. Teachers and students can read them and learn a lot from them. Many teachers are using them to stimulate discussion of language learning strategies and to motivate students. Some of my university students are using them also in their private teaching (katei kyooshi) to show students what is possible.
 
Original Instructions HANDOUT (reduced) 
 
My Language Learning History
Write a paper about your language learning history from when you began learning English to the present. Length: 3 pages double spaced (about 750 words). If you like you can send it via e-mail. Some questions you may want to answer in your story:
       How did you learn English in JHS and HS?
       What positive and negative experiences did you have and what did you learn from them?
       What were you expecting before you came to the university?
       What were you surprised about in your university classes?
       How have you changed your ways of language learning since coming to the university?
       What are the things that you found especially helpful?
       What are the areas that you still want to improve in?
       How do you think your next three years will be?
       What are your language learning plans and goals after graduation?
       What advice would you give to next year's first year students?
 
Have your paper proof read and signed by two other classmates. Write the following at the end of your paper for their signatures:*I have proofread and given suggestions about this paper.
Signed