This study examines the usefulness of the learning journal as a pedagogical tool. Adding to previous studies that highlight the advantages in using the learning journal, the current study focuses on its role in the academic writing classroom. The journal was assigned in an undergraduate academic writing class in Seoul, South Korea as a semester-long assignment. Students wrote in either their L1 or L2 to record what they studied and made subjective contemplations regarding the class or their learning. Through the learning journal, the study looks into students’ reflections as learners, with such contemplations reflected in either their L1 or L2 language(s).
Qualitative data from the journals show that the learning journal, whether written in the L1 or L2, enables the learner to reflect on their own writing, through writing. Data show that the writing in a learning journal served several purposes for learners, including: a role in helping students to identify the close relationship between reading and writing, enabling student documentation of their own learning process and outcomes, and identifying their own weaknesses and improvements.