潔西個人認為，語言只要接觸的夠多，用的夠多，讓它變成生活的一部分的時候，自然而然地就可以用英文思考了吧！就口說來說，就是呢直接按對方的問題，搜尋自己有的字彙句型組合出來。當然沒有想過的事可能要花多點時間，不會說的字就用形容的。就像人家問你How are you? 應該不用想，Fine. Thanks. And you? 就自動出現了吧！對於非常習慣的問題會是這樣，中文也是一樣，有時候就是一個習慣的問題。假如讀得夠多，看得夠多，練習的夠多，用的夠多，很自然的當你在表達的時候就可以用英文直接說出，不過這需要長時間的練習，一兩個月，甚至一兩年都不一定可以練習的起來。但是非常努力的人，我相信一年的時間要辦到也不是不可能。
寫的話，從寫日記開始，潔西當年學英文的時候都記流水賬，假如連流水帳都寫不出來，表示基礎非常需要加強，每天做的事的單字跟句型都寫不出來的話，那請多看多聽，多從泛讀中學習需要的句型跟單字。對了，請記片語慣用法，然後要表達的把英文句型套進去用，不要自己中翻英創造英文不存在的句型。這樣用字才會準確。上星期去教師研習會中有個非常風趣的俄籍老師說到collocation搭配字，這種東西就是約定成俗的，中文說大雨，同學學了big是大的，rain是雨，所以大雨就直接用big rain，對不起，母語使用者不這麼用，用的是heavy rain/torrential rain/pouring rain。為什麼，真的沒有為什麼。潔西每次都說聽得懂，可是人家就是不會這麼用，就像中文說一箭雙雕，你絕對不會說一箭二雕，一箭兩雕。意思不是一樣嗎？也聽得懂啊。然後英文的rice有米的意思，但是也有飯的意思，所以中文生的是米，熟的是飯，生米煮成熟飯，不過呢，英文就通通用rice這個字。假如學中文的外國人跟你說他要吃米。恩，或許聽得懂，但是沒有一個中文的母語使用者會說我餓了，我要吃米。這是潔西每次上課都舉的同樣的例子，下次再來想新的，不過這樣同學大概就有點懂意思了。有些東西可以創新，但很多東西，非母語使用者還是請多看多聽多學母語使用者的使用方式，這樣才能讓英文精進。
明明就是睡前想起昨天跟學生說部落格上有很多的寫作主題，可以上來看，結果自己找了一下，怎麼只有十個，其他的都沒放上來，啊，心虛的想說趕快放上了，不小心又碎碎念了一堆，呵呵。每天寫流水賬很無聊的話，可以找一些主題，下面是潔西從幾本寫作的書裡面整理出來的一些寫日記的主題（所以潔西的書真的是有用，不是放書櫃擺好看的，安慰自己一下），藉由練習不同的主題，也可以增加自己的單字跟表達能力。有些題目可能不符合，有些題目可能想都沒想過。外國人的思考模式跟台灣人是不一樣的，所以他們的問題常常是台灣學生想都沒想過，有時候可能不是英文不好，是反應不夠快，缺乏訓練，多思考一些不同的東西，甚至可以掰，瞎掰也不錯，上課同學不想回答或回答不出來時，潔西就說那可以掰啊make up a story，然後後來常常被同學掰的故事騙到，厚，還是儘量真實啦。這樣要用的時候才說得出來。不然也可以google一下，看看人家怎麼寫，參考一下，然後自己想想寫出自己風味的文章。
Topics for Journal Writing Jessie Lin P.1
A. Understanding Sentence Basics P.29 Great Sentence for Great Paragraph
1. Write about your favorite pet. Why do you like this animal? Do you have one
at home? What does the animal look like? What is its name? How old is it?
2. Write about your favorite type of weather. Why do you like this weather?
What kinds of activities do you do in this weather?
3. Write about your mother or your father. Include their name, age, and
occupation. What kind of personality does your mother or father have?
4. Write about a toy you remember from your childhood. What kind of toy was
it? How long did you have it? Who gave it to you? Do you still have it? If not,
5. Write about your experience learning English. Why are you studying English?
How do you feel about English? What is easy for you to understand in
English? What are some difficulties you have in English?
6. Write about your favorite type of fashion in clothing. What kind is it? Why
do you like it?
7. Write about an 『extreme』 sport, such as bungee jumping. How do you feel
about this sport? Do you want to try this sport? Why or why not? Describe
the types of people who enjoy these kinds of sports.
8. What do you miss about your country? Write about something that you cannot
find in the United States.
9. Write about your home. How many rooms are in your home? What color is it?
How old is it? Do you like it? What is your favorite room in the home?
10. Write about what you do in your leisure (free) time. Who do you spend the
time with? What activities do you do? How long do you spend doing these
activities? Are your free-time activities the same during the week and on
Topics for Journal Writing Jessie Lin P.2
B. Connecting Sentences and Paragraphs
P.57 Great Sentence for Great Paragraph
- Write about a city. What do you know about it? Do you want to visit this city? Why or why not?
- Write about swimming or another sport. Do you like to practice this sport? How often? Why do you enjoy this sport?
- Write about your favorite kind of music. Why do you like this music? How do you feel when you listen to this music?
- Write about how to use a ______. Explain the steps involved in using this thing.
- Write about credit cards. What is your opinion about them? Are they helpful or dangerous? Do you use them?
- Write about a good weekend plan. What do you like to do on the weekend? Who do you spend your weekends with?
- Choose a person in your class to write about. Explain how the person looks, and what his or her personality is like.
- Write about a famous person you like. Who is this person? What is the person’s job? Why do you like this person?
- Write about something you do not like. Give three reasons why you do not like this thing
- Write about your favorite subject in school. Why do you like this subject? What kinds of things do you practice in this subject?
Topics for Journal Writing Jessie Lin P.3
C. Writing about the Present
P.77 Great Sentence for Great Paragraph
- Choose a member of your family. Write a paragraph about this person. Include the person’s name, age, nationality, job, hobbies, etc.
- Write about your typical routine for a day of the week. Include the time that you usually wake up, what you eat for breakfast, what your activities are during the day, whom you spend your time with, how you enjoy the day, and what time you go to bed.
- Write about a special city in your country. Include the name of the city, the population, the special tourist attractions, and why it is an important city for you.
- Write about a job that you are interested in. Include the title of the job, the duties of the job, and why it is interesting to you.
- What is your favorite web site? Write about a web site that you like. What is the address? What kind of information does it have? Why do you like it?
- Write about your best friend. What is his/her name? Where does he/she live? What makes your friendship special?
- Write about a restaurant that you like? What is the name of this restaurant? Why do you like it? What kind of food does it serve? What is the price range? How is it decorated?
- Write about your favorite movie. What is the title? Who are the main actors in the movie? What is the story about? Why do you like this movie?
- Write about a specific food that you know how to cook. What are the ingredients? Is it easy to prepare? Are the ingredients expensive?
- Write about a type of music you do not enjoy. Why don’t you like it? How does it make you feel when you hear it?
Topics for Journal Writing Jessie Lin P.4
D. Writing about the Past
P.98 Great Sentence for Great Paragraph
- Describe a pet you had in the past. What was the pet’s name? What kind of animal was it? How long did you have this pet? Why did you like this pet? (Or: Why did you dislike this pet?)
- Describe a home you lived in when you were a child. How big was the house? What color was the house? Where was the house? Did you like the house? What was your favorite room in the house?
- Write about a movie you saw or a book you read. Did you like it? Who was your favorite character? What was the story about? Did the author have a message for the readers of this book?
- Write about what you did last weekend. Where did you go? Who did you go with? Did you enjoy it?
- Write about a person you used to know. Who was this person? Where did you meet this person? What was special about this person?
- Write about an important even in your life. How old were you? What happened? Why is this event important to you?
- Describe a holiday that you and your family spent together. What was the occasion? Which family members were there? What did you do?
- Write about something embarrassing that happened to you. How old were you? What happened? Why were you embarrassed? Who saw this happen? How did you feel afterwards?
- Write about a day you spent outdoors. What did you do? Where did you go? Who did you go with? What specific activities did you do? How was the weather?
- Describe a vacation you took. Where did you go? What did you do? Who went on this vacation with you? How old were you when you went on this trip? Did you like this vacation?
Topics for Journal Writing Jessie Lin P.5
E. Describing Actions P.116 Great Sentence for Great Paragraph
- Watch several minutes of a television program. Describe what is happening in the show.
- Describe how your life is now. Include your studies, your living arrangements, and your free time.
- Imagine that you are a private investigator. Imagine a specific character or person. Write down everything that person did for five minutes.
- Find a picture in a magazine. Choose a picture of many people who are doing different things. Write a paragraph that describes what each person is doing.
- Imagine that you are visiting the zoo. What are the animals doing? Write a paragraph that tells what at least five different kinds of animals are doing. Use the connectors ad, but, or so to combine short sentences into longer sentences.
- imagine that you are in a large city like Chicago, Illinois, or Toronto, Canada. Walk around the city and write down the things that you see. What is happening in this large city?
- Imagine that you are walking down the street, and you see your favorite movie star walk into a café. Follow this person. What is he/she doing?
- Write a letter to your friend explaining what you are doing in this class. Tell about the assignments that you have and the writing skills that you are practicing.
- If you have a pet, watch it closely for ten minutes. What is it doing? Where is it going? Is it playing? Jumping? Making noise?
- Imagine that you are a news reporter for a movie magazine. You are at the Academy Awards presentation. What are the people doing? Name some of the famous actors. (This word means male and female actors.) What are they doing? What are they wearing? What are they saying to their friends? What are they wondering?
Topics for Journal Writing Jessie Lin P.6
F. Writing about the FutureP.143 Great Sentence for Great Paragraph
- Write about something that you plan to do in the next two weeks. Include the people who are going to be with you, where you are going to be, and why you are going to do this.
- Write about something that you plan to do in the next six months. Be sure to include where this activity is going to happen, who is going to be with you, and why you chose this activity.
- Choose a current topic in the news. Read about it. Then write about what you think is going to happen and tell why.
- Write about one of your goals. Include what the goal is, why this goal is important to you, and how long it is going to take to achieve.
- Write about what you are going to do before you return home today. Make a list: Who are you going to be with? are you going to do this thing for work, school, or pleasure? How long is it going to take you to complete these things?
- Describe what your wedding is going to be like. How big is the wedding party going to be? Who is going to be there? Where is it going to happen?
- Describe the job you want to have when you finish school. What kind of job is it? What are your responsibilities going to be in this job? Are you going to work for a company or by yourself? How much money are you going to earn in this job?
- Write about what you plan to study (your major) in college. Why did you choose this subject? What classes are going to be easy for you, and what classes are going to be difficult? How long is it going to take you to get your degree?
- Describe what life is going to be like in the year 2050. what new things are going to be available? How is life going to be better than it is now? How is life going to be worse than it is now?
- Write about the future of space travel. What planets are humans going to visit? What things are going to be discovered in space?
Topics for Journal Writing Jessie Lin P.7
G. Writing Sentences with Adjective Clauses and Place Phrases
P.160 Great Sentence for Great Paragraph
- Write about an animal that you like. Describe the animal, tell where the animal lives, and tell why you like this animal so much.
- Write about your dream house or apartment. Describe what this house looks like (how many rooms, what type of architecture, etc.). Write about the location of the house (in the mountains? on the beach? in a big city?).
- Organized sports in school help children grow up to become better adults. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?
- Do you think that young children who know something about computers have an advantage in school today? Why or why not?
- What is the worst decision that you ever made? Give details about why it was a bad decision.
- What is the best decision that you ever made? Why was it a good decision? Did you come to this decision by yourself? How did you feel after you made this decision.
- Write about a book that you like. Describe the book, briefly tell what happens in the story, and tell why you like this book.
- Describe a painting that you like. Who painted it? What is in the painting? Describe colors. What do you feel when you look at the painting?
- Describe your favorite kind of shopping. Where do you shop? What do you shop for? What do you like about the experience?
- Describe your favorite place to visit. Where is this place? When do you go there? Who do you go there?