I can’t imagine doing anything successfully without setting a goal at the first place.
For many people knowing the English language is a goal. But this is not enough for the whole process of learning a language.“Knowing” is ambiguous. What does it mean that you want to know English? Does it mean that you want to be able to communicate effectively or does it mean that you want to read, understand and recite Shakespearean poems or be able to write and understand legal agreements?
We’re all different, and we have different needs and priorities. That’s why our learning goals also should be different. But first of all, no matter what they are, we need to understand that setting them is imperative to our success as language learners. Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. It helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of learning.
How to set your goals then?
First of all, they need to be realistic and specific. If you have been a learner for a long time you’re probably aware of your learning style and pace - use this information to your advantage. For example, if you know that learning 50 new words usually takes you about 3 hours, and you can spare 1 hour a week on learning new vocabulary - setting a goal of learning 200 new words in a month might be a daunting challenge. On the other hand, learning 20 new words in a month, would not be a challenge for you at all.
So, my idea is to write down your learning priorities- vocabulary, language structures etc that you would like to know in a year time. Then, every month set a different goal - but make it measurable, specific and realistic.
Plan your progress and boost your motivation by setting and achieving the right goals.
March- learn 50 phrasal verbs
(by the end of March - I will know 50 phrasal verbs - I will be able to write them correctly, pronounce them correctly and use them in sentences- I will use my Quizlet set to practise them, and on 31.03 I will take a final test)
April - watch 3 movies in English without subtitles
May - learn 10 new words for the things that you have in a bathroom
June - write 1 email every week and ask somebody to proofread it
Written by Agnieszka Kansy