Setting language learning goals for the new year? Here’s what to do
Goal setting is typically carried out at the start of the year or in learning new skills. There are many advantages of goal setting, but it can be detrimental if correctly done. We sought Nerida O’Shea of Monash College and Maria Naidoo from UNSW Global to share some tips on setting goals for language learning.
What is the purpose of goal setting? Essential when studying English?
Nerida states that goal setting is crucial as it reminds you of the extent to which you’ve come.
“There is nothing more rewarding than re-discovering your goals and examining how difficult and challenging you believed they were. When you see your development laid out this way it can be extremely inspiring,” she says.
According to Maria, inquiring questions such as “What are you trying to improve your English” and “Why are you learning English” are an everlasting reminder of where you are on your journey of learning a new language. She says that setting goals can boost motivation levels.
When language learners imagine their objectives as bricks and learn the language like building a house, Nerida says learners will soon realize they must be able to build solid foundations.
“That way, we have not got gaps, we can build this beautiful house that’s very strong and it can do what you want it to do,” she adds.
What are some examples of goals that are effective?
If the goal-setting process is crucial to learning English, How do we establish reasonable goals? First, context is crucial. Maria suggests that you establish personal goals in the context of your work. Consider: Are you studying for a degree? Or do you study to relax? This will allow you to set the correct learning objectives.
Another aspect to think about is what kind of goal you would like to achieve. It all depends on the context in which you are working. Here are a few examples of goals you could set to ensure your success in learning a language:
Goals-based on time
An excellent example of a time-based goal is to spend the same amount of time, say 30 minutes – doing something related to English daily or every other every day. For instance, reading a novel, viewing an English drama, or watching an audiobook.
Goal setting isn’t working,
Maria warns students to make sure that their goals are measurable and checked off. Suppose you’re trying to achieve something that’s beginning to become too difficult for you. Nerida warns that it could be challenging. This can be demotivating and does not contribute to learning to speak.
Don’t be afraid to start again.
If you’ve set up the right goals but feel like you’re not getting anywhere, Maria and Nerida say it’s normal and okay.
“If you find that something isn’t working, don’t hesitate to set it aside for a few days. Try again in the future or maybe reduce it a slightly,” she says.
Maria is a reminder that setting goals aren’t just a one-off event.