Many of you will be returning to school soon and are busy making resolutions to make this the most successful year of study ever! Here are some ideas to help you keep those resolutions:
- Objectives-Goals-Road Plan
It’s a lot easier to succeed when you know where you are going. So have a think about WHY you are taking this course. Maybe it’s obligatory, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get anything useful from it, make a list of all the advantages you can; not only obvious ones like learning to speak English, but also using new software, learning to work in groups, getting access to press articles, etc.
Objectives are important, but not necessarily clear enough so now think carefully about your goal this year, make sure it’s SMART (Specific – i.e. to be able to communicate in English when I visit London next summer, Measurable – i.e. I will learn 10 new words a week/get at least 15 in all my tests, Achievable – is it realistic? You can’t become bi-lingual in a month! Relevant – is it useful to you in your life at the moment? and finally Time-bound – what time frame have you set? i.e. to become an A2 learner by next September.) Now write down a clear goal.
The Road Plan: so now you know what you are going to do, here’s where you need to think about HOW you are going to do it. Below are some ideas to choose from.
2. A List of Tasks
Now you know what you want to do, write a list of ways you can achieve that. This should include plenty of quick, easy activities for you to do when you’re not very motivated or don’t have much time (if you only put complicated things like learn a whole chapter you will avoid doing it). This can include watch a 5 minute YouTube video, play quizlet, take a quiz, etc.
3. A Learning journal
A learning journal is a great way to track your progress (and tracking progress is important for motivation), in it you can write what you do, e.g. 10 minutes watching a YouTube video, but also write what you find difficult – or easy! It’s fun to look back and see the progress you’ve made. At the start of your journal write down your objectives and goals – it’s important to look at them often to stay motivated.
4. Find a Penfriend – here for example
5. Find a Learning Buddy
A learning buddy is a friend or classmate, someone who can keep you accountable – that means you tell them what you’re going to learn, and then they check in with you (and vice versa of course!) They don’t have to be learning the same thing as you. You can message each other with your tasks and achievements, read each other’s journals, watch videos or films together, etc.