Setting and Reaching Goals

I recently shared some best practices that I learned from students over the years. (Watch video.) These aren’t specific study habits, but rather approaches and attitudes one can develop in order to have a more successful language learning experience.

In the past, I’ve proposed a learner’s pledge for students to consider and (hopefully) adopt. Click to view. The exercise of actually writing one’s goals and forming a plan is much more concrete. Goal setting can be done independently; however, discussing one’s goals with others is a chance to reflect on how realistic those goals are and whether one has considered all possible resources. For that reason, I suggest that students reflect, write, and then share their thoughts with at least one other learner. Two heads are better than one, and plans can most likely be revised and improved after conversation.

A group task that can be added either before or after the reflection sheet is to list the qualities of a “good learner” and then prioritize them. Small groups can develop lists and then share them with the class. Key qualities I listed in the video lesson include self-discipline, determination, resilience, resourcefulness, openness, diligence, confidence, and a sense of adventure. Similarly, you can have students work together to develop a list of dos and don’ts in language learning. For example, don’t fear mistakes.

Featured photo by Sasint retrieved from

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