Goal setting is important in everything that we do if we want to succeed. But first you must have a clear idea about your objectives. All successful language learners have unambiguous goals which allow them to focus on their target and help them advance in the right direction. This is the first step in the success ladder.
Write down your goals, and most importantly the reasons why they are important to you. Imagine you want to convince a friend or your partner about the validity of your intention, what would you tell them? Write this statement down, and once you’re happy with it, copy it and hang it in a place where you can see it.
Now you have a clear idea of your objective, to set it in motion, you need structure. This is were building a Personal Study Plan (PSP) comes handy.
The PSP will help you achieve your language learning goals. It helps you plan everything step by step and allow you to stay on track. You will know which task you should perform and by when. Once done you will be able to cross them over showing your progress and how much you are moving forward towards your ultimate goal.
With a PST you will stop studying aimlessly, not knowing what you are doing and why. It will make your language learning more effective and productive. It helps you focus on specific tasks that you will schedule and assign deadlines to their completion. So, these tasks are more likely to be done as you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve.
You are aware of the timeframe to achieve your goal and you’ve organised your tasks to help you get there. Planning will boost your motivation and commitment to consistent learning.
How to create a PSP
- Assess your current skills and attributes. Write down how they can help you in your language study. For example, if you like reading a lot in your mother tongue, see how you can apply it in the different activities that you might plan as a language exercise.
- Assess the outcomes you want to achieve. What knowledge gap you want to bridge. How much you want to study to get to your target level.
Your personal study plan should include goals and tasks that are measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) to help you develop the motivation you need to complete them.
For example: “I want to learn X…”
“I want to improve my speaking skills by…….”
“I will study my online course daily”
“I will know that I’ve been successful when…”
You should be able to measure your results.
Examples: “I can successfully hold a conversation in [your foreign language] for 20 minutes” or “because I feel less stressed when expressing myself.”
Your targets should be time-based
For example: “I will learn X new skill by September”
“I will do X by the end of the year”.
While you’re executing your SMART goals, you can carry on seeking out more helpful training resources to move you to language proficiency.
- Set your goals – have an estimated completion date
- Program study days and length of study
- Set reminders
- Work towards your goal in manageable steps
Developing new skills and knowledge is exiting and satisfying. especially when you can effectively document your progress. But it can be hard as well. It’s not always easy to find a gap in your busy life and spend it doing a language activity. Therefore, make sure that your plans are realistic and most of all achievable. This will ensure your growth in the knowledge of your target language.
When your personal study plan considers your skills, past and present, what you’re aiming at, your availability, your target will be easier to reach, and you will be more resilient when unforeseen obstacles pop out of nowhere.
If you need help creating an effective personal language study plan register to the ‘Build Your Language Learning Plan For Success’ WORKSHOP