Dreams and ambitions often occupy our hearts and minds. Just about everyone hopes for loving connections with others. Some people crave financial freedom while others desire fame and fortune. And then there are those who are most devoted to achieving optimal health. Whatever it is you’re after, setting appropriate goals can help you to achieve what you want from life.
The problem arises when you set your sights on the wrong objectives. Doing so can lead to a demoralizing result. As a matter of fact, setting goals that are too lofty can lead to quitting at the first signs of difficulty. While each of us have top-priority goals we wish we could accomplish in the near future, to succeed, we must devise a long-term strategy we can stick to. Setting SMART objectives is a reliable way to get on the right track to reaching your goals.
A good first step is to write down your end goal on a piece of paper and give it a deadline. Of course, putting your plan into action is always the hard part. As you’re probably aware, there are countless books about goal-setting available online. What do they tend to leave out? Well, as a general rule, most authors forget to emphasize the everyday acts (or habits) necessary to achieve long-term goals. On this page, you’ll gain access to our most popular blog pieces on SMART objectives and learn how to use them in your everyday life. So, let’s uncover how setting goals for English practice can accelerate your language learning potential!
The first topic we will cover for setting effective English language goals is about being specific. You say you have the grand ambition of being able to communicate English like a pro? Well then, what’s the first step? Admitting to yourself that you can’t possibly master all there is to know overnight!
Consider the following pipe dream: “Tonight I’ll do a bit of studying, then be able to wake up tomorrow morning and speak English with ease. In a week, I will be able to speak English as fluently as a native.” Wrong! What you’re aiming for is the final destination, but there are a thousand tiny steps between where you are now and where you’d like to be at the end. Start by asking, “What will I use English for, exactly?”
It’s the practical applications you’re aiming for. If you concentrate on scenarios you expect yourself to actually be in, and focus on memorizing words that you can implement in such real-life circumstances, you will acquire English much faster. Sitting in a cafe, learning about language tenses will do you no good. Practicing the specific phrases needed to purchase a meal at a restaurant, on the other hand, can do you wonders. It turns out that grammar rules aren’t nearly as useful as particular conversational statements. So, going back to our example, what is the best way to learn how to place an order at a restaurant? Focus on one single mini-goal at a time by breaking your larger objective into smaller, more manageable chunks.
Make it Measurable
Learning to measure your victories properly is the next strategy. It’s impossible to get better at something if you can’t determine how far you’ve come to get to where you’re going. “What doesn’t get assessed, doesn’t get improved,” the old adage says. So, taking just a few minutes to chart your progress at the end of each practice session can go a long way to helping you achieve more. How can this be done?
One easy way is to create a spreadsheet tracking your progress. For instance, it may be helpful to log how many times per week you asked an Indian colleague to rephrase something you didn’t understand. Or perhaps you could log the number of times when you said (or heard) a word that seemed unintelligible to you or the person you were conversing with. Make a habit of taking mental notes of these instances. Then, incorporate what you’ve flagged into your practice sessions. You will quickly see how effective this method can be the next time you interact with that individual. Continue with this until you’re satisfied with your results. As soon as you start tracking your progress, you’ll find it’s much easier to push yourself to improve on a regular basis. After all, this is the essence of gamification.
The SMART framework, includes a few practical examples as well:
Weekly measurable goals:
- Add ten new terms to my vocabulary list.
- Read one page of literature in English.
- Complete one language activity.
Achievable and Attainable
It’s not enough simply to have a goal. Learners must challenge themselves while always believing their objectives are in the range of possibility. To determine whether or not a goal is attainable, take a good look at the student’s learning resources. It’s very important that books and learning materials be selected with the appropriate difficulty level in mind. Then, in addition to traditional resources, there are many culture and media resources that people may utilize to enhance their listening skills at home. Does the student know where to find the best media to match their level and therefore maximize language absorption? In short, students must have the right study materials, especially if sitting for an assessment exam is part of their objective. If one finds that the necessary tools are lacking, what should be done to get hold of them? At times it may even be useful to ask oneself, “Has anyone else been in a situation similar to mine? What have others from my background and ability level done in order to reach their goals? Could the same methods apply to me?”
- “I’ll learn ten new English terms per week (rather than 50).”
- “I’ll read from a leveled English reader (rather than a Pulitzer Prize winner).”
- “I’m okay with passing the PTE General Examination by my third attempt”
When it comes to the relevant part of the process, understudies usually connect it with their use of the best research paper writing service. Why are they doing it? Well, because they need reliable sources for their school projects, it’s as simple as that.
20 minutes of English conversation practice twice per week to enhance your public speaking ability is a realistic goal to set. If you can, try watching two episodes of your favorite series every week and spend some time discussing them in English with a buddy. When you have a subject that interests you and a lively conversation partner, several minutes can transform into hours of high-quality, organic learning. You’re more likely to complete a task if it’s meaningful to you. Take this into account.
The last piece of your SMART puzzle should be time-bound. What’s that, you say? Well, the most important thing to remember is to set deadlines for the things you’re working on. For example, if you have to write an English essay for a school project, set a time limit for when you must complete the task. Even if you fail multiple times, you will get better and better and your English will become more fluent. This will also teach you to be responsible and value others’ time.
Goal-setting may seem straightforward at first glance, but when you do it poorly, you set yourself up for disappointment. You’ll have a better chance of succeeding in English if you make sure all your objectives are SMART. By paying heed to the details listed above, your language speaking, reading and listening are bound to become top-notch.
Please be advised that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the author or his/her sources and do not necessarily reflect those of English Forward. This includes, but is not limited to, third-party content contained on or accessible through the English Forward websites and web pages or sites displayed as search results or contained within a directory of links on the English Forward network.