Before you start a new project, it is always a good idea to consider what your goals are, and how you can best achieve them. That way you can choose learning strategies that suit you best.
With that in mind, take some time to consider these questions. Take notes, write a short text, start a learning journal – having your goals and personal learning strategies on paper will help you stay on track and reach your goal faster.
- What do you do and what do you need English for?
- What do you want to achieve?
- How do you learn best?
- What resources do you enjoy using most?
- How much time are you willing to spend?
- What are your strengths and weakness in English?
- What could you do to improve?
It might help to think of rewards you can give yourself for reaching certain goals. English language rewards that is. Here are some ideas:
Study for one month – invite a friend who speaks English well out to a nice cafe for coffee, cake and 30 minutes of English conversation.
Complete 3 units of a course – treat yourself to an English magazine, comic or book.
Do 10 assignments – buy a new album from an English speaking singer or group. Get the lyrics and sing loudly to all your favourite songs!
My tip: When it comes to reading, start off with something light. When I came to Germany for a few months as a student, I had a friend who had a huge comic collection, everything from Lucky Luke to Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series, things for kids and adults. What a revelation! Short stories, lots of dialogue and images to assist with comprehension: finish one, having pretty much understood everything, and you’ll be delighted with yourself. We need these quick wins to keep our motivation up!
When I read in Spanish, I often pick books aimed at teenagers, and also if I haven’t been practicing in a while, I go for books that were originally written in a different language and translated into Spanish. Although I miss out on the cultural benefit I’d have from reading books by national authors, there is usually less local colloquial language for me to deal with.
What are your goals? What do you want to be able to do in English? How will you reward yourself and when?
Post your thoughts to the Forum ‘Learning Path’.