Goals and targets

targetWhen learning a language it can be useful to have some goals and targets to aim for. Many learners have long-term goals, such as wanting to be fluent in the language their learning eventually. This is a good thing to aim for, but that ‘eventually’ may never arrive.

It might be more helpful to set yourself short-term goals and targets, such as being able to talk about a particular subject, or learning a particular grammatical rule or set of rules. You could try breaking each big goal into smaller tasks which are relatively easy to achieve. These could be things you aim for every day, every week or every month. You could aim to learn perhaps 5-10 new words about a particular topic each day and to focus on it for a week or a month, depending on how deep you want to go into it. You could also try talking and/or writing about what you’re learning to practise using the new words.

By focussing on particular topics you will learn words in context, which is much more effective then trying to learn long lists of random words, and maybe you’ll learn new things about the topics themselves as well.

You could also set yourself the goal or doing particular tasks using only the language you’re learning. This might involve ordering a meal, finding particular information from written or spoken sources, joining in a conversation, or even giving a talk or presentation about what you’re learning.