2023 is just around the corner. If you are aspiring to set English learning goals, this is the right time for you. Setting goals takes you a step closer to your destination. You may have achieved some of your goals but you still need to plan your future learning goals.
If you are looking for ways to achieve your English learning goals, you need to figure out the process that accompanies the goals. To achieve your new year’s goals, you must have a process in place for each one. Otherwise, by the end of 2023, you might be disappointed.
In this post, we will cover some common English learning goals and how to process them. If you succeed in doing so, you will end up being an expert in the English language. All these goals will help you improve your English speaking and let 2023 be a transformational year for you.
Some of the most common English learning goals are as follows:
Increase English vocabulary
If you want to express yourself better and improve your understanding of English, whether for reading or listening, expanding your vocabulary is the key to success. Individual words do not constitute vocabulary. Idioms, collocations, and lexical phrases are also included.
First of all, you must define the type of vocabulary you require. Is it for commercial use? A trip to another country? A subject of interest, such as Economics? Once you have decided, look for vocabulary-related content such as articles, podcasts, and videos.
So, if Economics is your interest, go to the Economist website or YouTube channel and select an article or video. This material will provide you with new vocabulary. You can also go through the English literature of your choice to develop your vocabulary list.
While studying the material, you should take notes and organize the new vocabulary so that you can review it later. For this, you can use flashcard apps. There are several apps such as Quizlet that you can use in this regard.
Reviewing the new vocabulary is critical for retention. Learners usually need to see new vocabulary several times before they can remember it. So you can process it like this:
Take 20 minutes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning to study content on your chosen topic. Then, every Tuesday and Thursday morning, review the new vocabulary for 10 minutes.
Speak English in public
Many English learners lack confidence when speaking the language, It is not because they necessarily have a low level of English. Many learners have upper intermediate to advanced levels but are uncomfortable speaking English in a work meeting, giving a business presentation, or having a casual conversation during a business lunch.
The majority of the time, a lack of confidence in speaking English is a mindset issue rather than a competency issue. If you truly lack the English proficiency to participate in meetings, express your opinions, understand what others are saying, and so on, this is a competency issue that must be addressed.
It is a mindset issue when you know that you can actually express your opinions and communicate ideas in a one-on-one situation with your teacher, but you don’t do so in front of your colleagues and end up getting nervous, forgetting vocabulary, getting blocks, and feeling anxious.
Following are a few strategies that you can use to improve your mindset so that you feel more confident:
If you must attend a meeting, plan ahead of time what you will say and the questions you will be asked. We recommend writing everything down first, then practicing aloud 10 times, 20 times, or until you feel completely comfortable.
For non-native speakers, rehearsal and repetition are critical when giving a presentation. Your goal should be to ‘overlearn’ the speech. Do more when you think you have done enough.
Speak a bit slower
When a non-native is asked to repeat something, they can lose confidence. You have an instinctive feeling that something is wrong with your English. However, in most cases, you are misunderstood because maybe the listener is unfamiliar with your accent, and or you are speaking too quickly.
There is nothing wrong with having an accent, and you should not be embarrassed to have one. However, if you are speaking to someone who hasn’t had much exposure to your type of accent, they may struggle to understand you at first.
Furthermore, when we are nervous, we tend to speak more quickly than usual, which affects pronunciation and makes it more difficult for listeners to understand. Instead of rushing through your speech, make sure to carefully pronounce and articulate your words.
Step out of your comfort zone
You need to confront your fear and step out of your comfort zone. Practice until you feel you have accomplished enough. Slow down your speech and concentrate on pronouncing your words correctly so that others can understand you.
Face your fears of speaking English and step into the uncomfortable zone, having adequately prepared. To overcome your fear you can introduce yourself in English. It will boost your confidence level in front of the public.
Try understanding native speakers
This is a common problem for English learners because the English taught in textbooks and language schools differs greatly from how natives actually speak. Especially in terms of pronunciation. There are two main reasons why native speakers can be difficult to understand.
Words and expressions are not pronounced as they are in textbooks by native speakers. Consider that the listening exercises are recordings of professional voice-over artists who adjust their language for the English learner.
Words are pronounced ‘correctly,’ and sentences are spoken in a way that minimizes word-to-sound connectivity. This connection of words and sounds is where natives differ from textbook listeners.
The ‘correct’ way of speaking, which involves pronouncing each word separately, is abandoned. As we use words in phrases and sentences, they ‘affect’ each other in different ways. We occasionally change, add, or subtract sounds. Furthermore, words frequently join together, making two or even three words that follow each other sound like one.
When listening to a native, many students make the mistake of focusing too much on individual words. And, despite being able to understand the majority of what native speakers say, they struggle to grasp the overall message. This is due to a technique known as ‘chunking’ used by natives.
Chunking refers to the use of ‘groups of words’ rather than individual words to constructing sentences. Natives do not express themselves in single words. They think in chunks. In other words, they communicate using pre-built phrases made up of individual words.
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Frequently asked questions about English learning goals
Q. What are the two main goals for English learners?
A. English Learners are expected to increase their level of English language proficiency and improve their overall achievement.
Q. What are the 4 main skills you will learn in English?
A. Reading, listening, writing, and speaking.
Q. What are good language learning goals?
A. Structure your goals around improving listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and you are guaranteed to succeed. There might be other areas you want to focus on too, such as improving your pronunciation and vocabulary.
Instead of ending 2023 disappointed that you didn’t achieve the English learning goals you had set at the beginning of the year, put a process in place to accompany your goals.
As previously stated, the procedure can be quite simple. Most of the time, it’s as simple as taking a small action and consistently repeating it throughout the year.
Most of the time, it’s as simple as taking a small action and consistently repeating it throughout the year. Keep in mind that it is the accumulation of small actions that produce results. Defining a process, then consistently applying that process is the key to improving your English.
Doing so will ensure that the next 12 months are the most productive and transformational for your English skills.