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Dr.Can OET Medical
Professional Teacher
How to stick to your language learning goals? Tips for staying motivated and engaged.
Dear all,

I am Dr. Can, and I am one of the new professional teachers here in the iTalki Platform.
I will be providing small daily tips to improve your skills in English.

Unfortunately, sticking to your goals can be hard!
In fact, 80% of goal setters don’t make it past the second week, according to the U.S. News & World Report.
Most of what we do as humans is habitual, and it can be hard to change. Breaking habits takes strong willpower and commitment!
Cramming, only preparing with practice tests and procrastination are all bad study habits that should be unlearned!
When it comes to studying, one of the major reasons new year goals fail is due to unreasonable expectations. People don’t change overnight, and unrealistic goals can have a negative impact on your overall success!
Below are five tips from education and psychology experts.

Tip 1 – Be SMART

Like most goals, you have a much better chance of keeping them if they’re SMART. This stands for:
  • Specific (What do you exactly want to achieve?)
  • Measurable (How do you know you’re on the right track?)
  • Achievable (Can you reach these with the time and resource available?)
  • Relevant (Do these align with your goals in life?)
  • Time-bound (Do you have a deadline when you need to achieve them?)
Crafting SMART goals is a great way to ensure you start off on the right foot.

Tip 2 – Aim small (in the beginning)

While learning a new language is a big goal, you can use smaller goals to get you there! “I want to use a new word every week” or “I want to have a conversation in English every day” are small, achievable and easy to measure!
Dr Carly Moores, associate lecturer at Flinders University, told that it’s important to not make too many changes at once.
“Start with small changes and continue to build on these or try to tackle one change at a time,” Moores said. “Try to set yourself goals, reflect on your progress towards these, acknowledge that changes can be hard, and results won’t happen overnight … or even in the first two weeks of the new year.”

Tip 3 – Link them to what you value

A study from the McGill University in Montreal Canada found that people who set and prioritised goals that they believed would have a positive impact on their lives and the lives of people close to them were more likely to achieve them than if they did not.
So, ask yourself:
  • What benefits do I expect to see when I reach my goal?
  • How could achieving my goal enhance my life and/or the lives of those I care about?

Tip 4 – Be accountable

To really make your study goals binding, make sure you have taken steps to be accountable!
Write them down and tell people about them. Use you friends and family to hold you to account when you stray from your goals.
By doing this you’ll feel more motivated!

Do you have any other tips? Looking forward to hearing them!
Do not hesitate to contact for other questions. You are also always invited to book a trial lesson with me for us to know each other and practice together.

I wish you all the best with your studies!

Dr. Can

May 1, 2020 3:55 PM
Comments · 2
Great tips! Thank you!

May 1, 2020
I am glad you found them useful. Good luck! Best, Can.
May 1, 2020
Dr.Can OET Medical
Language Skills
English, German, Turkish
Learning Language
English, German