How to set goals and learn English the easy way – an English teacher’s secrets

Do you want to learn English fast? Then you need to set goals that will give you motivation and keep you focused. In this first video we look at tips that can help you do that, so you can use your time wisely. These are tried and tested tips that can make learning English easy.
In part two we’ll turn your goals into an action plan. Good goals and good plans can make learning English easy and fast.

Click here to see our video on how to think in English.
Click here to see our video on how to remember English words.

How to set goals to learn English fast

In my first English lesson with a new student I set goals and make a plan with them. And I mean with them, because it’s something we do together. I can’t make plans for you because everyone’s goals are different. But I thought, if I tell you what I do with my students, perhaps it’ll help you make your own. Good goals and good plans make learning English easy.
Hi, I’m Vicki, and this is a two part lesson. This week you’re going to set some goals and next week, you’re going to turn them into a plan. Are you ready?
Hang on! Before we start, two things about why goals matter. First one. There’s been a lot of research about what leads to success when you’re learning a language. Only one of these factors really matters. Which one?
It’s motivation of course. Good goals motivate us.
And another thing. There’s so much English you could learn. You need to focus on the right things. Good goals do that.
If I skip making goals with my students and jump straight to a plan, I usually regret it later. So let’s give your goals some thought.
What are they?
Do you need English for your job?
Is there an exam you want to pass? Do you want to improve your writing or listening, or expand your vocabulary?
Do you want to feel more confident when you speak?
There are probably lots of things you want to do. With my students, I like to start a list. But here’s the trick. This is really important. You need to break down your goals and get specific, so get more detailed and exact.

So what’s your goal?
I want to learn English so I can feel confident when I travel.
What are you going to do when you travel?
I’ll be getting on a plane, staying in a hotel, ordering food in restaurants, buying things in shops…

Thinking about particular situations where you’ll use English will help you get specific. Another example.

I want to be able to have friendly conversations with my colleagues at work.
Great! What do you want to talk about?
I want to tell them about my weekend, ask about their weekend, talk about last night’s game. The Eagles lost!

If you have a big English goal, it’s even more important to break it down it down.

I want to get an 8 in my IELTS exam next year.
OK, so you’ll have a speaking, listening, reading and writing test.
Yes. Speaking is the hardest for me.
Then let’s start there. What’s going to happen in your speaking test?
At the start I’ll have to answer questions on familiar topics.
What familiar topics?
My home, my family, my work, my interests…

So that’s the key to setting goals. Break things down and get specific. And of course, make sure they’re things you really want to do.

So what’s your goal?
I want to make a great English presentation about our new product.
Why?
So I can impress my boss.
Why?
So she’ll think I’m smart. She might give me a promotion.
And why is that important?
It’ll make me happy.
Yea! Now that’s a great reason.

All your goals should lead to your happiness. It sounds obvious, but we can also be motivated by fear. And fear can work.

What if my English is bad. What if everyone thinks I’m stupid? What if my boss fires me?

The problem with fear is it’s usually only good for the short term. The presentation or exam happens and you do well or badly, but then the fear stops. To learn a lot of English you need to be motivated over a period of time. Happiness is much more powerful than fear for that.
So set goals that will make you happy and then the next step is to turn them into a plan, and we’ll do that next week.
But first, I need to give you some homework.
If you’re like my students, you have a busy life. Making time for English isn’t always easy.
Can you identify times in your days when you can fit in English?
Perhaps you can sit down for ten minutes after dinner and study.
Or maybe listen to an English podcast when you’re driving?
Perhaps you can look through some vocabulary when you’re having a coffee.
Or listen to English songs in the shower?
Get creative and think of new ways to integrate learning English into your life? And if you’ve got no money to pay for a teacher, check out this video for ideas.
Now something to think about – your memory. We’re all human and we forget stuff if we don’t review it. You’ll need to plan time for learning and also time for reviewing. The good news is reviewing can be quick. You can review 10 new words in just a few minutes.
And there’s another thing. Research indicates that when you’re learning a language a little and often works best. So 15 minutes a day is probably better than two and a half hours on a Sunday afternoon. It’s less time but it can be more effective.
So that’s your homework. To think about the time YOU have and what’s practical for YOU.
So that’s it. In our next lesson you’re going to take your goals and turn them into a plan. An action plan that fits your life style and makes you happy. Make sure you’ve subscribed to our channel so you don’t miss it. It’s going to make learning English easy for you.
Click here to see our video on how to think in English.
Click here to see our video on how to remember English words.

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