LinguaFolio® Training Resources

Training modules to show how to implement LinguaFolio®

3.4 Reflective Learning

Although some American students are not yet comfortable with reflecting on their learning, new programs and international education philosophies are emphasizing more the importance of reflection in the learning process and its impact on achievement.

Keep in mind that learners don’t adopt such methods and strategies unless they are explicitly taught them.

As students become reflective learners, they begin to develop their own personal learning strategies and to make progress by identifying small successes. Through frequent peer and self-assessments, learning becomes increasingly transparent and students realize the responsibility for learning is their own.

In the following video, teachers discuss changes they have seen as their students become reflective learners. Which of these changes would you most like to see in your own students?

Watch video here
Video transcript: “Reflective Learning” (pdf)

Encouraging reflection

There are many ways to encourage students to reflect on their own unique way of learning such as those listed below. Take a few minutes to discuss or think about other techniques you have used and with what degree of success.

  • Teachers should frequently encourage learners to think about what they already know when entering a new phase in their language learning.
  • Learners can be involved in evaluating their own work (self-assessment) or other learners’ work (peer assessment).
  • The teacher can ask learners to make a list of activities they like and find helpful in learning.
  • Students can design their own activities to be used as class activities or outside of class for language practice.
  • After self-assessments or teacher-administered assessments and performance tasks, learners should write down areas for improvement, vocabulary they need, and other goals to advance their language skills.
  • Small goals enable learners to achieve and feel good about their successes. Understanding that these small steps are necessary to learn a new language helps students plan more realistically for future learning.

A self-check activity for students

As you work toward developing a reflective learning environment, you can periodically — or regularly — ask learners to answer the following questions. You may want to consider asking students to answer orally at times and in writing at other times.

  • What am I learning?
  • Why am I learning it?
  • How am I learning it?
  • How successful is my learning?
  • How can I demonstrate my learning?
  • What am I going to do next?

It is also common practice that administrators evaluating school programs ask similar questions of learners in a class that they are observing. If students cannot articulate their ideas in response to these questions, it is a clear signal they will not internalize the learning.

Next: 3.5) Activity 2: Student reflection