LinguaFolio® Training Resources

Training modules to show how to implement LinguaFolio®

7.2 Setting Goals with LinguaFolio

When learners know how to think about their learning, they are more capable of setting goals and taking charge of their learning process. This, however, is not always easy. Setting goals is a learned skill that provides the framework for language learning. Teachers and language learners have to set their own unique goals. Each should decide what he or she wants to accomplish.

As you watch this video, identify what goals students learning English as a second language have set for themselves.

Watch video here
Video transcript: “Setting Goals With LinguaFolio: Students on Goal Setting” (pdf)

Four steps for success in learning include:
1. Identifying what you want to learn
2. Reflecting on how to learn it
3. Assessing what you know and can do
4. Setting new goals for further progress

The best way to start setting language-learning goals is for the teacher to model the process. Remember that functional language, not grammar knowledge, is the principal goal for language learning. The teacher should identify the learning goals for the day either verbally or by posting them for students to see. Language learners need to know from the beginning what they will be expected to do at the completion of the activity. The goals should be explained clearly and state what students can do once the activity is completed.

To illustrate, one of the examples in the list below may be an overall goal for a particular day.

Today we will learn how to:
Prepare and pack for a picnic
Make a fitness plan for the week
Compare two art works
Design a personal résumé or
Identify the political slant of a newspaper article

Once the overall goal is set, language learners can measure smaller goals such as items on a checklist for that specific topic.
In this case, the example is preparing and packing for a picnic:
I can list the items I need to pack for a picnic.
I can negotiate with my friend who brings what.
I can describe the details such as when to meet, where to go, and how to get there.
I can send a message to my friend confirming the details for the picnic.

Learners may set short-term goals for future learning with statements such as:
I still have trouble with… so I will need to work on…
The next step for me in the writing process is to…
I want to learn more about…

Learners should also set individual performance goals based on the proficiency levels of their unique skills and relative to how they hope to use their language in the future. Teachers may also assist students in setting benchmarks for their language learning regarding what they can do in communication, comprehension, linguistic complexity, language control and content.

Remember, the LinguaFolio proficiency goals are the combination of the ACTFL guidelines and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. LinguaFolio defines competency levels and each communication mode as follows.

Communication mode:
Interpretive Listening
Interpretive Reading
Interpersonal Communication
Presentational Speaking
Presentational Writing

Proficiency level:
Novice Low, Novice Mid, Novice High
Intermediate Low, Intermediate Mid, Intermediate High
Advanced Low, Advanced Mid, Advanced High

How language learners can set effective goals
1. Assess current skills to know where you are before deciding where you want to go.

2. Set realistic short-term and long-term goals. Set a goal that is challenging, but not overwhelming.
Reaching short-term goals motivates you to keep moving in the right direction.

3. Write down your goals. Writing down goals where you see them frequently makes it easier to take ownership and reflect on your progress.

4. Make sure goals can be measured and are time-specific. How will you know when you have reached a specific goal? Did you reach your goal within the timeframe you hoped?

Next: 7.3) Activity 1: Setting specific goals for classroom instruction