Goal Setting and Reflection

Curriculum that is most successful in helping students develop communicative skills in the target language:

  • Integrates language, culture, and content
  • Uses the target language almost exclusively
  • Uses authentic language materials appropriate for students’ age and proficiency levels
  • Includes activities for different learning styles and ability levels
  • Requires students to produce the target language
  • Connects classroom learning to real-world experiences and encourages students to use their skills outside of the classroom

Teachers who regularly reflect on and evaluate their instructional strategies, lessons, and activities based on the results of students’ formative assessments, like LinguaFolio Online, are able to create learning activities that require students to produce language, not merely repeat, identify, or translate language.

As you set goals for your instruction and develop both in-class and out-of-class activities consider:

  • What are the program goals? Unit goals? Lesson goals?
  • What do you want each student to be able to do at the end of each class or activity?
  • How will you explain the goals to the learners?
  • How will the learners know if they have met those goals?
  • What specific knowledge and skills will students need to meet their goals?
  • What activities are most appropriate to help students in their language performance?
  • How will you know if the learner has met those goals?
  • How will you guide learners in setting their own goals?

As language learners, your students will be most successful at developing real-world abilities to use the target language when they:

  • Can identify what they want to learn
  • Set realistic short-term and long-term goals throughout their language learning process
  • Reflect on how they  personally learn
  • Assess their background knowledge and what they can already do

Some students are not comfortable with reflective learning and need guidance to develop this useful skill. However, as students become reflective learners, they begin to develop their own personal learning strategies and set short-term and long-term goals relevant to their interests and future plans. In doing so, students are able to identify what they can already do with the language and celebrate past success. They can also maintain motivation to continue their language study and achieve their long-term goals.

If you would like to learn more information on reflective teaching and learning, visit the NCSSFL training module hosted by the University of North Carolina’s College of Education.