Welcome to our module on self-directed learning! This module will walk you through learning language on your own by following the important steps of setting goals, selecting strategies, creating evidence, and reflection. All of these can be facilitated using LinguaFolio Online (LFO)!
After completing this module, you will be able to:
- Set meaningful goals for yourself
- Determine the strategies you will use to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to complete those goals
- Capture evidence of your growth and journey as a language learner
- Self-assess and reflect on your goal completion and language abilities
Let’s get started!
What is self-directed (autonomous) learning?
Self-directed (autonomous) learning means that you’re in control of your own learning! To be successful while learning outside of the classroom, you have to consider how you will set goals, what strategies you will use to learn, what evidence you have to document your growth, and how you will evaluate yourself. To begin your journey, watch the video below to learn what autonomous learning is and how you can use it in your everyday life. And remember, just because you are acting autonomously, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t working with other people! It just means that YOU are in charge.
Now that you have completed the video, it’s time to begin your journey with self-directed learning. Complete the following activity to brainstorm some of the ways that you learn and practice language. Once you have done it for yourself, look at our ideas. Do they inspire you to add anything to your original lists?
What is LFO and what is its purpose?
One way you can facilitate your self-directed learning is by using LFO. If you haven’t used it before, LFO is an online portfolio that helps you track your language learning experience so you can watch all the progress you’re making! It has many different features that help you in this process. Watch the video below to learn about what LFO is and how you can use it.
If you want an account, email email@example.com or check out our purchasing page. If you have an account, you should get acquainted with the LFO website (linguafolio.uoregon.edu). It has a lot of great features, so you want to make sure you are comfortable with them so you can get the most out of using LFO. Here’s a fun way to learn LFO quickly so you can get started on your language learning journey: Use the following guide to “race” your way through learning LFO. Then check our ideas to see if they match!
How do I know what goals to set?
As you can probably tell by now, setting goals is a critical component of self-directed learning. They provide direction for what you are going to do while learning a new language. But how do you decide where to start? The video below will explain how to set a goal that is good for your interests and your level of language so you can begin language learning.
Now that you’ve learned how to set an appropriate goal for yourself, you need to figure out your proficiency level. Don’t worry; we’ll help you out with that too! To learn a little more about proficiency and how that will inform your goal setting, follow the guide below.
And to browse the Can-Do statements, check out this link to the LFO website. If you don’t have an LFO account yet, check out this webpage with NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements and some extra guidance.Those links will take you right there! The pages are an important resource, so you can bookmark it to reference on your language learning journey.
What’s my strategy?
Language learning can be approached in many different ways, but you have to figure out what works well for you in order to be successful. This may require some shopping around, experimentation, and practice to figure out how you learn best. Watch the video to learn about various language learning strategies and how to choose a strategy that is going to work well for you!
Now that you’ve learned more about selecting strategies that work, use the Strategies Guide (linked below) to determine language strategies that you have used before and that you would like to try in the future. If you need more strategy ideas, check out the NCSSFL Strategies Menu! Return to it for more ideas about language learning strategies that you might want to try in the future.
What knowledge do I need to complete the goal?
When you’re approaching a goal, it’s important to know what knowledge you need going in. This process requires thought and consideration to make sure that what you learn is applicable to your goals. Watch the following video to learn how to determine what knowledge you need.
Now that you’ve completed the video, it’s time to think about your goal and what knowledge you will need to complete it. The following Planning Guide will help you get started and walk you through thinking about what is important to learn right now.
How do I handle the language that comes my way?
Watching the world around you and thinking about how others are using language is an important step in language learning. It will help you when you then try to use the language yourself! However, it may not be clear how to begin with this process. The next video will show you how to use observation and analysis activities to handle new language that comes towards you during goal completion.
Now that you’ve learned what observation and analysis activities are, use the following guide to walk yourself through observation and analysis of an example of someone else completing your goal.
What resources can I use?
Language learning requires a whole tool belt of good language learning resources. But how do you find these? And how do you know if they’re any good? Watch the following video to find out!
Now that you’ve watched the video, use the Resource Guide to think through what types of resources would be useful for you in your context. Remember to think carefully about what your goal is and what information you need to learn to achieve it.
How do I apply all this knowledge?
Once you have done all the necessary preparation, you can start working on your specific goal. Congratulations! You’ve come so far! There are some important things to consider while doing this, though, so watch the video to learn more about goal completion and what to pay attention to while you’re doing it.
How do I demonstrate my progress?
While working on your goal, it’s important to create some evidence to demonstrate your progress. The evidence can be so many things like pictures, recordings, or souvenirs, but the most important part it is meaningful for you! Make sure it helps you document your goal completion and your growth as a language learner. Check out the following video to learn about what makes quality evidence and what you can do with it.
How do I evaluate my progress?
You’ve created evidence of growth! Good job! Don’t forget to reflect and self-assess! Self-assessment is a critical step because it helps you figure out the ways in which you have been successful and the places where you could use a little more help. Knowing this information will help you as you continue learning your new language because you will be able to see what you need to practice more and what you already do really well. Watch the video to learn what self-assessment is and how to conduct it for your language learning goal.
Use the following self-assessment guide to evaluate all of your hard work. Chose one or more of the seven included templates. Be sure to be honest, but don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ve accomplished a lot!
Now that you’ve completed the LFO Autonomous Learning Module, you’re a more capable learner able to use autonomous learning to complete a goal. Throughout this module, you completed the following learning objectives, making you a more competent and confident language learner:
- Set meaningful goals for yourself
- Determined the strategies you will use to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to complete those goals
- Captured evidence of your growth and journey as a language learner
- Self-assessed and reflected on your goal completion and language abilities
As you continue on your language learning journey, be sure to reference this module again if you need a refresher on any of the autonomous learning steps that we covered. The student guides that you accessed during this module can be used time and time again during your language learning experience to keep you on track–just download them for easy access. We wish you luck on your autonomous language learning journey! Have fun!