ESL COUNTDOWN TO 2016! Strategic Review No. 2: How am I going to reach my benchmark?

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You are at an exciting part of the process now. You have written your success level, your benchmark of success, now you need to think of how you are going to meet that benchmark.

So let’s take a look at your notes that you took last time:

e.g.

  1. Confidence in speaking English (4/10)

Benchmark: By the end of 2016 I would like to be able to give presentations at university in English with confidence.

Measurement: Ask my lecturer at university after I have given the presentation, not only how good was the presentation but how was the ‘English delivery’. Ask them to give you soe kind of feedback also.

 

  1. Confidence in reading English (3/10)

Benchmark: By the end of 2016 I would like to be able to read an adult novel in English.

Measurement: Complete a novel of choice (a minimum of 200 pages)

 

  1. Confidence in writing English (4/10)

Benchmark: By the end of 2016 I would like to be able to write close to error-free essays for my university course.

Measurement: Ask my lecturer at university to let me know at the end of the year not only the quality of the comments made in the essay, but also the quality of the English. How error-free would he/she consider it to be. Ask for a % point. E.g. 90% error-free.

You chose three areas that you wanted to work on, you ranked your current success rate e.g. 4/10, and then you decided to give yourself an end of year benchmark point where you feel you would like to meet this as a measurement of success. The last part was writing a way in which you felt you would be able to measure the success of how well you met that benchmark.

Now comes the time to consider the way in which you are going to get there. So let’s look at this again and come up with some ideas for implementation:

  1. Confidence in speaking English (4/10)

Benchmark: By the end of 2016 I would like to be able to give presentations at university in English with confidence.

Measurement: Ask my lecturer at university after I have given the presentation, not only how good was the presentation but how was the ‘English delivery’. Ask them to give you some kind of feedback also.

Implementation strategy: Take at least two courses through the year on how to give a presentation, and make sure that any points to improve on are looked at and adhered to if necessary. Always ask for feedback and don’t be afraid to swallow your pride if you were not as good as you thought you were.

 

  1. Confidence in reading English (3/10)

Benchmark: By the end of 2016 I would like to be able to read an adult novel in English.

Measurement: Complete a novel of choice (a minimum of 200 pages)

Implementation strategy: Over the year give yourself at least one book every three months to read. Make the first one only 80 pages, the second one 120 pages, the third one 175 pages and the last one 200 pages. The last one will be your benchmark book. Pace yourself and try to (if necessary) read a certain amount of pages per week. This will definitely get you into the habit of reading and reading well. Also keep a dictionary on hand in case you don’t understand some phrases or words.

 

  1. Confidence in writing English (4/10)

Benchmark: By the end of 2016 I would like to be able to write close to error-free essays for my university course.

Measurement: Ask my lecturer at university to let me know at the end of the year not only the quality of the comments made in the essay, but also the quality of the English. How error-free would he/she consider it to be. Ask for a % point. E.g. 90% error-free.

Implementation Strategy: take a course at least twice during the year on academic writing, and listen to and try to integrate what you learn into your everyday studies at university. This will help you reach your goal, so long as your teacher at university can also give you some feedback. But remember your university teacher may not be an English teacher, they may be an engineering lecturer, so they don’t necessarily know how to help you, but they could give you some kind of feedback of success.

 

We are nearly finished now, just one more point to review and that is going to be discussed in the final Review post. Keep these notes you have written for yourself and have them ready for the final stage.

See you then!

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