The Importance of Setting Goals

A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.
– Harvey MacKay

Setting goals

Whatever your dreams related to French may be, whether you want to speak fluently, read classic literature without resorting to a translation, or travel around France, setting specific goals – and measuring your progress against them – is one of the most effective tools in your learning arsenal.

Motivation and goals go hand-in-hand. Setting goals to guide your French learning is one of the best things you can do to stay motivated, and being motivated is the only way to stay on track toward reaching your goals. So it’s important to plan your language learning journey: you’ve seen how long the journey is, so just like when climbing a mountain, it’s advisable to plan the journey in stages, ideally both short term and long term.

Setting Goals

Choosing the right goals isn’t rocket science, but there’s a little more to it than just throwing together a list. To be truly effective, goals should be S.M.A.R.T.[1]

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Achievable / Attainable
  4. Realistic
  5. Timely / Time-bound

5-a-day kwizzerA short-term goal can be as simple as the declaration that you’ll study, say, an hour a day. To measure your progress, try an online goal tracking app – there are numerous free options available. Or you can be old school: draw seven boxes on a piece of paper and check one after each hour of study. Either way, it feels good to check things off and is a visible way to measure progress, even (especially) when you don’t feel like you’re progressing.

Kwiziq’s achievements system can help inspire you to work toward short-term goals, such as

  • Taking at least one kwiz every day (your “day streak”)
  • Being more ambitious and aiming for 5 kwizzes a day
  • Mastering a lesson a week (gold star)

Gold shieldMedium-term goals chez Kwiziq include level shields (bronze, silver, gold) and foundation awards, while reaching the next CEFR level is a very worthwhile long-term goal. Even if you don’t “need” to prove your French level for work or school, why not do it for yourself? Register to take the DILF, DELF, or DALF, the official French proficiency exam.

The Bottom Line

If you’re serious about improving your French, you need to be serious about how – and how much – you study and practice. Making goals allows you to track your efforts, no matter how quickly or slowly you feel like you’re progressing. So check out your personalized StudyPlan and visit your achievements page to see what you’ve already earned and figure out what to aim for next.

Reference

1 S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting, Your Coach

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Author info

Laura K Lawless

Laura is Kwiziq's Language and Marketing Coordinator. Online educator since '99, Laura is passionate about language, travel, and cooking. She's American by birth and a permanent ex-pat by choice - freelancing made it possible for her to travel extensively and live in several countries before settling permanently in Guadeloupe. Laura is the author of Lawless French, Lawless Spanish, and other websites and books on French, Spanish, English, and vegetarianism. She spends most of her spare time reading, playing with food, and enjoying water sports.

Gruff Davies

Despite the very Welsh name, Gruff is actually half French. Nowadays, he's a tech entrepreneur (and some-time novelist) but he used to be a physicist at Imperial College before getting hooked on inventing things. He has a special interest in language learning, speaks five languages to varying degrees of fluency and he often blogs about language learning, science, and technology. As well as co-founding Kwiziq, he is the author the Amazon best-selling SF thriller, The Looking Glass Club and the inventor of the Exertris gaming exercise-bike and Pidgin, a free online tool that makes drawing flow charts and relationship diagrams as quick and easy as describing them in pidgin English.

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