SMART objectives = SMART learning

What are SMART objectives and why should we set them?

SMART objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound objectives. Setting these types of objectives can help to increase the likelihood of them being achieved.

Specific  Instead of having a general big goal for example “I want to improve my English” break this down into smaller specific objectives, such as: “I want to be able to talk about my past work experience” or “I want to be able to order a meal in a restaurant”. Specific objectives will enable to you to organize what you study, and help you consider if it is a realistic goal and how long it will take you to achieve it. 

Measurable Ask yourself how you can you measure this objective. For example if you want to be able to talk about your past experiences at work you will need to learn the past tense. To measure your progress you could complete exercises online, in a text book or with feedback from your English trainer.

Achievable Ask yourself if your goal is achievable.  Here you will need to take into your current level as well as the time you have to devote to your learning. If you are unsure if your objective is achievable your English trainer can guide you as to what you can reasonably expect given your particular circumstances.

Relevant   Ask yourself if your goal is relevant to you. If you want to improve your English in order to visit English speaking countries on holiday, it may not be necessary to concentrate on vocabulary detailing your employment history.

Timely Be clear about when you would like to achieve your specific goals,  this may help you to stay focused and clear about what you want to achieve and by when.  For example “After three sessions/ by the end of my course,  I want to be able to use the past simple and present simple”.

If you have any doubt about your learning objectives your English trainer can help you think about what you would like to achieve, consider if it is realistic, measure your progress and organize a structured program to help you achieve them.