Measuring your progress: Language learning and assessment

When it comes to goal-setting in language learning, how do you measure your progress, or know you have achieved your goals?  Do you define study goals as different from assessment goals?  Here are a few different ways you can chart your language progression:

Study-based progress

  1. Per class – do your homework and collate your notes, organising your new words and sentence structures.
  2. Per number of words – test yourself on the words you learned in one class, or reward yourself every time you successfully learn 10 (or 20, or 100) new words.
  3. Per chapter – reward yourself every time you finish a chapter or a unit in a textbook, or after you have read a chapter in a book or successfully watched an episode of target language TV.

Assessment-based progress

  1. Per assignment – aim for a certain base score (e.g. 80%) in your homework assignments or course assessments.
  2. Per semester – aim to achieve a certain score for the calendar month or term/semester at your course.
  3. External examinations – aim to reach a certain score in public examinations.  Certain tests (e.g. IELTS) have only one exam paper but a wide range of scores.  Try to aim for an achievable score for your level, but one that will give you a challenge.

Which method(s) do you use to keep track of your learning?

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