Are you trying to improve your English outside of the classroom? Setting reachable English goals is a great way to motivate yourself and quickly see improvements in your language skills. Try these 10 reachable English learning goals to see an improvement in your English speaking, listening, and reading skills.
10 (Reachable!) English Learning Goals
Goal #1: Learn a new phrasal verb each day
Many English learners say that phrasal verbs are one of the most confusing parts of the language. Try your best to learn one each day and you will be amazed at how quickly you pick up new language. Try it out!
Goal #2: Listen to a new song with lyrics each day
Listening to music is a great way to learn English. Pick your favorite songs and then listen to it each day while also reading the lyrics. You don’t have to understand every word of the song, but try to learn a new word or two in each song.
Goal #3: Find a podcast you like
There are podcasts about everything! If you are a more advanced English learner, then choose a podcast that is about one of your interests or hobbies. If you’re not at the level of English where you can follow a podcast, then try listening to a podcast made especially for English learners. Our article about podcasts is a great place to start if you need ideas.
Goal #4: Read a book in English
You might not think that you’re at the level of English where you’re ready to read a book, but you are! There are books for every level of English. For suggestions, read our article about Books in English.
Goal #5: Improve your academic English vocabulary
If you would like to specifically improve your academic vocabulary, try learning a new word each day. Lists such as the Academic Word List are excellent resources for this. Vocabulary improvement apps are also a great resource.
Goal #6: Learn some regional slang
If you are studying English in the United States, find out some regional slang. Search for “Southern California slang” or “Western slang” to find some articles that will give you lists.
Goal #7: Tell some jokes
You have to truly understand English well in order to tell a joke! Simple jokes are often a play on words, so understanding them means that you have an understanding of the joke’s double meaning.
Here’s a helpful word when it comes to telling jokes: PUNCHLINE. The punchline is the end of the joke. Here’s an example:
Joke: Why was 6 afraid of 7?
Punchline: Because 7 ate 9.
Goal #8: Fixed a fossilized error
A fossilized error is a mistake that you continue to make in English. Maybe it’s the past participle of an irregular verb, or a tense, or the pronunciation of a word that seems to confuse you every time you read it or try to use it. Identify this error, then work very hard to fix it. Once you’ve done this, identify another and do the same. Your English teacher can help you identify fossilized errors.
Goal #9: Read menus better
What if you’re missing out on some amazing food just because you don’t know what it is? If you don’t know the food you’re reading about on a menu, you probably won’t order it. This is a culinary tragedy (and a linguistic tragedy as well)!
Goal #10: Have fun
You have to love learning English in order to do it well. Of course, there will be times that you feel discouraged: talk to your IEC teachers or classmates during these times and they will provide you with the support you need to not give up!