Learning a new language is a journey that requires not only dedication and effort but also the right strategy. To maximize your learning progress and efficiency, it’s crucial to have clear language goals. But how can you determine your language goals? Here are 5 key questions to ask yourself.

1. Why Do I Want to Learn This Language?

The first step in determining your language goals is understanding your ‘why’. This means identifying the reasons you want to learn a new language. Your ‘why’ serves as your primary motivation and can be anything from wanting to travel, seek new career opportunities, personal growth, or cultural appreciation. Having a strong ‘why’ helps you stay motivated and persistent, even when the learning journey gets tough.

  • Am I learning for fun? To travel? For personal growth? To learn more about the culture?
  • When I want to give up, what will keep me want to learn?
  • Are there opportunities outside of my main goal that I can obtain from learning this language?

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2. What Level of Proficiency Do I Want to Achieve?

Another vital question to ask yourself is what level of language proficiency you aim to achieve. Are you aiming for fluency, or do you need to reach a certain level for an exam or job requirement? Perhaps, you just want to be able to communicate with locals during your next vacation. Knowing your desired proficiency level helps you create specific short-term and long-term language goals and learning plans.

  • Do I need a specific level? 
  • Am I learning only for basic communication? 
  • Once I reach my desired level, will I continue or will I be satisfied? 

3. When Do I Want To Achieve My Language Goals?

Setting a deadline or time frame for achieving your language goals is crucial. It allows you to build a lesson plan that matches your pace and schedule. Think about whether you want to become conversational in three months, or if you have a longer-term goal in mind. This will help you manage your learning process effectively.

  • Do I have a specific deadline for my learning? 
  • What do I plan my level to be in 6 months? In a year? 
  • Will I still be learning this language in 5 years? 

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4. How Will I Measure My Progress?

It’s essential to have specific metrics to gauge your progress and keep track of your learning journey. These can be passing a language proficiency exam, having a 15-minute conversation in your target language, or understanding a movie without subtitles. Reflect on what progress looks like for you, and set milestones to measure your improvement.

  • What does progress look like for me? Is it passing an exam, having a conversation with someone, understanding a movie without subtitles? 

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5. What Resources and Methods Will I Use?

The last question to consider is what resources and methods you’ll use to achieve your language goals. Are you planning to take formal classes, use language learning apps, practice with native speakers, or immerse yourself in the culture of your target language? The learning resources and methods you choose should align with your goals and learning style.

  • Where can I find resources to learn this language? 
  • How do I prefer to learn? 
  • How can I diversify my resources so I don’t get bored? 
  • Will I need a personal teacher/tutor? 

Getting Started

Setting language goals may seem daunting, but knowing where you’re headed is half the battle. If you’re feeling unsure about where to start, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Consider booking a free trial class to get started on your language learning journey.

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