Reflecting on progress
by Claire Jaynes, DoS at Trebinshun House
As we come to the end of the year, we’re all busy with reports, end of year processes and getting ready for Christmas. It’s the time of year that we will – eventually - have some time to reflect. We’d like to encourage you to reflect on your progress in English over the last year.
Reflection is an important tool ; we know instinctively that we learn by experience – hence the value that we place on language training. We also know that we learn from our mistakes and here at Trebinshun on our intensive courses, feedback on your language is an important part of the classes. But research is increasingly telling us that without the process of actively thinking about those experiences, and questioning ourselves about what they mean, learning doesn’t really happen. This is why our teachers ask each day how you are finding the work and integrating the new language: they are encouraging you to reflect and recognise your small steps.
Reflection links with the ability to make small changes and achieve small wins – called 'the progress principle'. This simple but powerful concept is based on research that shows that the most important factor in boosting people’s motivation is in making progress in meaningful work or study. Studies have found that small, incremental achievements are just as effective as achieving large or significant goals. So, being able to reflect on our achievements can be a powerful learning activity and motivation booster. We all know that learning a language takes time and it’s important to recognise your progress and the steps you are taking forward each time you take a language course, use your English at work or watch a TED talk at home.
So, we encourage you to take some time to consider these questions – it’s a free and motivating learning tool. Frame it into a SWOT analysis and let us know how you do and how we can help you in 2018!
What are my strengths?
How can I build on these?
What are my weaknesses?
How can I work on these?
(consider the most relevant ones).
What opportunities do I have at my disposal? (company sponsored training; speaking English at work; online lessons)
What are the (relative!) dangers in my working life and private life of not maintaining my practice? (confusion, losing confidence).