Teachers will be teachers. That’s why we all have wondered what are the skills our students need to develop to become better at learning independently in order to master the four areas of essential skills. And then many questions come in our minds, like: how do they plan and organize their learning? What are effectively learning habits and strategies, and how can our students develop the ones that work best for them? What can they do to maintain motivation when learning at home or how can they become better at monitoring and evaluating their own learning?
We have to look at what is really needed, and go through some practical learning activities that we can use with our students to help them develop those skills.
To begin with, we can’t take decisions for them all the time. We have to keep calm and remember the next things. Independent learners manage and improve their own learning. They believe they can and should control and improve their learning, so they have agency. They make their own decisions about how to improve their learning, so they have autonomy. They monitor their progress and adjust their approach, so they self-regulate.
What can you do as their teachers? There are some tips to follow. We should start with helping them plan and set goals for their learning. Then, we should help them develop effective learning habits and strategies and motivate them to manage their own learning. Not to forget to set engaging activities and help them evaluate their own learning.
For a great success, suggest them create an effective environment for learning and find/ establish a quiet place to study English, keep their vocabulary notebook next to their bed and put their language learning app top of their favourites and if they are keen to the computer, they ought to organise the computer files to find their study notes/ exercises quickly.
Not living in an English-speaking country, the only chances of practicing the target language are the English classes or some games they are involved in on their computer. Regarding this aspect, we should make use of sources of help or suggest them join an online English study group or meet once a week for lunch with people who will chat in English. Also, keeping a notebook of questions they’d like to ask to the teacher or someone else who speaks English are some useful tips for them.
Students have to develop learning routines. Let’s support and help them create an effective environment for learning.