Measuring progress towards learning goals

We can measure progress by comparing where we start with where we end up. It is helpful to measure progress against the goals that we set for ourselves. Measuring our progress is a way of establishing how much nearer we are to achieving these goals.

One way to measure our progress might be to review material that we have previously encountered and to determine whether we find those same materials easier to understand and process than we had when we first encountered them.

How we measure our progress very much depends on our starting point with the target language.

For example if we are a complete beginner unable to speak even a word of the target language, there will be significant space for progress. One goal for a beginner learner might be to be able to understand and construct basic sentences in the present tense. Whereas an intermediate learner might seek to find a variety of ways of saying the same thing and also to be able to communicate and understand a variety of tenses. An advanced learner might seek to develop and express a more nuanced understanding of the language.

The latter example also highlights how we might measure or judge progress across a variety of areas. We can consider the areas of vocabulary, grammar, speaking, listening, reading and writing and identify strengths and weaknesses within these specific areas in order to establish where progress could be made and later to measure this progress.

To conclude when we consider our progress it is helpful to consider our capabilities across a variety of areas and to consider our language learning goals. We can then measure our progress against these goals and determine other areas that require attention or improvement.

Learning is a constant process. Since language is constantly developing we never stop learning new ways of expressing things. This is why it is so important to establish our goals and to measure our progress, so that we don’t lose sight of why we are learning and the progress that we have already made.