Tutor Recommendations: SMART Goals
Newport Beach Library Literally Speaking: March/April 2015
Has your learner ever said, “I need pronunciation, I want to speak better English, My goal is to learn past tense, or I want to learn to spell”? Many of our learners get goals and skills confused. When learners come to their personal interview, literacy staff helps them set SMART Goals. Goals have a specific end result. Skills on the other hand are ongoing improvements.
Progress comes from working towards personal goals. Reading and writing learners, who are also second language learners, say they want to read or write better, learn grammar, or improve vocabulary. These are valuable skills, but very different from goals.
At tutor training, Betty was the example of a reading and writing learner. She dreamed of becoming a nurse and needed the GED or high school diploma. She also wanted to talk to neighbors and read maps and bus schedules.
Goals are specific accomplishments or dreams to strive for. Skills, on the other hand, are ongoing, like a treadmill, never stopping.
If your learner’s goals look like a list of skills, it is time to brainstorm. Start by helping your learner identify things he or she wants to do. Next, help your learner identify the goals he or she can achieve within 3-6 months. Once these goals are identified, talk about the steps needed to accomplish them. READ MORE !