Language in Bloom

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Language Coach Responsibility #8: Guide Development of Accountability and Self-Assessment Systems

There are two systems that I truly believe that language learners need to have in place in order to make real progress, and yet they are very often overlooked; those are systems for accountability and self-assessment.

Accountability: A system for accountability will have you keep track of what you 1) say you are going to do, and 2) what you actually do. Keeping consistent records is crucial to staying on track. Additionally, one of the best ways to stay on track is to tell other people about your goals, and make a commitment to updating those other people on whether you’ve kept your promises. You can easily make this as anonymous as possible, as forums and other applications are popular and easy to find. A great app you can use for this is, which is a coaching app that tracks the times you “check in” on your various goals.

Self-assessments: The biggest reason you should be creating your own self assessments is because you need to check your progress according to your own personal goals, not someone else’s goals and not some test creator’s goals. You want to measure your own progress by the units that you decide are important.  It will also increase awareness of how to measure your progress. When you participate in the assessment process, you realize what goes into the measurement of that progress and you realize exactly what it is you want to achieve. And if you keep track of how much progress you make, you’re more likely to stick with it and reach the bigger goals you’ve set for yourself.

Having a language coach is extremely helpful in the development of these systems, because chances are if you are just starting out, you’re not sure where to begin. A language coach can help you determine what might be some example accountability systems, and can also steer you in the direction of some appropriate ways to gauge your own progress with self-assessments. You may be thinking that if you don’t know a language, it is impossible for you to measure your progress; this is not true! There are ways to measure, and keep track, of when and how you meet your language goals. In the free training on this site (part 3) I provide an example system to measure and keep track of your progress, if you are interested in seeing a concrete example.


Written by

Tammy Bjelland
Language lover, teacher & coach.

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