Language in Bloom

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Unique Language Learning Profiles

I talk a lot about autonomy in language learning, because I truly believe that the more control an individual takes over his or her journey in acquiring a new language, the better the outcome will be. This is because each language learner is completely unique in his or her goals, learning styles, limitations, strengths, and preferences when it comes to study and practice. Being as aware as possible of your own language learning profile will only help you when you encounter a challenge in the process—it will give you the tools you need to advocate for yourself, solve problems on your own, and seek out relevant and reliable support.

Why is this so important? Because I’ve seen too many language learners struggle with the feeling of overwhelm, of being suffocated by too much information that is not relevant at all to the way they learn best or even to what they want to accomplish with the language. This feeling of overwhelm can easily lead to a learner becoming completely discouraged and giving up on their goals.

As a language teacher and coach, this is the worst possible outcome I can hope for for my students, and any other teacher or coach would agree.

This is why I stress that as teachers or coaches, it is our responsibility to emphasize autonomy, and to provide tools and resources for language learners to be successful on their own. Because, what good are language skills if students can’t use them on their own?

Creating a list of concrete communicative goals is the first task I assign to potential language learners, as an introduction to the idea of the autonomous language learner. This concept is not just for the students I coach, but also for students in group classes. For language teachers out there, how do you get students (of all ages) to recognize their own role in the language learning process?



Written by

Tammy Bjelland
Language lover, teacher & coach.

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