Approaches to goal setting

All learners are unique. Meet Dan, Shirley, Fatima, Cyril, Mohamed, and Leah.

Ask your learner to write down their goals (if they have any). Or write them down with them.

When you have finished, click on the next tab.

Think about your learner’s goals and answer these questions (NOTE: if your learner has no known goals – skip to the next tab: Activity 3):

  • are their goals clear and specific?
  • is there some way of knowing if a goal is achieved?
  • are their goals attainable?
  • is there a time limit or deadline for achieving each goal?

How do you think your learner could expand or build on their goal?

Have you tried asking them about their goals? What was their response?

If you are not sure what your learner’s goals are, explain why you think your learner has difficulty talking about (or setting) goals.

Setting goals with my learner

Depending on the learner, you might approach goal setting in different ways:

  1. If your learner has a goal that is clear and well defined, then your role as a tutor is more to understand what challenges they face reaching the goal, what steps they can take, and how your literacy session can support them. It might be helpful to work on an Action Plan with your learner and identify literacy goals that they need to work towards. You can then plan sessions to support them as they work towards their goal (Go to Working Towards a Goal – coming soon).
  2. If your learner has a very general goal (e.g. find a new job), this might be an opportunity to use a part of your literacy session to explore ideas on this topic and help them define the goal further (Go to Getting to Know Myself).
  3. If your learner’s goal is to set a goal (!), then you could spend some of each session doing reading and writing activities that focus on goal setting (Go to Getting to Know Myself).
  4. If your learner has a literacy goal (e.g. to read more confidently), it might be worth exploring with them why. This might reveal a larger goal that will help create a context for your session. Use reading and writing activities designed for low literacy learners in your sessions (Go to Getting to Know Myself).
  5. Or for reluctant goal setters – For some learners, larger goal setting (beyond a literacy goal like ‘learning how to spell’) is not something they value or want to engage in. This is OK, too. If a learner’s goal is to be able to spell – that is OK. In this situation, you might find it useful as a tutor to talk about some learning goals with your learner – or to map out ‘what you will achieve by December’ in an explicit way (Go to Learning Goals (coming soon)).

For many, the first step to meaningful goal setting is to get to know yourself. Click here to see activities you can do with a learner in this first step.

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