September 12 | #EarlyLang

“Goal Setting for Educators and Learners”
from September 12, 2018

On September 12, language teachers from grades K-8, and beyond, met for the first biweekly #EarlyLang chat of the 2018-19 school year. The discussion centered on goals and goal setting, how teachers set goals for themselves, and how they involve #earlylang learners in goal setting. Participants also discussed strategies to stay on track toward goals, language used for younger learners, and the role of assessments.

Q1: What goals have you set for yourself as a teacher? How did you determine them?

Several teachers mentioned using what happened during the previous year as a guide to goal setting. Taking time to reflect on what worked, what needs to improve, and what to get rid of can all improve instruction. Several participants mentioned the need to ensure lessons and goals are developmentally appropriate for students; ensuring objectives are clear to the students and modifying teacher language so students understand are strategies to do so. Maximizing time and encouraging kindness are other goals.

Q2: How do you involve #earlylang learners in their goal setting process?

@MaCristinaRV “Brainstorming examples of our “hopes and dreams,” during the first few days of school, involves students in the goal setting process. We inspire each other to hope and dream!”

@MundodePepita “My primary focus with student goals is community-what do you need to do to contribute positively (take care of) to our learning community? *pay attention *be kind *be safe.”

@sspielb “we do PUEDOS a la @SraSpanglish even with our littlest pipsqueaks.” See this link for more information

The question of goal setting for young students came up several times. One suggestion from @SECottrell “I don’t know that K and 1 know enough about language learning/acquisition to set effective goals. Maybe just a simple “What do you want to do with the Spanish you learn?” draw a picture at home type assignment.”

Q3: What kind of language do you use for goal setting with #earlylang learners?

For young learners, language must be concrete, simple, and tied to a purpose. Authentic goals that are relevant for kids help to encourage learning. Sra_Kennedy created a graphic to encourage students to improve their language proficiency, click this link to see it: Although the emphasis is on the TL, several participants write goals in English so that the students, especially the “littles” can understand and say them.

Q4: How do you revisit goals to make sure you and your students stay on track?

Again, several participants use English for this part of goal setting. They noted that it is important for students to understand what and why they’re doing what they’re doing. They are more likely to be engaged as a result. Other participants discussed using Seesaw (, creating blog posts for students to comment on, individual check-ins, and Si Se puede bubbles color coded by proficiency level. Finally, it is important to set high expectations, they are more motivating and encouraging for students. Asking, “who’s ready for a challenge?” as one of the participants does, can also keep students interested.

Q5: How can our assessments measure goals and inform children of their progress?

Assessments should measure what students are trying to achieve, namely language proficiency. Incorporating student can-dos in assessment feedback empowers and motivates students to meet their goals. One teacher gave students a reading and had students color code what they understood. Using a strong visual indicator like that is yet another way to inform children of their learning. They will be impressed and surprised by themselves.

Reflaction (reflection + action)

Students’ goals are linked to the teacher’s goals. Several participants mentioned taking time to determine their goals and meet them to help students meet their goals. It is also important to link their goals to the daily work, to help students set realistic goals, and to review objectives during each lesson.

Thank you to all who participated in this #EarlyLang chat! Thank you to our lead moderator, Valerie Shull, (@windycitysenora) for leading the chat and to our co-moderator, Julie, (@MundodePepita), for helping guide the conversation. Thanks also to EMC School (@EMCSCHOOL) for sponsoring tonight’s chat.

Want to vote for our upcoming #Earlylang topics?

“For the full transcript of tonight’s chat, please click here.”

This week’s chat is

sponsored by:

EMC School

To learn more about sponsorship

with NNELL, please go to

To learn more about the

#EarlyLang chat, please go to the

#EarlyLang Chat Main Page