How measuring progress can motivate English learners

For teachers, there’s no better sight than the eager faces of your students who are keen to learn. But the truth is that motivation among learners can vary so it’s important for teachers and institutions to come up with ways to keep their students’ appetites...

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For teachers, there’s no better sight than the eager faces of your students who are keen to learn. But the truth is that motivation among learners can vary so it’s important for teachers and institutions to come up with ways to keep their students’ appetites to learn as sharp as possible.

Many learners will often ask themselves the question: “Am I making progress?” And an accurate and measured response to this will often provide a motivational boost. When this is coupled with clear and attainable goals, students can be armed with everything they need to learn English effectively and efficiently – under your watchful guidance, of course. The Global Scale of English Learning Objectives and Progress provide just that. Progress is the first online and fully automated test to accurately measure how learners are progressing with the English language. One of the advantages of being online is that learners can take the test in the classroom or at home. Results are fast and so detailed that they can help the student to develop a learning plan for areas where they would like to improve.

How Progress motivates learners in Japan

The Progress test is being used at several universities in Japan, where it is popular with both teachers and learners. Kyoko Uozumi, Associate Professor at Kobe International University, says: “Previous tests didn’t necessarily measure the four skills areas (reading, writing, listening and speaking), but Progress can measure them all.  ”

Yusuke Torii, Associate Professor at Setsunan University, says: “We have a high expectation for Progress; without it, students would have no benchmark to assess their learning but now they can see where their weaknesses are and where they are strong – and that will help them. GSE and Progress will change the way we teach English. Students should be ready to speak up and GSE and Progress are transforming the passive learning approach.”

The quick and clear results that Progress provides are proving helpful and motivating for the university’s English learners. Rather than measuring progress using overall score, many are finding it useful to pay attention to the scores in each skill. One fourth-year student says: “The fast feedback on my levels gives me a clear view of my risk areas, which really encourages me to buckle down and study.” While another adds: “After I got my score report, I realised my vocabulary level wasn’t really high, so now I am concentrating on that.”

And one learner even said that Progress was like playing a computer game – proving that tests don’t have to be dull! “It felt more like I was tackling a game than taking a test,” she says. “It was really fun.”

Ultimately, GSE and Progress are helping these English learners in Japan to realise their dreams. Among the ambitious students are one who would like to work at Walt Disney World in Florida, while another wants to be a teacher: “That’s why I’m learning English,” she says.

You can hear the teachers and students from the universities explain more about the benefits of GSE and Progress by watching the video below:

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