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How to Track Your English Learning Progress

How are your English lessons going? Are you improving?

If anyone’s ever asked you that, you might not have known what to say. It can be hard to know exactly how much you’ve learned since you started. 

But tracking your progress doesn’t have to be complicated (and it doesn’t have to involve taking a test, either).

Here are six simple ways for you to track your English learning progress and make sure you’re on your way to meeting your goals!

1. Read, read, and re-read

Choose a passage from an English book or another text and try to read it. Make note of anything you find difficult to understand. Then, put it away. Go back to the same text after a while (the length of time will vary, but wait at least a month) and read it again. Check the difficult parts you wrote down and see if they become easier to understand every time you read.

2. Watch a video (again and again)

Find an English video you’d like to watch (use subtitles if you want). If you choose a movie, pick one or two scenes to start—not the whole movie. As you watch, write down things you don’t understand. Then, watch it again regularly (every month or so) to see if you understand more of the video. You’ll surprise yourself with your improvements!

3. Chat with English speakers 

This tip can be nerve-wracking, but it’s great for feedback. If you speak English to someone when you’re a beginner, they might ask you to repeat yourself a lot—maybe you are speaking too quietly or your pronunciation isn’t clear. They might also speak more slowly or use simple vocabulary to make sure you understand them. However, as your speaking skills improve, they won’t ask you to repeat yourself as much because they’ll understand you better. They’ll also start talking to you in more natural English. That’s progress!

4. Keep a collection of words you (really) know

This is a kind of vocabulary list, but not just any vocabulary list. You should write down new words you’ve learned, along with short definitions (in your own words). But you can only add a new word to this list when you really know what it means and can use it easily—this is not a study list! Seeing how much your vocabulary has grown after a month, three months, six months, etc. will show you how much you’re improving!

5. Write in a journal—in English, of course!

Writing in a journal is an easy way to track your progress week after week. Try to write in your journal regularly—every day or two days, for example. Just write about your thoughts or recent events; it can be anything, really. Make sure to write the date at the top of each entry for easy tracking. After you’ve been writing in your journal for a while, look at your writing from the older entries. If you’re improving, you’ll see that your recent entries have fewer grammar mistakes, longer sentences, and more advanced vocabulary than your old ones.

6. Chat with yourself

This is similar to the journaling tip above, but it’s all about speaking this time. Record yourself speaking about whatever you want. Make a new recording every three to six months. If your English is improving, you’ll start to hear some differences between the older and newer recordings. In the newer ones, your pronunciation will be clearer, you’ll use more vocabulary, and your speed will be more natural, as well. 

Have a clear path to English success

Checking your progress regularly will help you succeed: You’ll notice your improvements, which will motivate you to keep going, and you’ll also see exactly what you need to work on. Along with the tips above, check out Gabby’s certified language coaches for one-on-one feedback and support today! 

Andrea is a Gabby Academy coach and education technolgy writer based in Vancouver, Canada.