4. Planning your learning

Man reading novel

Are you one of those very organised people, who loves planning everything in advance and making to-do lists? Or are you a spontaneous type, who prefers to go with the flow and decide things at the last minute? Maybe you're somewhere between the two.

Whether you're a natural planner or not, having some kind of plan for your English learning will help you focus and achieve your goals. It may well save you time and reduce stress too.

What are your goals?

What exactly are you working towards? An exam? A new job? Perhaps your dream is to speak English fluently. 

If you're working towards an exam, you'll want to practise answering the sorts of questions that you'll have on the day. If your aim is to converse fluently in English, practising your speaking skills is important. And listening skills are important too.

Be realistic with the time you think you'll need to reach your goals. Nobody becomes fluent overnight! It's no secret that learning a language takes time and effort.

Breaking big goals down into smaller goals makes them easier to manage and achieve. How much time have you got? There's no point planning ten hours a week on your English learning if you don't have that much time to spare. 

Take your learning one step at a time. Look at your calendar and notice the times in each day when you could do something for your English.

How do you write a study plan?

If you have lessons with a teacher, these will probably already be on your calendar. But you will also need time to do any homework that your teacher sets. And allow time to read over your lessons and review the vocabulary, grammar, etc. Put these activities on your calendar too.

For the rest of the time, you could put specific activities in your plan, for example 'listen to an English podcast', 'online conversation with my classmate', 'use a learning app', 'watch an episode of a series in English'. Or, you may just prefer to put 'listening practice' or 'vocabulary' and decide exactly what activity to do when the time comes.

It's a good idea to review your goals and your study plan from time to time to see if it's working.

So, it's up to you. Organise your English learning time with a carefully written plan, or plan the important things and decide the details spontaneously. But don't leave it all to chance. Just a little bit of planning pays off with more learning opportunities and faster progress. Happy planning! 

Over to you

Tell us something about your plans for learning English in the comments below. 

  • What are your English learning goals this year?
  • What is your English study plan for this week?
  • What tips do you have for planning your study time?
Average: 5 (2 votes)

Submitted by Gabriel Matos on Tue, 30/01/2024 - 15:21


This year I aim to reach B2 level in TOEIC exam.

Besides my classes twice a week with my particular teacher I plan to do exercises in Duolingo fifteen minutes a day

Reviewing my schedulle and finding the free times or optimize others appointments

Submitted by edsongazolla on Mon, 29/01/2024 - 11:50


My goal for learning English this year is to be fluent until July.
Besides my class with a teacher twice a week my plans for this week are to practice more my English on the Duolingo app and try the Sparkle app from Cambridge University to practice speaking.
My tip for having a good study plan is to buy a course with a professional teacher.

Submitted by Daniel1999BrazilRJ on Wed, 24/01/2024 - 20:07


My goal this year is to reach at least an intermediate level in English.
I aim to read accounting books, watch courses in English, and listen to podcasts. I study English twice a week.
My tip is to look for things that interest you.

Submitted by yasminsilvasousa on Wed, 24/01/2024 - 18:37


Hello, My learning goals for this year is to be able to communicate better, besides learning a little more about my profession in English, this week I want to read a physiotherapy article and so every day by reading a paragraph I would be able to finish it.

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Submitted by Magedelabd on Sun, 21/01/2024 - 06:00


I am planning to get the IELTS test at the end of of the year.
I am planning to practice the 4 skills everyday in each week.
I will start my day once I weak up with learning English .

Submitted by mariahmoreira on Thu, 18/01/2024 - 13:06


I liked it a lot. I learned the expressions "play by ear" and "pay off". I have practiced listening, reading, writing, and speaking. I think the steps were quite easy. The most interesting step to me was the number 4

Submitted by mariahmoreira on Thu, 18/01/2024 - 12:45


My goal with the language is To improve my English so can I go to the next level.
For my study plans sometimes on the weekends I go to the LingoClip and practice my English, but it's not a commitment.
My tip as a student is to review what you studied, listen to songs in English, and keep studying because it will be important in the future.

Submitted by victorlovat on Wed, 17/01/2024 - 20:11


Hi, guys! My goal this year is to reach level B2 in English. Besides my weekly classes, I aim to read books, watch sitcoms, and read the news three times a week. I recommend all people to use Google Agenda or Excel for planning daily tasks and try to follow them

Submitted by Dimonius on Thu, 04/01/2024 - 10:29


Hi everybody! I am going to have a B2 level in English this year. So, I decided to make a plan for learning English for this month and here it is: twice a day watch a video in English (the first time in the morning and the second time in the evening), in addition to the middle of the day I gonna learn something new for me (for instance: grammar, read a text, listen to a podcast etc.).

Submitted by thanhfutech on Mon, 01/01/2024 - 14:34


I want to be fluent in English this year

Submitted by Andreamirez on Sat, 30/12/2023 - 23:13


Hello everyone! It is a pleasure to read about your learning goals. After reading them, I feel more excited to continue learning on my own. I am glad to have found such a nice community to learn from. Learning English has been quite difficult for me due to financial constraints and lack of time, but now I have the time to dedicate to it. My current English test score is A2, but I need to reach B2 and score a 9.5 on the IELTS. I know these goals are challenging, but I am giving my best effort. I am a very organized person and, since one week ago, I have been planning my weeks to focus on learning English. From Monday to Friday, I spend four hours working on improving my English skills - two hours in the afternoon for grammar, vocabulary, and reading, and two hours at night for writing. I am currently in Canada, so I am trying to speak with people and my friends are also helping me by texting me in English. Before going to sleep, I watch the Peaky Blinders series and set my smartphone to English. If you have any additional tips for learning English, please let me know.

Submitted by dafmaciasg on Thu, 28/12/2023 - 20:56


l am getting 2 class weekly with my particular English teacher and moreover l try practice my English skills daily as much as possible for my.

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Submitted by stefherz on Sun, 05/02/2023 - 23:32


This year I want to enhance my fluency and enrichen my vocabulary.
For this week, I plan to do one item of the learning hub each day (loving this platform!) and reading an article or watching a video on a topic that is in the news these days, write down all the specific vocabulary and recording me retelling the content.
My study tip for me and for my fellow English learner is: Set realistic and achievable goals. Plan short learning sessions that you are able to stick to. It's so satisfying and encouraging when we meet our goals.

Submitted by ggc_020190 on Tue, 24/01/2023 - 18:52


Hi everyone!

for thins year I'm planning to speak english fluenlty. I can read most of the articles, websites and any other content that could be written in english, but when it comes to speak, my vocabulary is reduced from 100 to like 20%.

My pronunciation is a thing that needs to be poolished because I find hard to ennounce certaint words.

My English study for this week is to practice at least 1 hour every day with some lesson from this website. To improve my speaking skills, I'm going to recorder myself and compare with another native speaker. I'm also going to consume media in english, for example music, movies or a podcast. This way I can improve my hearing to identify what are the words that people are saying.

Submitted by Luis_Angel on Fri, 13/01/2023 - 23:01


Greetings everybody!

Well, I can say that I am looking forward to practising more of my English by having an English-level goal. If I am lucky, I would like to take a Cambridge-English-certification exam so that I can achieve, at least for this year, a C1 English level.

On the other hand, I am planning to use this online platform I just found around 2 days ago and which, by the way, I found really useful. However, I'll use more English platforms and take, as minimum, just 1 hour a day (if possible, I'll do it on weekends as well) to practise and study whatever I can find useful.

Thank you for reading :)!

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Submitted by orange.sphere on Fri, 13/01/2023 - 21:34


Hello everyone,
This year my English learning goal is to reach C1 in all of the abilities, specifically I am working towards improve my writing and pronunciation, of course I want to enrich my vocabulary.

For this week my English study plan is to jump from the Learning Hub to the materials made to B2-C1-C2 levels here in the BC platform and perhaps watch some Modern family while I eat breakfast. I am studying every single day 30-60 minutes because that's currently the time I have to spare.

Finally, I do have some tips for planning your study time and it's to know what kind of learner and you and in what time of your English learning journey you are at. For example, I do not listen to music very often, not in English neither in any other language so planning "practice listening with music lyrics" is not going to work for me, if I want a listening practice I would put on a show without subtitles and then study the subtitles to see if I got everything, at the beginning this is not necessary but because I am trying really hard to get to and advance level I want to be able not just to grasp the main idea but to get the whole audio understood.

Thank you,

Hi @orange.sphere,

I used to love watching Modern Family! Which series/episode are you up to? It was a series that always made me chuckle, why do you like it?

Does anyone else like watching 'Modern Family'?

~ Tina ツ
LearnEnglish team

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Submitted by Erick20 on Thu, 12/01/2023 - 19:18


Hi everybody... Well, this is a goal that I've had for a long time and it's to speak English fluently, so this year I really want to achieve it.I'm going to continue with this lessons from the BC and I'm looking for an app that connects me with other people from around the world to practice our speaking and listening skills. Last year I had the opportunity to take online classes with native English speakers through the app called Voxy. So this year I'm planning repeat this part, and why not? Going further.