Posted in Odds and ends

Setting SMART Goals


Adult learners are often goal-orientated both in their personal and professional lives. In fact, most of them will have specific English-learning goals.

In this task, learners are asked to set some SMART goals. These goals can be personal, professional, or related to their English development.

Task Type

Categorising and assessing based on specific criteria.

Task Outcome

Students will create their own SMART goals after getting feedback from peers.

Language Feedback

Collocations with ‘goal’

Giving and asking for opinions and advice

Conditionals (1st and 2nd)

Task Preparation

  1. Show a picture of a football player. What is he doing? Scoring a goal.
  2. Ss individually define the word ‘goal’. A goal is……
  3. Ss share their definition with their partners than compare their definition with a dictionary definition
  4. Ss discuss synonyms : objectives / targets / ambitions etc.
  5. Ss review collocations with the word goal: establish, set, pursue. Follow, achieve, reach, attain.
  6. Discussion: How important and effective is it for you to set goals in a) your personal life b) your professional life.

Task Implementation

  1. Ss are asked what are the features of an effective goal.
  2. Ask if they know about SMART goals
  3. Show video: ss make notes about each of the aspects
  4. In pairs, ss discuss why each aspect is important.
  5. Ss set a personal/professional / English learning goal.
  6. In pairs, Student A analyses Student B’s goal. Switch pairs.
  7. Ss modify their goal based on their feedback from their partner.

Task Feedback and Reflection

  1. Ss share some goals with the whole class
  2. Teacher reviews any language mistakes and/or examples of useful language.
  3. In small groups, ss discuss if setting SMART goals is a useful tool in their opinion. Give reasons.


Here is a video (

Smart Goals




I'm a teacher trainer doing lots of different things in Granada, Spain and back in the UK. I've been a Course Director on Trinity TESOL programmes, worked as an EAP tutor at universities in the UK, spent a couple of years as a DoS at a wonderful school in London, and have also dabbled in online teaching, course creation, blogging and materials development.

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