2317183342_0be0a151acHave you ever heard of metacognition?

It means “thinking about thinking.”

It goes back to my very first post of advice on this blog: you are your own best teacher.

My deepest advice that I will post on this blog again and again is to think about your learning.

And then act upon those thoughts: change how you study, or ask some questions, or enroll in a class, or listen to English radio when you drive to work. Don’t wait around for a teacher to tell you.

Here are some ways to use metacognition to learn English better:

  • Think about how you study. Do you think it’s effective? Why? What is one other method you could try? When will you try it?
  • Think about a time you learned really well. What did you do? How did you feel? How could you do that again?
  • What are you good at? How can you use those skills to help yourself when you struggle?
  • Think about a topic in learning English that is hard for you. Now, imagine that a friend of yours is a teacher. S/he knows all about teaching and also knows you very well. What advice would s/he give you? Would you try it?
  • Imagine your life a year from now. What do you hope you can do better then? What can you do today to take one step in that direction? Can you make a plan to take another step every week? What about every day?
  • Examine a piece of your writing or English practice. Make sure it is at least a week old. Look for your errors. What types of mistakes did you make? Do you see any patterns? What do these patterns tell you you should work on next?

Do you see how much you can do yourself? You don’t need a syllabus to tell you what’s next.

Good luck!

Listen to Emily read this post. (I recorded using It will open in a new tab.)

Photo Credit: Crystal on Flickr


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