What is progress in learning? How to make sure you are moving ahead?

Most people who contact me usually say “I want to improve my English.”


But what does that mean? What do you need English for?

As a busy adult, the first thing you need to get clear on is what you need English for.

Do you want to read books? Watch films in English?

These reasons are quite different from needing English for professional reasons such as mastering sales pitches or perfecting presentations in English, for instance.

So first, get specific about what you need English for right now.

You run a business. Your time for learning English is limited.

Plus, if you don’t know what you want, you won’t be able to measure your progress. Which brings us to the topic of today’s tip.

There is no progress if there’s no destination. Knowing more vocabulary, understanding another grammar point etc. only mean some difference, some change.

It’s more than what you had before, but it is still not the best way to measure progress.

Progress is moving towards a specific goal. On the way to the goal you will be able to know how much you have achieved.

Similar to any project plan.

This is quite a simple thing, yet a lot of people miss it. And they don’t understand why they give up.

They give up when they don’t see their progress.

I would say this is the main reason why people lose motivation.

Once you know where you’re going, you will be able to see if you’re getting there.

Here’s a very simple example. Say, you’re sitting in the middle of a room in your house and your goal is to get to the entrance door and open it.

This is a clear goal.

So you stand up from the armchair and start walking, out of the room, past the kitchen, perhaps down the stairs, but clearly towards the entrance door. As you’re getting closer, you can say that you’re progressing. And when you finally get to the door and open it, then you have achieved your goal.

In comparison, if the only thing you think you need is to walk about in the house, but you don’t specify why (that is, to open the entrance door), then all you will do is walking. Just walking around without knowing where you’re going.

Then, you can’t really say you have made progress. You simply have been walking.

It may even add up to a mile or more that you cover walking, yet no progress can be measured.

If you want to open the door, that’s something very specific.

If you’re just walking about, well, that’s nice, all the more if you have enjoyed it, but for progress to be measured you need to set a clear direction.


1-Minute Tip ⏳

So, for learning English make the goal clear first and then you will be able to measure your progress towards it.

And if you’re able to measure your progress, it will keep you more motivated, because you will better see the small achievements on the way.

This is usually the first thing I work out with my clients.

Do you need help with this? You can contact me on LinkedIn through a DM, or by email at gabor@createnglish.com

I specialize in helping Spanish speakers develop confident speaking clarity in English for professional and business success.

I’ll be happy to discuss with you what you personally need to work on for your business goals in English.

This content is authentic and it is not AI generated.

I write these weekly tips for you because I enjoy sharing techniques that I have seen work for my students through my 20+ years of teaching experience.


Talk to you next time 🙂

Gábor 🙂

Connect | Gábor Légrádi | MA, RSA/CTEFLA

Scroll to Top