Task E, Independent Learning Gap Fill Listening Exercise Part 2

Listen to the speaker giving advice about independent learning then fill in each gap with the word or words that hear. (Refer to Task A if you need to see these words again.)

If you have trouble, push the [?] button for the (inappropriate) word that means the same. Or, click the 'Hint' button at the bottom to see the next letter of each word.

Part 2:

How to set about learning independently

First you will need to carefully analyse just what your problems and weaknesses / special interests are. For example, if you are studying a language, is your weak area broadly grammar, vocabulary, writing, speaking, listening, or reading? If you decide that grammar is the problem area, you’ll then need to further to decide what aspect(s) cause problems - for example past tenses of verbs or word order in a sentence.

Once you’ve decided exactly what your specific problems or interests are, you can draw up a list. Which need to be addressed the most urgently, or is there a natural, logical order in which to tackle them? In other words, work out your . Whatever your subject, don’t be afraid to return to the basics if necessary. It may give you more confidence in the long run to ensure you have a firm understanding of basic concepts and techniques.

It will probably pay to set aside a specific time each week for your independent work and write it down in your . Unless a time is in this way, it is easy for independent work to be by other activities and good intentions can . Look at your timetable. Where could you usefully fit in some independent study? Is there an odd hour, for example, between a lecture and a seminar? Could that time be regularly used for independent work?

Your next step will be to work out a study-plan for your work. What goals could you
realistically set yourself? Don’t make them too but set minor goals or targets that you know you will be able to achieve without having to spend a very long time working on them. How many hours will you need to achieve them? How will you know when you’ve achieved them? Try giving yourself clear aims.

When you work independently, it’s a good idea to keep a record of the work you’ve done. This can help with further planning and also give a as well as provide something to include in a progress file. As time goes by you may surprise yourself with what you’ve been able to cover. This could motivate you to keep going as could increased confidence and even improved results! Your record need not be elaborate – simply a series of A4 sheets, for example, with a column for the date, one for the work covered and one for your reflections on the work. on what you’ve done can help you decide whether the activity was really effective, whether an alternative approach might be better on another occasion, whether you spent the right amount of time and whether you achieved the target you’d set yourself. Once you’ve achieved the target, the process of planning can start again. Your needs and priorities may have changed, so think about them and then set yourself another target.

Independent learning can become a lifelong habit.