How can you achieve your Legal English goals? How can you improve your Legal English? How can you achieve your dream job in a top international law firm!? Find out in today’s short episode. After you’ve listened to this episode why not set a SMART goal? Tweet it @legalenglisher, share it on Facebook, or leave me a comment!
SMART goals are:
Today I announce that I’ll take a short break but I’ll be back in September 2018 with more episodes.
Here is the original article which inspired this episode.
00:00:00: LOUISE: You’re listening to the Study Legal English Podcast,
00:00:07: the world’s first Legal English podcast, helping lawyers and law students become fluent in Legal English.
00:00:20: Hello and welcome to episode 50 of the Study Legal English Podcast. I’m your host Louise and today is just a short episode to talk about
00:00:30: achieving your Legal English goals.
00:00:34: I also wanted to announce that I’m having a short break in August and I’ll be back with more podcast episodes in September.
00:00:43: In September Study Legal English turns one year old and it has been a really great year.
00:00:50: I started the podcast because I love teaching Legal English and I wanted to help students and teachers in this area and well… I just decided to go for it and now the podcast is listened to In…
00:01:02: 112 countries around the world – wow! Thank you all for listening and for sending in your comments I really like hearing from you.
00:01:12: When I return in September you can expect a few more episodes about the English Legal System and then moving forward we have lots of exciting interviews
00:01:21: and we’ll be covering new topics such as legal writing and contract drafting.
00:01:28: Today I’d like to share with you some tips about setting goals which you can apply to your language learning.
00:01:35: It’s inspired by an article I read with one of my students on the www.entrepreneur.com website called “how to set career and financial goals you’ll actually achieve”.
00:01:46: My student, like some of you out, there is a lawyer who dreams of working in a more international environment using Legal English on a regular basis, but her level
00:01:57: really needs to improve to achieve this goal and to get her dream job. Of course, this is easier said than done!
00:02:05: This article that we read together stressed the importance of setting SMART goals.
00:02:11: Now you probably know that ‘smart’ has a few different meanings in English – it can mean ‘intelligent’ or ‘clever’.
00:02:19: It can also mean ‘well-dressed’ for example, if you’re wearing a suit
00:02:25: you might look smart, meaning you look well-dressed and professional, not necessarily intelligent. However, smart in the context of SMART goals is an acronym and,
00:02:38: this means that each letter stands for a specific word. ‘S’ for ‘specific’: meaning that goals should be detailed.
00:02:48: ‘M’ for ‘measurable’: meaning that you should have criteria for measuring your progress.
00:02:55: ‘A’ for ‘attainable’: meaning do you have the ability to achieve what you want?
00:03:02: ‘R’ for ‘relevant’: meaning your goals should be consistent with your values,
00:03:09: and ‘T’ for ‘time-bound’: meaning goals should have a time frame for completion, you should have a deadline.
00:03:19: I’ll give you an example of a goal which is not a smart goal:
00:03:25: ‘I will improve my Legal English’.
00:03:30: This is vague, how can we measure your improvement? When do you want to do this by?
00:03:37: Now compare this with a SMART goal: ‘I want to learn 100 new Legal English words within 6 months.
00:03:47: I will listen to the Study Legal English Podcast on my commute to work Monday to Friday and write down each new word I learn.’
00:03:56: This example is specific – it says exactly what you want to do.
00:04:01: You can measure it because at the end of the 6 months you can test yourself and see whether you have, indeed, learnt 100 new Legal English words.
00:04:12: It’s attainable, everything you need to achieve this goal is in your control –
00:04:17: you have a smartphone or computer, you’ve got some free time during your commute.
00:04:22: It’s realistic – there are 182 days in 6 months so you only have to learn one new word every couple of days.
00:04:32: It’s relevant because it helps you achieve your goal of improving your Legal English, perhaps to get that dream job and it’s time-bound – there is a deadline, you’ve given yourself 6 months.
00:04:45: This article which I read also suggests that you write down your goals and put them somewhere you can see them so you are always reminded about it every day.
00:04:56: Maybe you could set yourself a reminder in your calendar or put a sticky note above your desk.
00:05:03: Another point is to create an action plan – put your vision at the top, for example, your vision might be you in a year’s time in a top international law firm.
00:05:15: Your action plan should then break down your goals into smaller actions and set out how you will achieve each one.
00:05:23: For example, if we think back to our goal, our SMART goal related to learning 100 Legal English words, you might think through the steps:
00:05:33: ‘On my commute I will listen to the podcast. When I arrive at work I’ll write down the new word that I learnt.
00:05:41: At lunch time I’ll try to remember this word and I’ll try to use it in a sentence and then on my commute home I’ll listen again to the podcast episode and try to remember what that word was that I learnt.
00:05:54: An important point mentioned in this article is ‘accountability’ and it relates to being responsible for your goals.
00:06:03: I’ll give you two examples to highlight being accountable.
00:06:07: In the first situation, you want to improve your Legal English. You set a goal to learn a new word each day and at the end of the first week things aren’t going very well.
00:06:19: You didn’t bother to do this and you think… ‘tomorrow I will start’. No-one is there to say ‘Hey…
00:06:27: Why didn’t you do it? What about your goal? Your dream? Don’t give up!’
00:06:33: In the second situation you tell a friend or perhaps your spouse about your goal.
00:06:39: Maybe you even tweet on Twitter or you share a post on Facebook, something like ‘I have a goal to learn a new Legal English word each day and so each day I’ll share it with you here on Facebook or Twitter’.
00:06:54: In this situation, at the end of each working day you tell your friend or your spouse the word that you learnt,
00:07:02: or you tweet, you put a post on Facebook, or even comment on the Study Legal English website the word that you’re learning in the comments section on the Podcast episode you listen to.
00:07:14: Don’t be scared to do this!
00:07:17: We are far more likely to achieve our goals if we are held accountable, if we take responsibility, if we share our goals with someone else.
00:07:28: You should also monitor your progress.
00:07:31: At the end of each week have a little review on your commute home think through the words that you learnt that week. Did you manage to learn new words this week?
00:07:41: If you did, you could treat yourself, give yourself a reward, say well done. And finally, let others inspire you.
00:07:51: Is there someone you know who is a non-native English speaker who has improved their Legal English? Take them as an inspiration and a role model.
00:08:02: And if you’re thinking: ‘Yes, but, I don’t have time, I’ll do it tomorrow’.
00:08:08: Remember your priorities. If you really want to achieve something, you must make it your priority.
00:08:17: There’s a nice Spanish proverb which says simply: ‘Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week’.
00:08:26: Don’t postpone what you can do today for tomorrow because there’s always another tomorrow and only one today.
00:08:36: So, why don’t you set a smart goal today and let me know what it is?
00:08:42: Send me your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or of course, if you want to be accountable send me a message on Twitter or Facebook. The Twitter page is @legalenglisher.
00:08:54: That is: ‘legal’ l e g a l ‘Englisher’ e n g l i s h e r
00:09:03: and the Facebook page is www.Facebook.com/studylegaleng. That’s: ‘study’ s t u d y ‘legal’ l e g a l
00:09:17: ‘eng’ E n g.
00:09:19: So, thank you so much for listening this year and I will see you in September with some more exciting episodes. Thanks for listening and see you next time!
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