How Can I Plan My Work?

Planning your work has 3 stages:

  1. Analysing your Needs
  2. Planning what to learn
  3. Testing yourself and planning what to learn next.


1. Needs Analysis
There are four ways that you can analyse your needs:

  • think of problems you have when you speak, read, write or listen to English, and the situations that cause these problems
  • think of what English you will need in future, for example for your career or for studying
  • think about what you need to know to speak a language
  • if you are studying a course, think of the contents of the course and what English you need to understand those contents ( click here to see the English courses that most full-time HKPU students do)
  • use a 'Study Skills' book (we have some in CILL) to help you analyse your needs.

Click here for a Needs Analysis / Planning / Studying / Assessment Form that you can print out and fill in.

2. Planning what to learn.

You need to decide:

  • what materials and resources you want to use
  • whether you want to work alone or with other people
  • when you want or need to finish studying; eg. in time for an assignment deadline
  • how much improvement is necessary

Materials and Resources
Materials can be books, magazines, newspapers, videos, audio tapes, etc.
Resources can be teachers, classmates, computers, learner pathways, etc.

How to choose materials:

  • level: is the material the right level for you?
  • time: can you finish in time for any assignments etc. you need to hand in
  • quantity: the CILL indexes and materials lists tell you the Unit of the material you should look at. If this says, 'All', then all of that material is about the topic you are looking for.
  • support: if you are using a book, is there a tape, model answers (eg. in a teachers book or the back of the students' book), a video, a computer program or a workbook for extra practice?
  • does the material suggest using one of the ways of learning (study strategies) that you know and like? Click here for ways of studying.
  • does the material suit your learning style? Some people like to work quietly on their own, while others like to learn by social talking.
  • Click here for details on planning reading, writing, speaking, listening, vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar.

Working Alone or With Other People
Reasons for working with other people are:
- You get more ideas from the other people
- They can suggest improvements
- They can tell you if you make a mistake
- They can encourage you to do better
- Explaining things to other people can help you understand better
- Sharing the work helps you do it quicker
- You can share your thoughts and feelings
- Teamwork skills and experience are important for your career.

Reasons for working alone are:
- So your work is not the same as other people's
- If you share a task then you might learn only your part of the task,
..not how to do all of it. Your aim is to learn, not to finish quickly.
- Maybe you don't want to be influenced by other people
- You don't want to share your ideas with other people.

3. Testing yourself and planning what to learn next.

When you have finished your plan you need to test or assess yourself to see if you have fulfilled your need. Can you do what your Needs Analysis wanted?
- If you can, then you can plan to learn another point from your Needs Analysis, or you can change it because of some new thing that you want to learn. Don't forget to come back and revise later.
- If you can't you need to study more, so change your plan. You could, for example, do some of the Alternative Materials or Extra Materials if you are following a learner pathway. If you are bored you can do something else and come back later.

For more details on how you can test yourself, click here. The learner pathways also have details on how you can test yourself. Click here for an example.


Last updated on: Wednesday, May 29, 2013