Introduction to Goal Setting


Introduction to Goal Setting

Learning Objective

To help students begin to understand the importance of setting goals to reach their dreams


road map, motivational


Basic Skills: Listening; Writing

Information: Interprets and communicates information

Instructions for Conducting the Activity

Brainstorm with students the different words we use to talk about what we want to do in the future such as:

• dreams

• hopes

• wishes

• wants

• goals

• aspirations

Provide students with copies of the handout: “Student Goal Scenarios”.  Choose some scenarios to read aloud in class while students read along. Have students look at the goal scenarios, individually or in pairs, and answer this question about each scenario: “what are the writer’s goals for this year?”

Students can break out each of the goals and record them on a worksheet.  Then ask students to write down short answers to the following questions:

• What were some dreams or hopes that I had for my life when I was a child?

• What hopes or dreams did I have about my career when I was younger?

• What hopes or dreams do I have for my life now?

• What hopes or dreams do I have for my career now?

• What do I need to do to reach my dreams?

• Where do I see myself in five years?

Students can share their answers in pairs or in a large group.

Then, as a class, brainstorm reasons why it is important to have goals. Some answers might include:

• something to work toward

• need a road map

• motivational

• need something concrete

Explain that when we can see clearly what our goals are, then it is more likely that we will achieve them. You need to start with a goal in mind. Having a plan helps you to get to where you want to go. It is important to remember that goals are not set in stone. Goals may change over time as we change.

Extension Activity

Have students practice writing goals through journals or prompts. Use a selection of those goals to illustrate the process of setting realistic goals and to inspire other students to write their own goals.

Student Goal Scenarios

1. Farouk moved here from Pakistan two years ago. His English is so-so. He has a good job and he saved some money. He doesn’t want to live in an apartment anymore. He is thinking about buying a house but he doesn’t understand the financial systems in the United States very well.  He also doesn’t understand the culture of Americans so he doesn’t have many friends. What are his goals for this year?

2. Min Wei is from China. She is at school to learn English. She is 65 years old and she went to the doctor. She is not healthy right now. She smokes because she is very stressed about her new life in the United States. She is also very lonely in the United States. She needs to meet friends and find a place to go for recreation. Her friend goes to the library but Min doesn’t have a library card. She knows some people go to community events but she is shy and afraid.  What are her goals this year?

3. Luis moved here from the Dominican Republic five years ago. He speaks English but wants to learn more. He works now, but he doesn’t make much money. He needs to find a new job. He knows he could get a better job if he used computers, but he doesn’t know about computers.  Luis knows that he can be a citizen of the United States now because he has lived here for five years. What are his goals this year?

4. Blanca is from Ecuador. She moved here a year ago. She is studying English. She has two kids, and they are in elementary school. They need help with homework, but she isn’t sure she is smart enough to help them. She didn’t finish high school so she doesn’t have a diploma or GED. She wants to get her GED. She is also tired of taking the bus to pick up her children and she has a car but not a license. What are her goals for this year?

5. Nubar has many goals for the future. Some of his goals will take a long time, even if he works hard. He will study every day to get his GED. In about three years, he wants to start college to become a computer technician someday. He and his girlfriend want to get married and have children sometime in the future. He will need a good job so he can help his family. What are his goals for this year?


Adapted and used with permission from the Lawrence Public Schools Adult Learning Center

Integrating Career Awareness into the ABE & ESOL Classroom



The Career Planning Process


The Career Planning Process

Learning Objective

To understand what the career planning process is and that it can facilitate the attainment of educational and career goals


laid-off, job security, career, job


Basic Skills: Listening; Speaking

Thinking: Seeing things in the mind’s eye

Brainstorm the answers to the following questions:

How many times will most people (in the US) change jobs in their lifetime?

  • 25 times

Can workers in the U.S. today get laid-off through no fault of their own?

  • Yes

Is there job security today?

  • Not necessarily, but there are steps you can take that lead to more job security, like continuing to learn new skills.

What do employers look at when deciding to hire new employees?

  • Skills and experience

Because of all these factors, career planning is an important life skill and it helps students identify the education needed to reach their career goals.

To help students understand the difference between a job and a career, brainstorm what they think is meant by both.

Record answers on the board. Summarize the definitions as:

Job = the work position that you have at any point in time

Career = the path of your jobs over time

Point out that the goal is to think about your career and not just the next job. Students can do this by creating a map of where they are going.

Some examples of careers are:

  1. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) – Surgical Technologist – Nurse

The career path is in the health care field.

  1. Secretary – Administrative Assistant – Manager

This career path could be within many different fields.

  1. Teacher – Social Worker – Consultant

This career path focuses on jobs that use similar skills but in different fields.

Next ask students to brainstorm what they think is meant by career planning. Write these on the board. Then, using students’ ideas, summarize with the following points:

What is career planning?

  • Identifying what you are good at
  • H ow your skills, talents, values, and interests translate into work
  • Matching your skills, etc., to existing jobs
  • Matching your career goal to your financial needs
  • It is a process
  • Need it to make good decisions
  • By doing career planning you can find good answers that meet your needs on your schedule

Career planning is an iterative process and is lifelong.

Depending on the needs and interest of the class, you can further break down the sections of the process and ask students to decide which parts of the career planning process they are most interested in learning about. This can guide you in how best to engage students with the curriculum.

Career Planning Model

Cultural Context: Self-Exploration Process

Cultural Context: Occupational Exploration

Cultural Context: Career Planning Skills

Self-exploration looks at:

  • Skills • Interests
  • Education • Values
  • Experience

Occupational Exploration looks at:

  • Occupational/job profiles
  • Informational interviews
  • Career/job fairs
  • Labor market information

Educational and Career Planning looks at:

  • Decision making
  • Goal setting
  • Problem Solving
  • Action Planning

You can also post the three categories on big sheets of paper and give students index cards with the bullet points and have students put index cards under the correct heading. Leave these big sheets up in the classroom and when the other lessons in the curriculum are presented, refer to them and identify the part of career planning that the lesson addresses.

Extension Activity

For students with previous work experience, ask them to make a list of the jobs they have had and two jobs they would like to have. Then have students pair up and share the lists. Have students talk about any similarities in the jobs they have held and those they would like to have.

For students with limited or no previous work experience, ask them to make a list of at least three jobs they would be interested in having. Pair up students to share the lists. Ask them to talk about any similarities among the jobs they have chosen. Are there any jobs that they might need to have first to gain the experience for those jobs?



Integrating Career Awareness into the ABE & ESOL Classroom | Section II, Lesson 1: The Career Planning Process


Cancer: Diagnosing and Preventing

Know the risks – early detection is important

Cancer can be scary. The disease is linked to genetics, the environment, your age, and pure chance. But, since most cancers show no symptoms, regular screenings for cancer are highly encouraged. These screenings increase your likelihood of catching cancer early when it’s easier to treat and cure.

Even though cancer is a general term referring to more than 200 different diseases, there are three common types to be aware of:

Lung cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. with about 430,000 people living with this diagnosis. Usually, the result of smoking, lung cancer often shows no symptoms until it spreads. If you do have symptoms such as constant coughing, hoarseness, respiratory infections, and coughing up blood, please see your health care provider.

Breast cancer: An estimated 1 in 8 US women will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, making this the most common cancer found in women. Signs of breast cancer include developing a lump, breast pain, nipple discharge (other than breast milk, including blood), skin irritation, redness, swelling and/or any change in the size or shape of the breast.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. for men and women. It starts with a growth or polyp inside the colon or rectum and takes several years to develop into cancer, making it highly preventable. Although there are often no symptoms during the early stages, you should tell your doctor if you experience rectal bleeding, blood in stool, changes in your bowel habits, and cramping.

Talk with your health care provider about what screens are appropriate for you.

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I’m Dennis and I have been a tutor for 10 years. I tutor adults from other countries, in person here in the city. I enjoy one-on-one tutoring because of the personal touch I can provide once getting to know my student. I have been blogging for 5 years primarily to educate anyone who will take the time and effort to learn English.

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