Many students that come to PALS want to be excellent students that leave PALS with stronger English language proficiency. According to our experience working with students, students that have the following habits tend to be more successful at PALS.
Students that force themselves to speak English
Deliberate. The process to improving your English skills includes an increase in the time you use English. Research shows that if a person spends more time speaking English, their English ability has a stronger chance of improvement.
Students that actively take up responsibility for themselves and their learning
Ownership. Learning in the United States is a self-motivated process. It is not a process that allow students to be passive. Students in the United States are expected to ask questions, refine their skills outside the classroom and in some situations learn to resolve problems on their own. The teacher in the United States is a facilitator, not your only source of learning. Students that make this transition in learning are often the most successful at PALS and are able to succeed in the United States after their time at PALS.
Students that have a clear goal
Focused. Improving your English skills is a goal that will involve many years of studying English. Therefore, it is unrealistic to say that your goal is to improve your general English skills at PALS. It is important to establish short-term goals that are achievable. It is more realistic to say that you would like to write a 400-word essay or to achieve a TOEFL score of 83 during your time at PALS. Students that keep their short-term goals in mind are happier and also have the motivation to continue their studies when faced with challenges.
Students that have a positive attitude
Clarity. Studying overseas can be an experience that creates a lot of negativity. The way that teachers teach as well as how people do things are different from your home country. It is important to accept the differences around you and always maintain clarity and focus on your goals. Students that accept the differences between their country and the United States are often happier and perform better academically. It is important to maintain a positive attitude.
Students that complete their assignments with quality
Accountability. Students that do not view their homework as tasks to complete are often more successful at PALS. For students that have this mindset, they see homework as a chance to refine their English ability. They put a lot of effort into completing it and the completion of homework becomes a learning process for them.
Students that have spend time with friends from other countries speaking English
Openness. Students that makes friends beyond their own culture and spends time with them are often more successful students at PALS. Students that do this create chances for them to speak more English and also hold a positive attitude.
Students that actively do things to improve their English
Consistency. There are many opportunities to improve your English. One may choose always to listen to English radio, one may choose to read the newspaper daily, one may choose to always have lunch with someone that doesn’t speak their language and practice English, one may also choose to always attend PALS teacher led activities such as: The Club or WeZine. The key word here is “always”. Improvement in English often stops when students give up. Always do something in English so you can have more opportunities to use English.
Students that follow rules, announcements and deadlines at PALS
Conscientious. Studying at PALS not only means you need to be aware of what happens in the classroom. It also means that you must know what the PALS Office is doing and the rules that it has. When students are aware of the rules, announcements and deadlines that the PALS Office presents; there is very little miscommunication or misunderstanding. Just like society, PALS has rules and laws. Let’s follow them so we can create an organized environment for ourselves and others.
Students that make the most out of their situations at PALS
Flexible. Plans are necessary. However, sometimes things happen and we must adjust to what is happening to and around us. PALS students that have learned to focus on their goals and at the same time make the best out of their chances to learn are often very successful. Life will not always go according to plan. But with each change in life, there is an opportunity for change and improvement.