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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Module 9 - Learning to learn


Supporting learning to learn is about teaching students strategies to develop themselves into independent learners. You’ll have opportunities to think about the advantages of being an independent learner and how students can develop independent learning skills.

As you work through this module you will become familiar with the following key concepts:

  •  metacognition (learning to learn)
  •  self-monitoring learning
  •  self-access materials and learning sites

Refer to page 80 of your handbook to learn more about these concepts and important supporting resources, or download the PDF of this module here: 

Teacher with thought bubble saying "metacognition".

Audio transcript

Nabad, I’m Rae Si’ilata.

If you have completed Module 8, you will have a better understanding of:

  • the stages of writing development
  • effective approaches to use when preparing for writing
  • and discussing models of the required writing style.

In Module 9, the focus is on equipping students to become independent, lifelong learners. We need to encourage students to manage themselves as learners. This will enable them to apply known strategies and approaches to new areas of learning. Independent learners are able to ‘think about how they think’ and discuss what approaches help them to learn best, I learn best when there is lots of visual support instead of only listening or reading.

All learners need to be deliberately involved in the learning process from the start of each topic. They need to be told what they are going to learn about, why they are doing particular tasks and how they will know if they have reached the required level. You should constantly check students’ understanding during the task. Check what they remember about the task one week later and prompt them to look for links between what they have learned in this topic and what they are learning in another topic.

You can assist learners to become independent by working alongside the teacher to create a range of self-access materials. These should be linked to curriculum topics so that students can use them independently at various learning levels.

These materials should be:

  • based on developing language skills across the modes of listening, speaking, reading, and writing
  • from multimedia sources, for example, MOE websites, CD ROMs, and instructional videos
  • and relevant to the students or even be provided by the students themselves.

Another school-based system that can assist learners to become independent is peer tutoring, the Tuakana Teina model.  If an older student can assist a newer student to complete a task using the first language when possible, then both students benefit.

By the time you have completed this module, you will have a better understanding of supporting students to become independent learners by providing key approaches such as Check, Check, Prompt and KWLH charts.

Learning tasks

 In this module you have three tasks to complete.

  1. Using a self-monitoring chart - KWLH
  2. Disappearing text
  3. Developing a self-access learning plan

Over the next hour try out Tasks 1 and 2. Then discuss the self-access learning and the planned resources described in Task 3 with your coordinating teacher.

Watch the clip below to see the use of disappearing text.



Teacher - It’s a combination of definitions from two people in the class. What we’re going to do is we are going to read it out with nice clear voices and then we’re going to start rubbing out words. So altogether from the top off we go.

Students - Translation means to slide a shape left, right, up, and down.

Teacher - Once you’ve said it in your minds I want you to quickly turn to a buddy and share it with a buddy.

Students - Translation means to slide a shape left, right, up and down.

Teacher - Right you guys are too good.

Students - Yeah!!!! Yessssss!!!

Teacher - Off we go.

Students - Translation means to slide a shape left, right, up and down.

Teacher - Give yourselves a round of applause.

Your thoughts

The Next Steps section of this module (p 84), encourages you to work with other colleagues on the staff to gradually develop a set of self-access materials.

Discuss the Next Steps section in the handbook with your coordinating teacher then answer these questions about your learning from this module:

  1. What are three concepts and three terms you learnt in this module?
  2. What learning tasks did you complete in this module?
  3. How will you apply the learning tasks from this module with your students?
  4. What main issues did you discuss with your coordinating teacher?
  5. What do you need to find out more about and how will you do this?
  6. What do you need to do to prepare for the next module?

When you've completed all of the questions, you've finished the module. Your coordinating teacher can sign off the module on the course completion certificate

Published on: 08 Jan 2018