LOMLOE: developing the self management competence in English class

Happy New Year one and all! It’s a New year, with New Year’s Resolutions and a New Education Law: the LOMLOE!

Back in our first blog post on the new law, we considered how the LOMLOE sets out a ‘leaver profile’ which establishes the eight key competences that young people will need to make their way in life in personal, social and academic domains. The competences are to be developed across subject areas.

One of these eight competences is referred to as the competencia personal, social y de aprender a aprenderwhich I’m referring to as self management, as most of the descriptors outlined for this competence in the perfil de salida fall under the umbrella of self management, as we will see.

In this blog post, the first in a two part series, I’m going to:

  1. Have a look at the description of the competence in the law
  2. Consider what we can do in English class to develop the competence.

In post 2, I will continue with the second practical section, as there’s a lot we can do with our students.

Let’s begin!


First off, let’s look at the wording of the descriptors for the competencia personal, social y de aprender a aprender. The competence has five descriptors for what a student should be able to do at the end of primary education and five for secondary. In this blog post, we’ll focus on the secondary ones.

First, here they are in Spanish

1) Regula y expresa sus emociones fortaleciendo el optimismo, la resiliencia, la autoeficacia y la búsqueda de propósito y motivación hacia el aprendizaje,
gestionando constructivamente los retos y cambios que surgen en
cualquier contexto y armonizándolos con sus propios objetivos.

2) Conoce los riesgos para la salud relacionados con factores sociales,
y consolida hábitos de vida saludable a nivel físico y mental.

3) Comprende proactivamente las perspectivas y las experiencias de los demás y las incorpora a su aprendizaje, participando activamente en el trabajo en grupo, distribuyendo y aceptando tareas y responsabilidades de manera equitativa y empleando estrategias cooperativas complejas.

4) Realiza de forma recurrente y autónoma autoevaluaciones sobre su
proceso de aprendizaje, buscando fuentes fiables para validar, sustentar
y contrastar la información y obteniendo conclusiones relevantes.

5) Planea objetivos a medio plazo y desarrolla procesos meta cognitivos
de retroalimentación que le permiten aprender de sus errores en el proceso de construcción del conocimiento.

I think a bullet point summary of the subskills in these descriptors would look something like this:

Emotional intelligence
Set learning goals and motivates themselves
Deals with challenges /change
Adapts your goals as necessary
Understands health risks
Leads healthy lifestyle
Is open to other perspectives
Learns from others
Able to work cooperatively in a group
Can self evaluate
Responsible for own learning
Is critical with content
Can learn from mistakes
Learns how to learn

I’ve categorised my summary using four colours. What do you think each of the categories are?


RED –  I think these points are all part of being a good learner and an autonomous learner

PURPLE – These points apply to the more affective side of things, part of emotional intelligence or being an ’emotionally effective’ person.

GREEN – These relate to healthy living, and risk awareness, which could be things like smoking, drinking, other addictions, or things like digital risks.

BLUE –  These relate to collaborative competencies. 

So I termed the competencia personal, social y de aprender a aprender ‘self management’ as I thjnk that all the red, purple and green subskills fall under the self management umbrella. The blue ones I’d put under collaborative skills, probably not part of self management in the strictest sense, but obviously vital skills in any case.


Let’s now look at things we can do in class to develop the skills outlined above.

Healthy lifestyle

In the example below, our lesson is around the grammar point of quantifiers, but the topic (and introductory video) is on food and healthy eating:

Your World, level 2

Let’s look closer at the purple box:

For an activity like this we could have students in groups and get them to ask each other how often they do these healthy behaviours and award points, say 3 points for every day, 2 points for at least once a week and 1 point for less than that. Then students and groups can get a health score.

In the above example, we have provided the students with examples. We can also get them to brainstorm their own habits and categorise them into healthy and unhealthy using this meme:

Or by using a Venn diagram: some of the habits may be healthy ‘in moderation’ or may have healthy and unhealthy aspects. This can lead to discussion.

Learning to learn, planning and goal setting

Once again, let’s consider how a subskill can be contextualised in a lesson. This grammar lesson is on the past continuous, but the introductory video has the characters using the grammar point in a conversation about how one of them has forgotten it’s non-uniform day (there’s always one!).

Let’s take a look at our future skills box

As well as discussing the ideas, students can add any other memory tricks they use and then rank them in order of usefulness in a group.

On the topic of remembering what you have to do and organising your tasks, what other options are there to share with students?

To do lists

In the interests of authenticity, I’ll share one of mine:

I like to write DONE next to them and cross them off rather than deleting them: that way I can a sense of satisfaction for having done them! I put urgent or important matters in red, though for this day I don’t seem to have done my urgent job, rather going for the easier ‘quick wins’ first!

Another visual way of organising your tasks is to use a Kanban. A simple version looks like this:

Here you can keep an eye on your wider things to do in the top row, prioritise and focus in the middle row and, like the crossing out in the to do list, see what you’ve accomplished in the bottom row.

Goal setting 

The LOMLOE talks quite a bit about goal setting as we saw in the descriptors at the start of the session. If we want our students to set goals, I think we need to go first, to model. We can set goals at the beginning of the lesson like ‘By the end of the lesson you will be able to talk about your plans for the New Year using the future tense.

There are lots of reasons for teachers to set lesson and unit goals:

  • The goal gives meaning to the lesson and to the activities in the lesson: they are leading somewhere.
  • The teacher has the opportunity to give specific, credible praise to the students when they achieve their goals.
  • Pupils see progress when they demonstrate to themselves that they have achieved a goal which can mean they grow in confidence and become more optimistic and persistent.
  • If we develop a culture of goal setting in lessons, it’s easier to get our students to set goals. Which brings me to…

What might a lesson in which you teach your students to set goals look like?

Gold Experience 2nd Edition, B1

Gold Experience 2nd Edition,  B1

As you can see above, this is a scaffolded approach to teaching students to set goals: getting them to critically analyse example goals, analysing their own strengths and weaknesses and setting goals accordingly.

A point about this kind of goal setting: it’s only worthwhile if we go back and consider whether we’ve met the goal and it’s only worthwhile if we can into the habit of doing it. This brings me onto the final point in this blog post:



Our final point about learning to learn today is to look back, reflect and analyse our own learning. We can teach our students to look back at what they’ve learned and achieved, but also to look forwards at how they will put into practice what they’ve learned too.

Here are some example questions that we can ask our students.

Look back Look forward
What can you do better now?

What made the task difficult?

What was the most confusing thing about the language?

What are you proud of in this lesson?

How did you do the task differently to your partner?

What will help you to do this same task next month?

What will help you to overcome the challenges next time?

Which of your partner’s strategies can you try and use?

What will you work on over the next week?

What material do you need to do this?

(CREDIT: LINDSAY WARWICK, author Gold Experience and Roadmap)

As with anything, at the start we’ll need to provide input, prompting and options for our students, particularly if they’re not used to talking about learning.

Well, that brings us to the end of blog post number 1 on self management as defined in the LOMLOE. We considered the descriptors which make up the competencia personal, social y de aprender a aprender and then looked at what we can do to develop the subskills outlined in these descriptors.

In part 2 we’ll look at activities to develop persistence, confidence and optimism, as well as emotional intelligence, which are other subskills outlined in the descriptors. See you then!

For more information on Gold Experience, click here.

Your World, our exciting new course for teens, is coming soon!


Leave a Reply