Infographic: Applying the Pareto Principle to ELT Minimum Viable Products by Tim Gifford | 27 Mar, 2014 | New ways of working | 8 comments Join our mailing list Get new ELTjam posts & updates straight to your inbox Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription. There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again. Email Address I'd like to receive the free email course. Subscribe Powered by ConvertKit 8 Comments David Warr on March 27, 2014 at 5:02 pm Short and to the point. I’d say you got across 80% of everything you could have said in only 20% of the time. Well done, and thanks. Reply Michael Butler on March 28, 2014 at 1:17 am Perhaps, but why? The goal of most study is mastery not 80%. If mastery is your goal 80% of your way to the goal would be a failure condition. In other words the Pareto principle is accepting of “almost”; education rarely is. From the individual point of view “almost” is like birth control that is 80% effective. A disaster in other words. Reply Nicola on March 28, 2014 at 7:36 am Every student I’ve ever taught would probably have been happy if they could have even managed to reach 80%. An achievable 80% would be infinitely preferable to sticking at A2 – B1, failing CAE and feeling fluency will elude you forever. Aiming for 80, the students might be motivated to achieve the other 20 alone, assuming anyone can say what the 100 looks or feels like! Reply Laurie Harrison on March 28, 2014 at 3:18 pm I don’t think most language learners are really aiming for 100% mastery – in fact, many would consider that an impossible goal. 80% of the way there would be a great achievement, and surely better than most people manage. But, of course 80% will mean different things to different people. I think those who study for years at get stuck at intermediate level are applying the 20/80 rule. Reply Richard Whiteside on April 12, 2014 at 11:18 am I strongly disagree with the suggestion that the goal of most study is mastery, eespecially when it comes to language learning. Reply Zhenya on March 28, 2014 at 4:58 am Hi Tim I think you raised a good question, and I like the ‘Why?’ from Michael. I am wondering if 80/20 in ELT is a little different from education in general? If we look at the goal as communication in English, then perhaps achieving this goal with 80% accuracy is a lot? To continue your idea about this principle in ELT, would like to add about the 20%: content, time, effort, materials used? Reply Michael Butler on March 28, 2014 at 3:39 pm We were not talking about the learner getting to 80% to his or her goal. We were talking about whether we could reach 80% of our goal by investing our time in just 20% of the content. Reply Walton on March 31, 2014 at 5:32 pm I somehow missed Nick’s original post so thanks for leading me back to that. Both the post and this infographic are really worth thinking about. Reply Submit a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * All comments are reviewed by ELTjam before they appear – please be patient!