It is often a challenge for learners to learn and to improve their learning at the same time.  This is however possible, especially if you understand the 6 Essential Steps that are part of The REAL Learning Process Path. 



In this blog the focus is on REAL Thinking and Learning about  Learning.

Keep the focus question in mind while you read this blog.  It will help you to become more aware of this challenging question, more knowledgeable about possible answers, and to use your key insights in your personal and professional life.

In this way you can Be More Effective as a Learner and/or help others to Become More Effective Learners.



Remember: One of the best times to improve your learning skills is while you learn.



In this section I share some information or evidence that inspired me and I want you to also find something that inspires you.

1. Can you improve your learning while you learn?

Children often tell me:  “Ma’am I do not have time to learn how to learn now. I just need to learn!”  

They might have a good point but one of the best times to improve your learning is while you are really learning.

2. When must learners Learn How to Learn & Really Learn?

When there are tests or exams, children receive exam timetables and demarcation of what to learn.

Some children jump in immediately and do what it takes.

Others however just don’t seem to get the importance of preparing for the upcoming exams or can’t get going.

Even if children are not writing formal exams, they are still writing assessment tests.

They really need to learn the work for a test or exam and try to do this in the best way possible.  This is often a challenge or even a huge problem!

Learners must really learn but they also need the skills to learn.

3.  Why is Really Learning and Learning How to Learn so challenging?

The process of really learning the work for a test or exam and the process of doing it in the best way are not always in line with each other.  This could be as the learners often have a lot of work to learn and limited time to learn.

To add to this challenge…

  • They might have concentration, learning or other difficulties;
  • They might not have done the ‘right things’ daily or consistently and their work or books are not up to date, etc.;
  • Or they simply lack the skills to learn effectively (and the text books and notes often hamper learning too).

At that point the ‘weight’ of really learning for a test or exam is however more than the ‘weight’ of catching up and learning how to improve their learning.

Really Learning vs Learning How to Learn

4. It is never too late!

A child might think there is no time ‘to become better with learning’ but it is never too late!

Learning is an ongoing and lifelong process with 6 essential and important steps.  Every step consists of numerous smaller steps and strategies that can be mastered over time.

While you really learn, it is the best time to deliberately think about how you can become better with your learning (even if you did not do all the right things consistently during the term).

Even a few small changes can make a huge difference.

Look at the diagram below of the REAL Learning Process Path (that is part of my Udemy Online course titled, Learning How to Learn with the REAL Learning Process Path).

6 Essential Steps of the REAL Learning Process Path

5. What is The REAL Learning Process Path?

For REAL Learning to happen, a metacognitive learning process is required. That means that you must constantly reflect about your own learning while you are learning so that you can make adaptions to improve your learning.

The knowledge that learners get from their teachers or their books must be encoded, consolidated; and it must move to their long-term memory (Arrow 1).

Then it is essential to retrieve the information from long-term memory to use or apply in a test or exam (Arrow 2).

If they however can’t get the information out to use in tests or exams, it is a problem!

That is why self-testing, self-monitoring and reflection before a test or exam are essential so that the work can be repeated or relearning can be done (Arrow 3).

The 6 essential steps that are part of the REAL Learning Process Path are directly linked to the metacognitive learning process that are illustrated very simplistically in the diagram above.

Steps 1, 2 and 3 are important to get the information into long-term memory.  Steps 4, 5 and 6 play a vital role to get the information out of long-term memory.

The 6 steps are part of a logical and systematic metacognitive learning process but once the steps are mastered, it happens in a flexible way.

With deliberate and ongoing practice and lifelong learning, most learners can become more skilful learners.

6. Where can you learn more about the REAL Learning Process Path and the 6 Essential Steps?

Learning How to Learn with the REAL Learning Process Path is a self-paced online course on the Udemy Platform.

This course (with positive reviews and good ratings) provides in depth information through short video lectures and lots of visuals about the REAL Learning Process Path and the ‘WHY AND THE HOW’ of the 6 Steps.

I am dedicated to help learners in South Africa (and beyond) to become more skilful learners.  By using the Udemy Platform to host my courses I can therefore make my courses available at affordable prices.

Visit my courses page on my website for more information about my courses.



REAL Thinking & Learning about ‘Learning How to Learn’ while You Really Learn can help you to Be More Effective as a Learner. 

Estelle Brettenny