This study aims to investigate the learner self-management procedures that advanced and intermediate esl students used in their three-week preparation for a five minute seminar as part of their english proficiency program at a new zealand university. The study used learner diaries, follow-up interviews, and classroom observations to collect data from 4 advanced and 6 intermediate esl students. All of the students from both proficiency groups reported going through a range of self-management procedures including planning, self-monitoring, and problem solving. Both groups reported a limited amount of planning, i.E. Setting goals, setting criteria, analyzing the task, and setting a timeline. However, within the planning procedure itself, the groups revealed different focuses. Moreover, the advanced students monitored their preparation more frequently and were better at problem solving than the others. These findings add new insights into the self-management procedures that students of low and high english proficiency followed in three weeks of preparing for their presentation. Asian efl journal press 2011.