Celta Assignment – Focus on the Learner
- Word count: 880
- Category: Focus
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In order to complete this assignment, I decided to observe one of the students from the elementary group. Her name is Diana. She is 21 years old. Her background is as follows: * Diana’s first language is Kazakh, but you can say that Russian is her first language as well, since at home she uses the first one, and for education – the second. She is fluent in both languages. * Diana still has one more year of university to go, she studies history and plans to continue her education with MA program. * Diana comes from a big family; she has 1 older brother and lots of male cousins.
She is an active member of student body of her school. * In terms of culture, Diana is a bright example of blended and merged Kazakh and European cultures. * Her main motivation lies in continued education, since in Kazakhstan it is impossible to enter a MA program without a satisfactory grade in English exam. * Her aspirations are to be a professional historian, and in order to do that she needs English, since being used as a lingua franca it facilitates both travelling and professional development. * Diana is mostly visual and audial learner.
From this profile, we may say that Diana’s background strongly affects her leaning style. From her family she has learnt that communication is the key to surviving into a boys’ world, and she has learnt to speak their language. She has been a Vice-president of student body in her university, which means that she is an active listener, speaker and observer; therefore, the best way for her to learn is to observe real-life examples and learn via guided discovery with lots of practice. As Scrivener mentions, it is essential to define student’s motivation, which can be intrinsic and extrinsic.
In terms of motivation, I can say that her extrinsic motivation comes from necessity to enter an MA program in University, because it is expected by her family; and her intrinsic motivation is driven by Diana’s passion for travel and independency. Learner’s strengths and weaknesses. The student’s main strength is that she is not afraid of speaking and making mistakes. Being an elementary level student, she makes regular mistakes corresponding both to the level and to being a Russian language speaker (Learner English, Swan, M and Smith, M CUP).
Language Firstly, Diana does not use the verb be in the sentences, where it is appropriate (“My specialty at university history”). Secondly, she attempts to use the past simple tense, but cannot form it properly (“I was study”). Thirdly, Diana has problems with plurals, she forgets to use the –s ending – “I was study in two school and it was…” Fourthly, she struggles with some vocabulary, namely she does not make difference between the verb live and the noun life (“… we dicided who is who and what to do in live).
Skills Diana tries to use new words immediately, but sometimes is unable to produce them correctly. During the observed lessons she could not say couple of words correctly, namely, she pronounced fear as /fju/, and lawyer as /’l? uv? /. She tends to use contraction “wanna” every time she says want, even when there is no to after it, e. g. “I wanna sister” instead of saying “I want a sister”. She confuses introductory words, for instance when she explained to me what she likes about university better than about school, she used question word “What about” instead of simply “About”.
And the last, since none of her first languages have strict word order requirements for building sentences, Diana struggles with making correct sentences in English (“A lot of think decided parents for us. ”) Helping the learner For further work, I will use the following problems: use of be in sentences where it belongs and word order. For use of be the following activity can be done: Fruit basket. Aim: To drill and produce correct form of be in sentences.
It will be suitable for the student because it’s a social activity and she likes interaction, it’s also sufficient practice in both producing and listening, because then she will start to pay attention to how be is used and become more aware of it. In terms of personal support, I would ask her to go over the rule again, to put together a chart of how be is conjugated. After that I would ask her to name when be is used in the English language (e. g. to say who we are, where we are, how we feel, for weather, etc).
For word order: Pair work and competition Aim: To get Diana to structure sentence correctly, i. . put subjects, verbs and objects where they belong. It is helpful because it is very visible and there will be a lot of controlled practice and drills that will model correct structuring. In terms of my support, I would start with a warmer, elicit what subject, verb, object, etc. is on an example of a sentence earlier provided by class. Then elicit that in English the sentence structure is very set and we cannot swap words. Write “I ride a bicycle” and compare it with “Bicycle rides me. ” Then pair Diana with a student with strong sentence building skill and run the activity.