This case study is based on Patricia, a Spanish national in her twenties who is in her last year studying an Economics degree course. She is also a student on the Elementary course at the British Language Centre. Patricia’s started learning English at the bi-lingual school she attended. She learnt English for 3 years but did not take any official examinations, but sees this as a possibility for the future. At school she learnt English because it was obligatory. The only other language she speaks is Spanish.
She started attending the British Language Centre (which she still attends) to help her find a job in an international company and to prepare her for her visit to Eastbourne, East Sussex (UK) in July. She will be staying with a house family for one month and hopes to improve her English and use all of the language she has been learning to date. Her reasons for learning English are a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic ones. The main reason she is motivated to learn English is because she believes it will help her find a good job and earn loads of money, she also reads a lot about English culture and customs and watches films in English with subtitles for her own enjoyment.
This can also be related to her learning styles. The results of her “multiple intelligences” questionnaire indicates that her learning style preferences are linguistic, spatial and interpersonal. Her conversations in English refer to things that she has read or heard, she enjoys solving mazes and other visual puzzles and considers herself to be a leader.
3 Problems and Possible solutions with Grammar
The student enjoys English grammar, and generally finds it much easier than Spanish grammar. An example of this is the verb formations. She normally uses the correct tense when speaking in English but sometimes uses the infinitive form instead of the progressive. “I read” instead of “I’m reading”. Spanish often use an infinitive where English would use a progressive; this can be…