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Student M of French nationality who speaks French, became interested in English at an early age and has a high aspiration for learning English. She enjoys traveling and considers English crucial and useful in everyday life. She has been studying English irregularly in school and after that by herself and at various English language schools. She told me at school a lot of the focus was the grammar as opposed to the speaking. Which means she has strong grammar base. She said she found the school’s free lessons to be very beneficial and was similar to some of the language schools she went to in the past.
Though she thought the CELTA trainees here were funnier, more helpful and that they created a friendlier atmosphere. For Student M having a familiar learning background with English has assisted and motivated her greatly. According to Student M over the years English has affected her learning abilities. Learning English is important in another aspect of her life which is traveling.
She has so far used English in various countries to communicate with others and hopes to increase her English skills so that one day she can become a flight attendant.
Learning style In our first lesson student Ms seemed somewhat hesitant and reserved but soon warmed up after a self-introduction icebreaker. In regard to Student M’s learning style, when looking at her score: 19 on ‘The Learner and Learning Context’ quiz, I would certainly classify her as being an almost even balance of both ‘accuracy based’ and ‘fluency based’.
Sometimes she would take an analytical approach where she would ask accurate grammar questions and would feel very motivated and satisfied after learning the correct grammar.
On other occasions Student M would take a relaxed or fluency approach in particular when doing role play, group work or pair work, she become very involved and interacted well with Ss. With no particular area being her favourite she responded positively to different types of lessons. I would consider Student M to be a ‘communicative learner’ (Practice of English Language Teaching (3rd edition) pp: (42-43) as she showed a great deal of confidence and lots of willingness to take risks which other Ss may lack. She was also interested in social interaction with other Ss. Language and skills rammar: The English and French grammatical systems aren’t all that different and pre-intermediate on many occasions seemed to be an easy level for her so Student M’s grammatical mistakes were few. I did spot a few mistakes for instance with pronouns, using the incorrect pronoun, -s endings on third person singular present tense verbs. I must clarify where -s is used and not used by concept checking and practicing some sentences using the third person singular and without the third person singular. For example, third person singular present tense: she like Italian food too.
We both likes French food (incorrect form). Pronunciation: In French, final written consonants (e. g. plural -s) are often not pronounced and this tends to be carried over into English and leads to various mistakes such as she come from Peru. I observed this on a few occasions with my learner. Plural -s were sometimes not pronounced e. g. two banana, a few cookie For example Plural -s: I had two banana for breakfast. Vocabulary: I noticed Student M made a few mistakes with phrasal verbs when using incorrect prepositions. She needs more practice with phrasal verbs.
For example – phrasal verbs: I ran at of salt. I ran at my friend at the cinema yesterday. I crashed into my friend at the supermarket. My friend gave in drinking. Another problem that I noticed she had done twice was using articles incorrectly. Again clarifying the meaning (with an example), concept checking and doing some examples helped a lot. Using the when not needed for example: I asked what music (music genre) do you like? Student M “I like the pop and r&b”. Another one was: I ‘d love to visit the other countries in the future. – reading: Student M had few mistakes only on a number of tricky words.
Once the word had been drilled two or three times she pronounced them very well. She had quite natural pronunciation when reading. speaking: Absolutely no problem for her, since she has been speaking English to so many people she has associated with. Her spoken English was clear and well-paced. listening: Most of the time Student M seemed to have no serious problems. But if the language was not graded, had complex terminology or was too fast, some help was needed. – writing: There were a few grammar errors e. g. using superlative adjectives instead of comparative adjectives.
Other than that Student M was competent at writing. Diary is an excellent way to help with writing practice. I suggested to Student M to keep a daily journal / diary as this is a effective way to practice writing. Fill in the gaps, is another good activity to increase writing skills. Materials For my learner, I focused on the areas that she had difficulties in: prepositions and phrasal verbs. Activities we covered were several fun and useful quizzes e. g. multiple choice questions. I started off with prepositions as they were easier for her then later moved on to phrasal verbs.
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