Celta Assignment 1: Focus on the Leaner

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Christopher Clayton
CELTA Assignment 1
ISE Language LTD
Centre No. 56108

Assignment 1: Focus on the learner

Background

For this assignment I chose Fernando; a 25 year old Spanish male from Seville. Fernando is an upper intermediate student, and is currently preparing to undertake his First Certificate examination.

Fernando has been living in England for 6 months, since he graduated from university in Spain last year. He has been learning English since he was 11, but has only recently become his primary academic focus.

Fernando is currently unemployed, so I assumed his reasons for learning English would be to advance his career prospects. Whilst he did say that hopefully a proficient grasp of English would enhance and broaden his vocational opportunities; Fernando seemed far more enthused about learning English when discussing the social benefits, opportunities for travel, and watching American films. So I suspect Fernando’s desire to learn English is primarily intrinsic.

In class Fernando loves to speak as often as possible. He is incredibly inquisitive, and is clearly attempting to accrue as much knowledge as he can. Observing Fernando in class I would suggest that he is an auditory learner, responding best to an engagement with the subject, and being able to listen and converse. Fernando can often become restless when undertaking a controlled written exercise, occasionally resorting to chatting to a friend. This has resulted in Fernando having excellent fluency with spoken English and good vocabulary, he is a pleasure to talk to. Adversely, his written English appears to have suffered and he struggles with aspects of grammar, including verb forms, and misuse of articles and prepositions, which on occasion can present itself in Fernando’s spoken English, which I would not necessarily expect from a student of his ability.

I would encourage Fernando to try and read more to enable him to come into contact with written English more often, ideally broadsheet English newspapers, however if he finds that to be too tedioius, I would suggest an English language magazine about a subject that engages him. Knowing Fernando, almost certainly football.

Learner’s needs

I asked Fernando to complete a quick self assessment form indicating the areas he felt needed to be improved upon, and areas he felt confident in. (See attached).

Unsurprisingly, Fernando felt he had a good grasp of speaking, listening and pronunciation. And I would have to agree with him, as previously mentioned conversing with Fernando is effortless. He also marked himself highly for reading and writing. Fernando’s reading appears to be satisfactory, however I feel his writing could be improved, which would correlate with the fact he marked his grammar lower, he also gave himself a lower mark for vocabulary, however, in my interactions with Fernando, I would have to say that hasn’t usually been the case. However, most conversations with Fernando turn to football, a subject he clearly loves to talk about!

Identifying specific problems

Problem 1

At the end of my first lesson Fernando presented me with some thoughts and questions he had written down and wanted me to address with him. (See attached). It was only a very short piece of writing, but there were some clear areas that he is struggling with. Most apparent, verb forms. More specifically, correct use of past simple and past perfect verb tenses.

It is clear Fernando knows this is a problem area, and he even corrects himself in the writing, but isn’t sure which is the correct usage.

In this example Fernando is struggling with past simple and has selected the wrong auxiliary verb ‘have’ instead of the correct past simple form of do, ‘did’ and also the wrong use of the irregular verb ‘wake’, understandably he chose the past form, woke’ and incorrectly added an ‘n’.

“What time have you woken up this morning?”

Which should be, “What time did you wake...
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