The Learner is a thirty-six year old Turkish lady who has permanently lived in the UK since 1995. She does not speak any other languages other than Turkish and English. She is a high school graduate with a healthy hunger to learn further.
The Learner came to England because of her marriage as her husband, another Turkish national, has his own business set up in the UK. She is a housewife and mother to twin boys, age 14. At her arrival, she was not able to speak any English. Today she is attending Cambridge University Advance Class at Farnborough College of Technology, ; her children are supportive towards her studying. She enjoys studying English but thinks that she should have studied when she was younger. However she also acknowledges that due to her early pregnancy and other family obligations, she was not able to study in her twenties and early thirties. The learner doesn’t think that going to a college twice a week is good enough but finding the ‘time’ is her main concern because she doesn’t even have enough time to be ready for her lessons or even to be prepared for her exams due to family demands. She doesn’t seem to be having confidence in her own ability although I think she is a competent English learner, especially understanding spoken English is her strongest point. However she needs to speak more and must practise with native speakers as we both agree that her ability of speak is not at advance level yet.
At first the main reason for her studying was related to her children as she wanted to help them with their school work. Additionally she has been suffering from an illness and must go to hospital in regular intervals. She has to communicate to the health professionals such as doctors and must be able understand them in order to control her condition. Although the above reasons are still current, nowadays there is more to it. The learner would like to improve her English because she feels that speaking and writing better English means ‘’Personal growth’’ for her. She hopes to become an English teacher and pursue a career in teaching. She appreciates that it is essential for her to have good command of the English language to succeed in her chosen path.
I interviewed the learner back in December 2010 and met her again afterwards. The interviews have not followed a rigid structure and this gave me greater opportunity to asses her ability in English. It has also provided me with valuable insight into some of the problems learners face when trying to learn English. Being a native speaker of Turkish myself, I encouraged the learner to talk to me in English as I found out during the interview that she has no great opportunity to practise. All of her friends are Turkish except an English lady, married to a Turkish man, and two Romanians from her class. Having spent several hours with the learner and talking to her in English and also reviewing her written work has enabled me to identify several areas of the English language in which she has exhibited weakness.
The learner has difficulty in using infinitives; this also leads her to choose inappropriate grammatical structures. Another area that I consider as a weakness of hers is her usage of articles. In fact, this is a common problem for Turkish learners because there is no article structure available in Turkish language. I also noticed that she omits prepositions especially when talking or writing about places.
***Please note where there were more then one error in her sentences, I only focused on the error that is relevant to sub-heading and underlined it.
** The incorrect usage of the Infinitives
Quota from written work The reason why I am writing to you is that give you advice of about holiday place in Turkey.
Corrected Version The reason I am writing to you is TO GIVE advice on holiday destinations in Turkey.
Quota from written work I always go to Turkey olmost summer time for holiday and to visit...
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