FOCUS ON THE LEARNER
Background - Life and learning styles
Initially when I started observing the students in our Elementary class, I had a few choices but the one that stood out to me, I think, has such an interesting story to tell for her few years that she’s been on this earth.
I interviewed Rine M., a 23 year old Management from the DRC (Democratique Republic of Congo), in the Elementary English Class. Rine, who has a degree in Marketing, has been in Durban for the past 2 months and she wants to complete her Honours degree at UKZN this year.
Rine says that although she studied English, having someone to practice with was always a problem. Now, because she wants to do her Post Grad at UKZN she feels that, for her to be understood better, she needs to communicate effectively, and this class at Durban Language Centre was her way of getting to speak more English. She likes to learn English by speaking to her friends, writing and looking at pictures. With the help of a Learning styles questionnaire, (Borrowed from the DLC Celta course) and two letters which I received from her (responding to a letter I wrote to her), I determined that she has very high interpersonal, linguistic (at times her pronunciation needed some help) and visual intelligence. This proved to me that she learns best when she is talking, seeing and hearing English while she is amongst people (maybe from being around staff and teaches at the DLC helps) and other students.
In one part of her second letter, Rine mentioned that the reason for her being good in English was because of a teacher in school, who asked the pupils to write him a reaction or a presentation (I think a book review of some sorts) after they had completed reading an English book. She said it wasn’t easy but she always tried. As you will see from her letters (see attached) Rine is a confident, charismatic young student, whose use of the English language is quite good especially when it comes...