For this assignment I interviewed a Japanese student called Akiko. Akiko originates from North Tokyo and moved to England 3 and a half years ago with her husband and her son. Akiko has a very good level of education with a degree in Psychology which she obtained in Japan. She learnt English as a compulsory subject at school and has been learning to speak English for the past 10 years. Akiko would eventually like to teach English to children in Japan. As well as English, Akiko can also speak a little Mandarin. Akiko does not speak a lot of English outside of the classroom as the majority of her friends are Japanese. Therefore, there is not a great urgency for her to speak very much English. This may be the reason why Akiko says she finds learning to speak English so difficult compared to reading and writing. Akiko does not currently have a job in England, but she used to volunteer at a day care centre in Cricklade. She would like to be employed but feels that her level of spoken English may be reducing her chances. Reading
I assessed Akiko’s reading ability by asking her to complete part of an ‘ESOL skills for life reading unit level 2’ test paper (see Appendix 1a). I asked her not to use a dictionary for help. Through completing these tasks, Akiko was able to demonstrate that she is able to use a variety of reading strategies such as detailed reading, scanning, skimming and reading for gist. Whilst completing the task, Akiko did not seem to have any trouble understanding the instructions and she did not seem to come across any vocabulary that was unknown to her. Akiko made a total of four errors out of the fifteen questions she answered (see appendix 1b). The core curriculum references for these errors (found on www.excellencegateway.org.uk) suggest that Akiko has difficulty identifying the main points and specific detail as well as being able to construct complex sentences. However, it must be pointed out that Akiko is currently a level 1...
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