Celta - Focus on the Learner

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CELTA ASSIGNMENT 1 – FOCUS ON THE LEARNER

Part One Background

The first part of the assignment focuses on the general overview of Entry 1 group who are majority females of South-Asian origin; also a Chinese, African & Arab learners are also enrolled in class. Learners of this group are housewives with little or no previous education background. They would have learnt Urdu or Gujarati in their country.

The ages range between 24 and 45. The majority of learner’s first language speaks Gujarati or Punjabi. They have been learning English between 1-3 years & some less than a year and they all enjoy learning English. Most learners are married housewives and have children.

They are motivated as they have children and would like to keep pace communicating and helping their children with English. Some also would like to find work. They also like to learn English so they can communicate with doctors, school staff and general everyday life. They like watching TV, Reading and using Computers.

From the observation they like listening to the teacher and prefer to learn from pictures, visuals, gestures etc. They prefer the kinaesthetic type of teaching by listening to audio, matching sentences and also interpersonal skills by working in pairs and groups.

However as Adults on the whole tend to be more disciplined, the South Asian learners are very well disciplined, listen and are motivated to learn. However they may struggle to learn coming from the cultural background and education experience.

“The traditional Eastern respect for the teacher and for the written word is still a prominent characteristic of learners from India and the neighbouring countries”[1] Due to the culture, there education is more emphasis on discipline and written work. This may be the reason why learners are shy to speak and difficult for teachers to elicit from learners.

Part Two

From observation during class learners find some difficulty in reading and writing as the majority of learners come from South Asia, where they do not share the Roman transcript; unlike learners from Poland who would pick up the letters of the Alphabet as they share the Roman transcript.

They may read out words, however due to not being confident; words may not sound as clear as they could be. They struggle writing in a straight line and also missing out capital letters when writing names of people etc.

The group are good at listening to audio exercises and enjoy this type of task as most learners achieve the correct answer.

They South-Asian learners struggle a little with their writing skills because of influence of spelling on pronunciation. “South-Asian scripts are for the most part phonetic, so that spelling is largely an accurate guide to pronunciation. Learners’ pronunciation of English words is consequently over-faithful to the written forms”[2]

One of the features of South Asian language accent can be recognised by: “Tenser articulation than in English, with vowels produced further forward, leading to the loss of some distinctions between different vowels”[3]

We observe this in words like Tom; consonants /t/ and /d/ are pronounced heavier.

I have also observed the form can/can’t whilst doing my TP. Learners struggle pronouncing both words with the weak form and can’t (stressed) /ka:nt/ with an open mouth; this could have a completely opposite meaning to their answer. They need to respond and get them to elicit more during class.

Grammar has also been a weakness as learners struggle with word order and the (ing) form. I have noticed their use of Present simple/continuous. They seem to use the (ing) from the opposite way. I.e. Learners will say or write ‘I am eat’ instead of ‘I am eating’.

The South Asian Grammar will have some similarities with English Grammar. “The ‘parts of speech’ of English and Hindi are broadly similar”[4] There are other differences which will cause problems for our learners. “has no...
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