Focus on the Learner

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Profile of the Student

For this assignment, I interviewed Maya, a 23 year old Syrian student who had obtained her English Literature degree from the University of Damascus in Syria. She is currently in an Upper-Intermediate level English class at the Higher College of Technology in the United Arab Emirates. As she is from Middle-Eastern origin her mother tongue is Arabic.

Growing up in Syria she was introduced to the English language in primary school at the age of six. As schools only focused on the linguistic parts of English, they didn’t get to practice much speaking. Speaking English came easier for her than reading and writing after that reading became her new passion.

Maya moved to the U.A.E in 2010 where she was employed as a teacher, although her major was in English Literature. She mentioned that she likes teaching and interacting with the children. She loves watching movies and listening to English music. She also enjoys reading modern literature. Maya is shy, but revealed that working as a Teacher helped her develop her social abilities which gave her more confidence in turn. She informed me that she had never travelled to an English speaking country before, but would like to move to England someday.

Maya’s motivations for learning English are a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic ones. She wants to improve her proficiency in the linguistic area for her professional development and enhancement as her career directed towards Education. Her other passion being, reading English novels and watching English movies, motivate her to improve her language skills. Maya enjoys learning with visual aids and feels that she remembers things more this way. She also enjoys learning in a group and loves doing research based writing and interactive activities. She prefers listening exercises but is still more than able to cope with other styles of learning such as writing. She feels that when she reads and writes she has more freedom as...
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