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Background

Kartika Krishtindyah (Krish) is a 55-year-old Indonesian Intermediate Learner at The British Institute (TBI) who has studied English as a second language sporadically over the last 20 years. Krish started learning English when seeking employment as an Early Childhood Carer at an International School. Krish ceased work 7 years ago and is seeking to refresh her English skills in order to return to the workforce.

Krish has attended a variety of English courses over the last 17 years, including those at English Language Training International, TBI and a local university. Krish attended classes daily for a minimum of 4 weeks, with each consisting of a maximum 20 students. The content covered in class focused on understanding and using language in everyday situations.

After initially learning basic vocabulary, Krish was then able to develop her speaking, listening, writing and reading skills through regular practice. Some of the activities used to improve her abilities included role-playing, letter and story writing tasks, and analysis of texts.

Krish has always enjoyed learning English. She finds class to be challenging, but ultimately rewarding when she is able to communicate more effectively in the workplace. Krish believes a good teacher keeps students engaged and interested by formulating lessons around themes that are exciting and relevant. Krish feels that the best classes are when students have a greater opportunity to speak with minimal presenting from the teacher.

Krish is an active member of the class, regularly offering answers to questions. She is a visual learner who is able to provide better answers when given a relevant and clear context to discuss topics. Krish seems to prefer working individually, but she does enjoy speaking with other students during group work.

Outside the classroom Krish does not often have the opportunity to practice speaking English, as her neighbours and friends are non-English speakers. She does however, regularly use the Internet as a tool to find information and to chat online. This explains why her reading and writing skills are much better than her speaking and listening skills.

a) Grammar / Not using the correct verb for singular plural.

b) Example: “Why does your wife has to go work?

See appendix 1

c) In Bahasa Indonesia verbs are not marked for person, tense or number; auxiliary elements are used to indicate tense and aspect.

d) The student was able to correct the above problem when prompted in a later discussion. This shows that the student is familiar with correct use of verbs (have/has) and should therefore complete a simple ‘gap fill’ exercise to further practice this grammar point.

See appendix 2

e) The above-mentioned controlled practice (appendix 2) is suitable for the student as she enjoys working individually, and she recalls more information after writing things down. The student is also a visual learner, and will also benefit from having the subject of each sentence marked in bold. This will provide indirect visual assistance in producing the correct verb.

a) Pronunciation / Not pronouncing the ‘k’ on the end of words.

b) Example: “Whisk” and “Junk”

c) In Bahasa Indonesia /p, t, k/ are always unaspirated, which can make them sound close to /b, d, g/ to an English ear. In post-vocalic and final position they are unreleased or omitted, resulting in pronunciations such as ‘as’ (ask). In many dialects /k/ is pronounced as a glottal stop at the end of a closed syllable.

d) To correct pronunciation of words ending in /k/ the student should use the aspiration technique. Have the students hold up a piece of tissue in front of their mouths while pronouncing whisk so they can see the air coming out of the mouth. The pronunciation of ‘k’ needs to be short and sharp omitting a short burst of air.

See appendix 3

e) The student likes to work individually so this technique can be practiced at home...
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