Tesol Case Study

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Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Case Study – Mustafa Kutlay

Case Study

Before completing the case study, I had a look at various theories for teaching English to the speakers of other languages.

Casanave (2004) highlights that ‘writing is a social practice requiring deep engagement with readings and with other writers’.

One of the reading techniques, ‘extensive reading’ is cited from Palmer by Day and Bamford (1998). They suggest that “a reader’s attention should be on the meaning, not the language, of the text”. Establishing meaning and understanding context, they concur is the most valuable tool when learning to express and develop opinions when writing and reading.

Additionally, Ellis (2003) asserted, “there is a clear psycholinguistic rationale for choosing ‘task’ as the basis for language pedagogy”. This therefore suggests that task based strategy may prove helpful when student join in writing together through activities.

I will analyse Mustafa Kutlay and try to establish which of these techniques he has experienced and moreover which theory I feel he would benefit positively from in the future.

Throughout this case study I will focus on four elements. Firstly I will look at Mustafa’s cultural background; his age, interests, education and employment. I will also consider briefly his mother tongue. Secondly I will look at his language learning background. The experiences he has had, and the difficulties he has faced. I will then evaluate Mustafa’s strengths and weaknesses based on two pieces of information I will gather. I will ask him to write 200 words on a chosen subject and I will also record and transcribe his natural spoken English. By analysing this two different forms of English I will be able to evaluate his knowledge of the language. Finally I will briefly recommend future actions that may help Mustafa to overcome any difficulties, which he may have in his English learning.

Cultural Background

Mustafa Kutlay was born on 13 January 1976 in a small town Erzincan, in eastern Turkey. He went to a local primary and high school and left at the age of 15. He began to work with his dad in the local forest park and at the age of 18 began English classes.

I met Mustafa whilst on holiday in Marmaris, Turkey two years ago and we have kept in contact via social media since. Last year when I went on holidays he was not working in the same hotel as he had been promoted to assistant entertainment manager in another complex. In his spare time he loves to “go diving, play soccer and do kite surfing” (App2)

Mustafa’s mother tongue is Turkish. On top of this he speaks English and a little French. Turkish and English are very different, both in grammatically and the methods of teaching. Often, opposite constructions need to be used in order to express the same idea or sentence. Turkish learning is heavily based on ‘rote learning’ and memorizing phrases and vocabulary, whereas this is not applicable to English as the syntax is highly complex. In Turkish, grammar is very flexible. Objects, subjects and verbs do not always have a specific order in which they must go. For example, I love you, You love I and love you I are all acceptable ways in which to say “I love you”. However, in English, there is only one way in which this sentence is comprehensible.

Language Learner Background

Turkish education is a completely teacher-centered, rote-memorised system. In the Turkish system, the teacher is always the center of the class.  The teacher talks and the students listen quietly.  They only speak if spoken to.  The teacher exists as the font of all knowledge and no thinking is required of the students, only memorization. Mustafa recalls his interactive learning experience as being occasionally asked a question or being made to produce a sentence....
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