Assignment 2 – Focus on the learner
Presented by: Bernard Bucyana
Length: 879 words
Part 1: Background
In my teaching practice I??™ve been working with a pre-intermediate group that consists of around 10 students. Their age ranges between early 20s and late 60s. It??™s a multilingual class that shares German as a common language. They seem to be learning English both for personal and work-related reasons. They want to improve their spoken English and receptive skills so that they may communicate effectively. Their previous learning experiences seem to differ and their level of English extends between A1 and A2 (CEF). As far as learning styles are concerned, our students seem to be visual, interpersonal, musical and kinaesthetic learners. They seem to be interested in cooking, shopping and sports. The part of the lesson they all seem to enjoy is ???freer practice???.
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Part 2: Group??™s strengths:
|Category |What the student said/wrote correctly and why it is correct: |
|Grammar |I watched television last weekend. |
| | |
| |Correct use of past simple to talk about an event, state or action that took place within a finished period |
| |of time. |
|Vocabulary |My husband likes to iron. |
| | |
| |Correct use of the lexical item ???iron???. |
|Pronunciation |/da?ns??/ Correct pronunciation of ???dancing???. |
Part 3: Group??™s weaknesses:
Category |What the student said/wrote incorrectly: |Correction |Cause of error |Activity to help the learner | |Grammar |Does she has a car |Does she have a car or Has she got a car |It??™s likely to be an ???interlanguage error??? because the student seems to be unaware of the use of have and have got to express possession.
But this might also be an overgeneralization of rules whereby a learner is conjugating both do and have in the third person (singular) in present simple questions. |I will use Language to go (Pre-Intermediate), page 29 and/or
Essential Grammar in Use, page 26.
See appendix. | |Vocabulary |She does volleyball. |She plays volleyball. |This seems to be an ???interlanguage error??? as the student might not be familiar with the use of play and do as they relate to competitive games and non-team free time activities. |I will use page 6 of Language to go (Pre-Intermediate).
See appendix. | |Pronunciation |/b?t?/ |/bi?t?/ |This also seems to be an ???interlanguage error??? as the student might not be sure of how to differentiate the short sound /?/ and the long sound /i?/ in English. |I will use Practice 1 from the book ???Ship or Sheep??? page 14.
See appendix. | |
Part 4: Helping the Learners:
I would use the book, Language to go (Pre-Intermediate), page 29, to give students an activity that can be done as an accuracy focused task. I would refer to Essential Grammar in Use, page 26, if I need additional help in how to clarify the form or if I need extra exercises to use later. The activity would be done in pairs to promote peer teaching, thus catering for interpersonal learners. Students will be instructed to work in pairs and complete given sentences with the correct form of have or have got. I would use the first question to give a demo.
I would use the attached activity from page 6 of Language to go (Pre-Intermediate) to provide students with an opportunity to learn how to describe free time activities. This activity focuses on the appropriate use of play (a sport like volleyball or a competitive game like poker), do (a non-team activity like yoga or crossword puzzles) or to use a verb only (to box). This activity is done alone and will therefore cater for intrapersonal learners. But students will also compare answers afterwards and this will enhance peer teaching and will help interpersonal learners who are interested in communicating better with colleagues.
I would use the attached activity from the book, Ship or Sheep by Anne Baker. I would use this activity during freer practice. To set up the activity, I would use a list of words to make minimal pairs to help students hear and pronounce short and long sounds that tend to be difficult for them.
I would use minimal pair cards and instruct the students to mingle, not showing their cards but repeating their word to find the others with the same sound. They would then form a group, which checks correct membership. This way the first group to complete their set of words with the same sound wins. Students swap cards within their group and check pronunciation of new words before all mingling again to find the person in the other group with the other half of their minimal pair. This mingling activity would cater for interpersonal learners while drilling pronunciation chorally and individually will cater for musical learners of the group.
If time allows and if this seems to benefit the students, I would have them start the mingling game from the beginning so both sounds are used.
Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 8th Edition, A S Hornby, Editor (OUP, 2010)
Essential Grammar in Use, Raymond Murphy (CUP, 2006)
Ship or Sheep by Ann Baker (CUP, 1981)
Language to go (Pre-Intermediate) by Gillie Cunningham and Sue Mohamed(Longman, 2002)
Word count: 879 words