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Celta Focus On The Learner Essay

1301 words - 6 pages

Focus on student: Ji Hyun
Level: Pre-intermediate
Word Count: 1231

For this assignment, I interviewed Ji Hyun who is a 20 something Korean. During the first day of class, I noticed that compared to other students, she had traveled to many different places. She had traveled to Guam, Saipan, and Hong Kong. She is in the middle of her class so there are a few students above her level, and a few students below.

During the interview, I did not notice anything that stood out as unusual for an adult Korean student. She still has trouble with certain word endings (such as saying “consultant-u” instead of “consultant”). This is because in Korean, it is impossible to end some words ...view middle of the document...

Like most Koreans, she studied English since middle school. Given my 5 years of experience teaching in the Korean public school system, I can say that the primary method of learning is heavily teacher centered. Meaning that the teacher lectures entirely in Korean, throughout the class. Students generally are not expected to produce the language except in written form. Because of this, in general, the writing skills of Koreans are better than their speaking ability. So, in the one sentence she wrote down on her sheet, she correctly used the infinitive (to work) but was unable to use it in a few places when she spoke.

She is more interested in international travel than the average Korean. My evidence for this is the fact that she has traveled to many unusual (or unusual for Koreans) places and wants to work for a multi-national company.

Her primary use of English entails writing e-mails for her company and reading English articles. She has some interest in English speaking cultures, but this should probably not be the primary focus of an ordinary English lesson in her case. Some culture is important so that she can have congenial relationships with foreigners that she has to work with.

As far as language features, the sentence she wrote above indicates that she has trouble with the “can” verb (meaning ability or permission and not want). She also has trouble with either prepositional phrases or phrasal verbs “work for a multi-national company” instead of “ work multi-company”. She has the usual problems with using articles “a, an, the”. She also needs work on her pronunciation with certain vowels. This includes removing some Korean features of how she handles certain word endings.

My recommendations for her would be as follows:

Practice various sentence structures and specific things (such as phrasal verbs) that she has trouble with.
Be more student centered. Have her produce the language in a comfortable setting.
Socialize with a variety of foreigners to get an idea of different personalities and culture.
Bring English articles or e-mails into class that she is having trouble with. Although this will be difficult for the teacher, it will make the class more relevant to her and the other students. If necessary, the teacher can plan a future lesson on the difficult language points that are brought up in this way.
Real situations and language should be preferred over contrived situations and language.

As far as material, the best material would be something she brings into class from work. However, for the purposes of this paper, a possible kind of material to bring into class would be a business e-mail message. Other kinds of materials would be newspaper articles or perhaps technical documents.

An example of a business letter that I might cover in class might be

This letter could be used to cover...

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