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Cambridge CELTA

Written Assignment: Focus on the Learner (FOL)

Read all instructions carefully before you start this assignment

Interview & Written Sample


2. 3. 4.

Choose a student who attends classes regularly and will be available for at least a week. Arrange a time for an interview and ask him/her to provide you with a piece of written work, which should be done alone and not checked with a dictionary or by a native speaker. Prepare your interview. You will need general questions to complete the Needs Analysis in Section One, and may want to use a learning styles questionnaire and a diagnostic task for pronunciation such as a short text for reading aloud. Conduct the interview, which should last no more than half an hour. Remember to record it.

Writing Your Assignment Section One: Needs Analysis 5.



Using the information you have collected, complete Section One. Analyse the recording of the interview and the students written work. Identify the main language problems. These might be grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, speaking and writing skills. Then select the areas which you consider to be high priority for your student (i.e. those that he/she would most benefit from addressing) rather than less significant ones. Write some general suggestions about what the learner needs based on their motivation, answers during the interview, their plans and objectives, as well as your overall impression of their performance for their level.

Section Two: Error Analysis 9.

Using the errors you have selected, complete the table in Section Two. Listen to the recording of your interview again and use a piece of your students written work to identify some of his/her language (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation) problems. You should then complete the table in Section Two, ensuring that a brief rule or explanation, is provided for each of the problems identified.

Section 3: Materials and Rationale 10. You will need to provide a task for one grammar and one vocabulary area. Make clear reference to any published material
you use and provide a rationale for why you have chosen these tasks and how they relate to the problems identified. 11. Submit the assignment along with the sample of your students written work. 12. Make sure you have acknowledged all sources consulted, included copyright and included a bibliography at the end. 13. Having finished the assignment, you might like to give your student some sensitive feedback on some of his/her strong and weak language areas.

Candidates can demonstrate their learning by:

a. learning b. c. d. e. f. g. showing awareness of how a learner's background, previous learning experience and learning style affect identifying the learner's language needs correctly using terminology relating to the description of language systems selecting appropriate material and/or resources to aid the learner's language development providing a rationale for using specific activities with a learner finding, selecting and referencing information from one or more sources using written language that is clear, accurate and appropriate to the task

Name: Word Limit: 750 - 1000 words

No. of words: ________

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I confirm that this is completely my own work.

Signed ................................

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Section One: Needs Analysis Questionnaire A) Background information: Name: Natali Cubina Age: 56 Mother Tongue: Russian Educational/Professional Background: Natali used to work as a Physiotherapist and is currently

Nationality: Russian

Current Level of English: Intermediate Other Languages Spoken (and level): Greek

Previous English Learning Experience:

-Learner has previous English language learning experiences, obtained from her native Russia. -Learner used basic English to communicate with her clients whilst working as a Physiotherapist in Russia.

B) Motivation for Studying English: Outside of regular English classes, Natali tries to speak English
in social settings with her friends, most of whom speak English. Natali does not have difficulty in understanding English speakers in everyday situations. She wants to improve her English because learning English is a hobby for her. Her friends speak English and so she wants to improve her speaking and receptive skills so that she can effectively communicate with them. In one of the few instances where her grammar was correct she said, I want to improve my English.

C) Preferred Learning Style and Strategies: Natali prefers learning by writing things down as she believes that without writing practice
you dont learn well. She often finds writing difficult. Natali finds learning through visuals enjoyable and it helps with her understanding. Shes neutral about hands on activities. Music helps her learn better.

D) Linguistic Needs: Natali stated that her aim is to communicate effectively with her English speaking friends. She

speaks to her friends in America via the internet (typing emails and on social networking websites) and this is the only time she practices writing outside of lesson hours. Natalis linguistic and syntax errors are apparent throughout the interview and from observing her in class. She frequently uses incorrect tenses, for e.g. past simple instead of present perfect, her spelling is weak, and she has difficulty in pronouncing some words. She writes in a very hasty manner, and this often leads to her making many mistakes. For her to communicate with her friends, via emails, letters and speaking with them on the telephone effectively, Natali will need to acquire skills in: -speaking (through practice) which I feel should be a priority for her, practicing pronunciation and being able to write using appropriate tenses, for e.g. using future tenses for planning where and when she meets her friends.

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Section Two: Error Analysis

Error and Correction

Error Type

Cause of Error

Grammar 1
She called 911, because man shouting and fighting INCORRECT She called 911, because the man was shouting and fighting CORRECT Grammar -Absence of the article the Incorrect use of tense Should have used past continuous In the learners native language (Polish) there are no articles (Swan & Smith, Learner English, 2001). It may be the case the Russian language is similar in this sense and therefore the source of why the learner didnt use the article in the sentence. Learner may not have studied past progressive and past continuous. We often use the past progressive together with a simple past tense. The past progressive refers to a longer background action or situation (shouting and fighting) the simple past refers to a shorter action or event that happened in the middle of the longer action (she called 911) (Swan). The woman called 911, whilst the man was shouting and fighting, so the learner has used the correct past tense but failed to follow it through with the correct past continues. Rule: we use the past progressive to say that something was in progress (going on) around a particular past time. (Swan, p. 395) The form is was/where + -ing The learner put the -ing at the end of the verb but she didnt put the was in front of the verb.

Grammar 2
I try to read newspapers magazines INCORRECT I try to read newspapers and magazines CORRECT -Grammar- sentence structure - the conjunction and is absent in the sentence. In most languages of European origin, clauses are joined together by conjunctions (Swan, p.500). Russian conjunctions are similar to those in English. Their function is to conjoin various parts of sentences in such a way as to tell the relationship of those parts (http://www.alphadictionary.com/rusgrammar/conjunction.html) The learner has clearly categorised the newspapers and magazines together and is aware that a magazine and a newspaper is a reading material, however she has failed to use the conjunction and. This could be because she wanted to list all the things that she reads and therefore skipped the conjunction to avoid repeating and between each type of reading material.

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Error and Correction

Error Type

Cause of Error

Vocabulary 1
usually I am train writting INCORRECT I usually practise writing CORRECT Vocabulary-spelling: writting -Incorrectly used the verb train, should have used the verb practise 1) writting is a clear spelling mistake. -if the word is short and ends with a vowel/consonant, double the consonant and add -ing stop + ing = stopping wrap + ing = wrapping

It may be that the learner is familiar with this rule or has seen it used for the examples above and therefore used it assuming the same rule applied for spelling writing (writting) 2) In the Russian language there is a possibility that there is only one verb which will describe the action of practising and training (L1 interference). -The learner may not have learnt the word practise.

Vocabulary 2

if this accident happy to me INCORRECT In this accident happened to me CORRECT

-Vocabulary Mistakenly used the word happy (adj.) instead of the correct form/tense of the verb, to happen

-The Learner may write how she speaks- happy and happened sound similar to her and she wrote the word that sounded correct for her in the sentence. -its a clear wrong choice of word

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Error and Correction

Error Type

Cause of Error

Pronunciation 1
Practice - prktks INCORRECT Practice- prkts CORRECT Pronunciation Learner pronounces the /S/ as an /K/S/ (word pronounced as practix) There is a possibility that there is L1 phonological interference or the learner may have been incorrectly taught by non-native teachers.

Pronunciation 2
Weakness- vikns INCORRECT Weakness - wikns

Pronunciation The phoneme /v/ used instead of /w/

- L1 phonological interference. - There is no /w/ in Russian; speakers typically substitute [v] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non native_pronunciations_of_English#Russian)


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Section Three: Rationale & Task

She called 911, because man shouting and fighting INCORRECT/ LACK OF TENSE

Rationale To help the learner recognize the form and the use of past progressive and past continuous I would teach the use of the past tense through a story that requires the use of me describing events from the past. Then I would provide a task that will continue using the past simple tense and introduce the past continuous, so the learner can begin to distinguish the difference between the two. I will also provide the learner with a gap fill exercise which requires them to identify and use the correct tense. Simple past: http://www.usingenglish.com/handouts/153.html Example question:

Q1 - He bought the car after he'd got his new job These actions happened at the same time He got the job first

http://www.usingenglish.com/handouts/346.html (simple or progressive activity)

e.g. I ____ what she said.

wasn't understanding didn't understand

usually I am train writting INCORRECT SPELLING

Rationale To help the learner practice her spelling; I would provide her with worksheets where she would need to identify the correct spelt word out of a choice of two. The Learner is weak in spelling and so requires frequent spelling activities and mini spelling tests.

http://www.usingenglish.com/handouts/170.html (Test your Spelling)

example question: Q1: Which is the correct spelling? prettier prettyer

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Bibliography Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (online version) Swan. M. Practical English usage, Oxford, 3rd edition Swan & Smith, Learner English, 2001

http://www.alphadictionary.com/rusgrammar/conjunction.html http://literacy.kent.edu/Midwest/Materials/ndakota/spelling/lesson4.html

http://www.usingenglish.com/handouts/153.html (past simple) http://www.usingenglish.com/handouts/346.html (simple or progressive?)

http://www.usingenglish.com/handouts/170.html (Test your Spelling)


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