Name :- Padraic Marren
Students Name:- Jackson Lima De Silva Age:- 23 Nationality :- Brazilian
Mother Tongue:- Portuguese (Brazilian Portuguese)
Education/Professional Background:- Pricing Analyst
Current Level of English:- Pre Intermediate
Previous English Learning Experience
He did basic English in primary school. Has been learning English seriously for the last 18 months
B) Motivaton For Studying English:
For professional reasons. His goal is to get a better job in finance. Therefore his motivation is Instrumental (Harman, 2001, p. 8)
C) Preferred Learning Style and Strategies
He is a visual learner and likes to learn orally. He likes seeing pictures, watching videos, speaking in groups and repeating new words after the teacher. At home he watches TV to improve his English.
D) Linguistic Needs
The learner is studying English for professional reasons.
• Grammar:- Jackson clearly states that he wants to improve his grammar. There are positives to his grammar. He got his pronoun correct for “People speak so fast it’s hard to understand.” This is encouraging as a lot of the Brazilian students had a habit of leaving out pronouns. However I can see there are issues with his grammar in his written and spoken English. In the spoken English he can get the word order of a sentence wrong “every day at 6 pm stop in the city”. This is due to Portuguese word order being more freer than English putting sentences the wrong way around. (Swan, 2002, p. 125) He gets the tenses wrong “I am studying English for 18 months”. In these cases L1 interference is obvious on certain structures used; something common among Brazilian learners (Swan, Learner English, 2002, p. 113).
• Vocabulary:- Jackson could showed glimpses of an amazing grasp of vocabulary for someone who has only been learning English seriously for so a short period. In class he identified the words “shopping mall” and “shopping centre”. I get the impression from this that he picks up on “lexical phrases” or language chunks quite easily. (Harman, 2007, p. 21) However speaking to him in more detail after the class you realise the limits to the range of his vocabulary. He said “I lost the bus”. In his written English he put down “watching moving in English”. Brazilians have difficulty with English spelling and there is a tendency to represent English sounds with their standard Portuguese spelling forms (Swan, 2002, p. 117)
• Pronunciation:- Jackson could surprise when it came to pronunciation . For a difficult word like “traffic congestion” he managed to put the stresses in the right place. However with other words he had the issue that is common in Brazilian Portuguese of being a syllable timed rather than a stress timed language like English (Swan, 2002, p. 116). He put the stress on the wrong part of the word “pedestrian” and “cycle”. He also pronounced “city” like “sit” leaving an unstressed vowel at the end of the word. (Swan, 2002, p. 114) For a handout exercise he mispronounced “sheet” with /i/ rather than /i:/ in the middle which made it sound rude. This is a common issue with Portuguese e.g. rich/reach (Swan, 2002, p. 114)
• Receptive Skills:- Regarding reading, visual and listening skills Jackson shows himself to be capable. He completed both the gist and detailed tasks within the time limit. When powerpoint photos were shown he identified transport and shopping malls before the others. I feel this is his forte and it is reinforced by the questionnaire he filled out. It is through receptive skills he learns better so these skills should be further developed with the use of appropriate activities.
• Speaking and Writing Skills:- Jackson didn’t communicate as freely as others in the class(Majeed and Sandra) This is understandable as he has not spent as long a time speaking English as them. However he has a very receptive mind as highlighted by the phrases he came up with i.e Shopping Mall. I think if he is exposed to English for an extended period his fluency levels will improve a lot. Writing on the other hand causes him greater uncertainty. In his student questionnaire his answers were very short which highlights a lack of confidence in that area. He misspelt “Portugues” and wrote “anos” instead of years and wrote “moving” instead of “movies”. However there are positives he spelt “Brazilian” , “Pricing Analyst” , “seven months in Brazil”, “for life” correctly.
Part B:- Identify Language Difficulties and Provide Suitable Activities to Help
I chose this area as Jackson has issues pronouncing certain vowels. His pronunciation of “sheet” using /i/ instead of /i:/ needs to be addressed. This will help when it comes to other similar words e.g. fit/feet, sit/seat, chip/cheap. To address this I have chosen Unit 9 P. 34 of New Headway Pronunciation Pre Intermediate Exercise 1-4. This is appropriate as I think it deals with the problem the student has with /i/ and /i:/ thoroughly. Its gives Jackson ample opportunity to practice as there are four exercises . As can be seen the exercises are visual with pictures in exercise 1 and 4 and there is audio in exercises 2 and 4. Therefore the topic would be engaging for him as it appeals to his preferred learner style of visual and listening. There is partner work in exercises 1 and 4 which also appeals to his assimilation by speaking in groups. It would be meaningful for him as it deals with real life situations that he would dealt with in his life so he can easily personalise it. It is culturally suitable as this a common area of pronunciation where Brazilians have difficulty.
This next area to focus on is grammar. “I am studying for 18 months” should be changed to “I ve been studying English for 18 months”. Although it is not a big error it is important to point out that the present perfect would be useful here to describe situations in the past related to the present time. To address this I have chosen Unit 11 P.27 of Oxford Practice Grammar Exercises 1-3. It gives him ample opportunity to practice are there are three exercises. It is engaging for him as there are visual queues in Exercise 2. I can adapt the exercises to make them more engaging by encouraging pairwork afterwards and going through the exercises orally to appeal to his preference of speaking in groups and repeating new words after the teacher. Its meaningful as it corresponds to real life situations that Jackson can relate to.
• Harmer, J , How to Teach English , Longman , 2001
• Swan M. and Smith B. , Learner English, CUP, 2002
• Harmer J., The Practice of English Teaching, Longman, 2007
• Eastwood, J. Oxford Practice Grammar Intermediate, Oxford University Press, 2002
• Cunningham, S. and Bowler, B. New Headway Pronunciation Pre Intermediate (Student’s Practice Book), Oxford University Press, 2001