Focus on the Learner Essay

1. Profile My student?s name is Francisco Morales, he is 30 years old and of Chilean nationality. Francisco is in an Elementary English class and has only been studying English for 2 months. He had English lessons at University but these were mainly focused on reading. Francisco said he did not learn a lot through these and therefore had to take another course now, mainly for work purposes. Francisco works in the Pharmaceutical industry, specifically in the Biochemistry area. The South American school system has a very strong focus on reading and grammar activities with less emphasis on speech development and speaking activities.

For this reason there are many graduates that never learn to speak the English language fluently, although, many have a good knowledge of English grammar and have studied English for many years. Francisco is in the middle regarding his relationship in the group as he does participate in the class. He is one of the weaker in the group, this is due to the fact that he has only been studying English intensively for the past 2 months, whereas others have been studying for many more months.

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2. Francisco?s Learning. Francisco?s receptive skills are also quite developed as he understands the listening exercises very well and he also has no problems following the teachers during the lesson. There have been times where I have had to demonstrate things through mimes, hands and feet but very rarely does he not follow. He is rather shy and reserved and sometimes even a little unsure of himself when asked to speak, therefore he will never participate if you don?t ask him to, however, he will never say no when asked to give answers or participate in any type of activity.

He is very responsive in that sense and never has problems following instructions either. Francisco?s productive skills need improving seen as he struggles with his speech and he also has difficulties with his writing skills. From class observation, Francisco seems to thoroughly enjoy listening and speaking exercises. Unfortunately the only opportunity he has to speak English is in our class seen as outside he has no contact with English speakers whatsoever, therefore, no opportunity to practice the language. The lack of practice is evident when Francisco tries to hold a conversation.

I?m sure with a little more practice he would advance tremendously. He seems to be a visual learner and has great facility to remember things through images, especially in the vocabulary lessons. He constantly takes notes and seems to take things in through writing them. 3. Francisco?s Language When it comes to errors and mistakes, Francisco makes several different types of error. His main grammar mistakes are saying things like; “How many years old have you? ”. In this case the incorrect use of “have” is confusing him.

What he is trying to say is; “How old are you? ”. A possible cause for this could be that in Spanish when you ask; “?Cuantos anos tienes? ”, the verb “tener” could be confused with “have”. In this case we would would need to raise awareness about the fact that he is using “have” in the wrong context and I would assign exercises such as fill the gaps, word jumbles, etc. I have attached a worksheet made by myself. Another one of Francisco?s grammar errors is to say; “call to someone”, what he is actually trying to say is “call someone”.

This error could occur due to the fact that in Spanish there is a preposition in “llamar a alguien” whereas in English there isn?t. Therefore he is probably directly translating the preposition “a” from his native language. When it comes to pronunciation Francisco makes various common pronunciation mistakes that a lot of Spanish speakers make. For example yesterday afternoon during the class he was talking about his winter holidays and pronounced “beach” /bi?t?/ as “bitch”/b?t?/. This is probably due to the fact there is no long “i:” in the Spanish language.

Also the pronunciation of “sightseeing” was converted to “starting” /st?rt??/. In this case the the “ght” and the “ee” can also be very challenging for a latin student to pronounce. I would focus on various pronunciation exercises. I have attached a pronounciation worksheet from the web page www. shiporsheep. com And finally the vocabulary mistakes. One of Francisco?s favourite words is “actually” when really what he is trying to say is “currently”. I believe this is a very common vocabulary mistake for Spanish speakers seen as in Spanish “actualmente” means “currently”.

Therefore this could be very easily mistaken by latin students. Another similar mistake he made was “carpet”. Francisco thought “carpet” meant “folder”. This is Most probably due to the fact that “carpeta” in Spanish means “folder”. Again a very easy mistake to make seen as the words look alike. For this I would incorporate a quiz game for example where the main focus of the lesson was drilling the vocabulary. I have attached a quiz which I created myself for this aspect.