Guidelines for Assignment 1: Focus on the learner
The following document is a set of instructions for Assignment 1. It should be read in conjunction with the Assignment 1 Rubric as the guidelines will refer to different sections of the rubric. This document is designed to help you prepare for the assignment, but if you have further questions contact your Online Course Tutor. There will also be an Assignment Forum where you can post questions and comments.
This assignment focuses on learners as individuals and looks at how to assess their language development and address their needs. After some research, you will be required to write a report on your chosen individual or group of learners. As a practicing teacher, it is often necessary to write stories about individuals or classes; for example, when passing on information to a colleague or providing a reference for a learner’s employer. It will also help you to understand the needs and motivations of the learners in your teaching practice groups during the course, and students that you will teach beyond the class too.
It is essential to refer back to the unit More about the Learner when preparing for the assignment, as this unit analyzed factors which affect learning, explored different types of learner motivation and considered different learning styles. It also looked at how to analyze student errors and provide solutions to these problems.
Part A: Write a learner profile
Look back at the section on learner profiles in the unit More about the Learner when Ahn and Nihan were interviewed about their backgrounds and needs. You could use the same list of questions in your interview. Here are some possible methods you could use to collect the information for your profile:
- observe learner(s) and make notes during teaching practice
- interview learner(s) during unobserved teaching practice or after class
- record an interview with your learner(s) or record part of a lesson
- ask learners to complete a written questionnaire
- ask learners to give you examples of their written work
- write a letter to the learner(s) and ask them to write you a reply
- share data with members of your teaching practice group.
Part B: Identify language problems and provide suitable activities from published material
Refer back to the sections on identifying errors and providing solutions in the unit More about the Learner. Ahn’s and Nihan’s errors were categorized into grammar, lexis or pronunciation errors and then analyzed: e.g., Grammar: “It’s so safer.” It’s so safe/ It’s so much more reliable. Nihan struggles with using
There are several different resources you can use for this part of the assignment, for example, Coursebooks and their accompanying resource books, grammar books, or websites. You may have to spend some time searching for the most appropriate activities, but here is a list of useful
- Eastwood, J. (2006) Oxford Practice Grammar Intermediate, Oxford: Oxford University Press
- Forsyth, W. & Lavender, S. (1995) Grammar Activities 2 Upper Intermediate, Oxford: Heinemann
- Vince, M. & Emmerson, P. (2003) Intermediate Language Practice, Oxford: Macmillan
- Gairns, R. & Redman, S. (2006) Oxford Word Skills, Oxford: Oxford University Press
- Flower, J. (1993) Phrasal Verb Organiser, Hove: Language Teaching Publications McCarthy, M. and O’Dell, F. (2008) English Vocabulary in Use Upper-Intermediate and Advanced, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- Cunningham, S. and Bowler, B. (1999) New Headway Pronunciation Intermediate (Student’s Practice Book), Oxford: Oxford University Press
- Hancock, M. (1995) Pronunciation Games, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- Hancock, M. (2003) English Pronunciation in Use, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
According to the assessment criteria for the Focus on the Learner assignment, candidates need to demonstrate their learning by finding, selecting and referencing information from one or more sources. Therefore, it is essential to reference at least one methodology text to support your observations. Be sure to include the author, year of publication and page number when quoting directly. Below is an example of how to refer to reference books in the body of your assignment:
Motivation is a significant factor in successful learning, as Jeremy Harmer explains “……………………………… ” (Harmer, 2007:17). These motivations are primarily extrinsic, which may cause issues for the teacher; intrinsic motives are more closely linked with successful outcomes. It is beneficial, therefore, for students to enjoy classes so that some measure of intrinsic motivation can be added to their other reasons for attending. As Harmer put sit, “……………………………………………………………..” (Scrivener, 2005:28).
Here is a list of useful methodology books. You could include a bibliography at the end of your assignment.
- Harmer, J (2007) How to Teach English: An Introduction to the Practice of English Language Teaching 2nd Edition, Harlow: Pearson Longman (Unit 1)
- Harmer, J (2007) The Practice of English Language Teaching, Harlow: Pearson Longman (Chapter 3)
- Riddell, D (2010) Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Teach Yourself London: Hodder Education (Units 1 & 27)
- Scrivener J (2005) Learning Teaching, Oxford: Macmillan Education (Chapters 4, 12 and 1 3)
- Swan M. and Smith B. (eds), (2001) Learner English, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
It is sometimes necessary to resubmit assignments, often because parts of the rubric have been Omitted or the criteria have not been met. In fact, re-doing the job can be a useful part of The learning process. However, some common mistakes can easily be avoided, and the list below shows the main reasons why candidates have to resubmit Assignment 1:
- the level of the learner(s) is not included
- there is not enough information about learner motivation and learning styles
- The profile focuses on either strengths or weakness es. Provide a balance of both powers and weaknesses
- learner strengths and weaknesses are not specific enough – saying students are not good
At listening is not precise enough. Be accurate with sub-skills and give a concrete example of this, e.g., students find it difficult to listen for particular Information when they are listening to authentic texts, such as a news broadcast suggestions for remedial work are not accurate enough – saying revise past simple verb Forms or improve intonation is not enough. Include a task from published material and justify your choice
- activities have not been submitted with the assignment
- examples and quotations from interviews with the learner(s) have not been included
- there are not enough references from methodology texts.