Focus on the Learner Help essay

Growing up in Shapiro, Japan, Suzie began learning English in junior high school but indicated that she didn’t retain much. The Japanese school system has a strong focus on grammar and passive learning with less emphasis on language practice.

Though she did not have many opportunities to practice English in Japan and her previous jobs did not ARQ Eire any English skills, Suzie has made good progress during her time in Australia and can communicate fairly effectively. From observation during class, Suzie is a visual learner and prefers tasks with visual props and written components.She monstrance a good vocabulary and is most comfortable with reading and writing English, but is reserved and sometimes unsure of herself when asked to speak. Outside of regular language classes, Suzie does not have much opportunity to practice conversational English, as she speaks in Japanese with her husband and close friends. This lack of practice was evident during the interview. Though her phrases were generally well-formed they were often halted and lacked fluency.

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Suzie also experiences difficulty understanding native English speakers in everyday situations but is motivated to improve her receptive and reductive skills. . Identification and Analysis of one main language difficulty (grammar) Area of Difficulty and Rationale for Chosen Activity While her pronunciation was finer Suzie tended to confuse or misuse determiners about quantities when speaking. For example, during the interview, she said: ; “… Is much difficult for me.

.. ” (instead of very difficult) ; “maybe not so many…

” (instead of not very much) ; “…

Not so much nationalities…

” (instead of not many or a few). This grammatical problem is best addressed by raising awareness Of when to use he appropriate quantifier in speaking and writing. Loud recommend using the attached gap-fill exercise on countable and uncountable quantities from the book Oxford Practice Grammar – Intermediate by John Eastward This activity is suitable for Suzie because it gives her revision and controlled practice of English quantifiers. To set up this grammar activity, would introduce (or revise) the usage of the words a lot of, lots of, many, much, a few and a little. The book Oxford Practice Grammar [1] has a good section explaining the usage and distinction of these. She would then complete the gap-fill exercises.Sean Cocker 2010 Ideally, the exercise would work better with a partner so that the learner could practice saying the answers before writing them down. For example, the first activity has the learner correcting sentences by replacing the quantifier with a correct one.

Saying the incorrect sentence to a partner, then finding the correct replacement verbally would increase the effectiveness of the exercise. Reason for inaccuracy The difficulty with quantifiers can be understood in the more generalized context that the Japanese language has no grammatical equivalent of articles[2].Japanese students, such as Suzie, therefore have no frame of reference in which to relate countable or uncountable determiners and quantifiers. In addition, Size’s learning background of learning prescriptive grammar means that she may know the rules deductively but cannot use them in the actual production of language.

3. Identification and Analysis of one skill area of specific need (listening) Area From the interview, it was evident that Suzie had difficulty with listening to and understanding English speakers. Occasionally, would need to pronounce words more clearly before she understood.She mentioned that, “Australian people speak very quickly, so sometimes I can’t understand. And some words are very short, not individual sound(s).

” An example she gave was in distinguishing the phrase “Cash out” when spoken by a native sounds like “ca-shout” (kaput). This is a common issue for those whose native language is syllable-timed, such as Japanese, rather than stressed. For Suzie, would suggest the attached exercise from Aspects of Connected Speech by David Brett [5] to give her practice listening for weak sounds in natural conversation.

This exercise is designed to give the learner controlled reactive in comprehension of connected speech via 2 gap-fill activities. The learner listens to short phrases spoken by a native speaker at natural speed and writes in the missing words on the script that complete that phrase. I chose this activity because it gives good, focused practice on listening for weak sounds and linked words in short phrases, without extraneous considerations present in a regular, more inclusive listening lesson. The audio script is specifically formulated to target the problem that Suzie experiences with interpreting connected speech in everyday conversation.The main area of difficulty here is a problem with recognizing connected speech – or more specifically, word linking. Native speakers often run together words to maintain a rhythm or flow.

This is exacerbated when English is spoken quickly and the words blend into one another. That we speak too quickly is a very common complaint of students learning English as a second language. For many Japanese learners, they tend to unconsciously revert to their native, more staccato rhythm when listening to English conversation, causing them to misinterpret the unstressed words in phrases. There is no overnight solution to developing receptive sub-skills, such as recognition of weak sounds and elision. Rather, it is a process of gradually raising awareness over a series of listening exercises, of which this exercise is just one. Bibliography 1. Eastward,J. (2006) Oxford Practice Grammar (Intermediate) 2.

Kamikaze, S. (1967) Teaching English to Japanese Oxford University Press p. 225 Los Angles: Anchor Enterprises. 3. Bradford, B. (1993) Teaching English Pronunciation to Japanese Learners (Online reference: www. Brooked. AC.

UK/wee/East-Asian-Learner/27. UDF) 4. Huzzah, N. 2007) Teaching English Pronunciation Speakers, No 12 Gag The Economic Journal of TACT, Volvo 50 up. 95-107 Aspects of Connected Speech Dictation Exercises 1-3 5. Brett, D.

Http://diverted. Unions. It/phonology/aspects_of_connected_speech_indeed. Tm (accessed Novo 2010) Sean cocker 2010 3 Activity 1: Grammar Focus – Quantities A lot of, lots of, many, much, a few and a little Write the sentences correctly. Mark was only spending one night away. He quickly put a little things into a bag. He quickly put a few things into a bag Rachel is learning to drive.She hasn’t had much lessons yet.

2. I’m making soup for twenty people. I’ll have to make a lot of. Feel really tired. I haven’t got many energy.

The mixture looks rather dry. Maybe you should add a few water. We’re having a big party. We’ve invited much friends. A lot of, many and much Complete the conversation. Put in a lot of, many or much.

More than one answer may be correct. Matthew: There are a lot of athletes taking part in the International Games in London. There’s been (1) ..

.. As coverage In the papers … As medals, have they?

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