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  1. #1
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    Oct 2009
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    Exclamation Help needed with CELTA assignment!

    Hi there

    I am currently working on my CELTA assignment (focus on the learner) and was looking for some advice/ help/ suggestions.

    I interviewed a german student who has come to England to improve her english in order to be able to get a job back home. She is a very quick learner, very keen to participate and use newly learned vocab, though not particularly keen on listening exercises.

    In her written work she has a tendency to use a lot of uneeded language- almost over extending her point. She has difficulty with using the correct tenses. she occasionally misses determiners and personal pronouns but not very often. There is also a lot of formal lexis- furthermore, usage, moreover.

    A couple of sentences that stand out are-
    'Ive been satisfied about my host family/ I've been satisfied about the staff.....'
    '...everything is good organized. Moreover I like the bus/train/tube system in England....
    'During my aupair I go to school....'

    In her spoken interview, again she has some difficulties with tenses, and she spent a lot of time checking/ self correcting herself, heard via the inflection in her voice. she had a few moments where she would use the words in the wrong order.

    Other errors I noticed were-
    preper- prepare
    cafe- coffee
    'have' pronounced 'haf' (sorry cannot get phonetics to work on this!)
    'because' pronounced 'bicoss'-in fact nearly all of her 's' pronunciateion, where a native would use the 'z' was used as the unstressed sound.
    v/w- 'visit' pronounced 'wisit' and occasionally othe 'v' sounds the same way. she also sometimes pronounced her 'w' as a 'v'
    'he is very good in english, yeah, and he musn't, only me'- speaking about her boyfriends ability to speak english and the fact that it was only her that needed to come practise.

    If anyone has any good suggestions or practical advice of any other errors I should be looking for, or any ideas for activities to help her improve, it would be most appreciated! I don't want anyone to do the work for me- just a push in the right direction!

    Thank you very much!
    Last edited by Tmelton; 16-Oct-2009 at 22:24.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Help needed with CELTA assignment!

    There is also a lot of formal lexis- furthermore, usage, moreover.
    Students often over-use these; I think this may be side effect of taking exams where they get shoved into every sentence in the hope of gaining a mark, a tendency likely to increase with computers giving out scores for writing. How much does she read? Compare her writing to texts of a similar sort and look at how they achieve cohesion without using starting every sentence with moreover or nevertheless. If you have access to a computer, you can break texts down and compare them in various ways here: Text Analysis

    'I have been satisfied' sounds to me like someone accurately applying rules she has been taught- it's fine for the present perfect and that would be correct as she's still there, but we'd treat satisfied as an adjective. She may have to unlearn some rules, or learn to see them as guidelines rather than absolutes to acquire the flexibility required at advanced levels.

    BTW, here's a handy online phonetic typewriter:
    IPA Typewriter
    You can copy and paste the results into webpages or MS Word documents (also works in Open Office, may work elsewhere)

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: Help needed with CELTA assignment!

    Thank you so much- Feel a bit more focused now, was a tiny bit overwhelmed! And the IPA typewriter is a godsend!
    Thank you!

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