He is aware that many English words have Spanish equivalents that are similar in form due to a common Latin heritage, and actively uses this awareness to help him understand the meaning of new words. Time is definitely an issue for Student B. He us currently busy with work and family life, which reduces the amount of time available to learn vocabulary or study grammar. He feels that he would benefit from an intensive or residential English course, and has requested a work placement in the UK from his employers. He enjoys most classroom activities, but prefers the more active or dynamic ones rather than the ones that require concentration and focus. This could be defined as a preference for speaking activities over grammar work, which he stated clearly when I interviewed him.3. A Suitable Activity to help a Learner I will now focus on an area that is problematic for Student A, namely phrasal verbs. I have chosen this particular area as he did not hesitate to tell me that it was the one aspect of learning English that he dislikes the most and finds the most difficult.
According to Martin Parrott, many learners fail to understand the meaning of phrasal (or ‘multiword’) verbs, and often avoid using phrasal verbs and phrases. This is a coping strategy for some learners, and Parrott states that we should respect this, whilst helping and encouraging others to use these verbs. Some learners prefer to analyse phrasal verbs and learn the according to type, whilst others prefer to learn them as individual vocabulary items.
There is an activity called ‘Close Up’ in the Macmillan Inside Out upper intermediate course book that I would use with
Student A (unit 4). He has problems with the meaning and the grammar of phrasal verbs, and this activity would be suitable as it focuses on both aspects. This exercise looks at a text already used in a previous activity, therefore the student would already be familiar with the context. Another reason for choosing this exercise is that...