CELTA Assignment 2: The story

So here’s the second in the series of CELTA assignments I decided to post on this blog. It almost seems like the number of posts in the CELTA category are going to exceed the total number of other posts in different categories! Shame, considering I started this blog more than two years ago. Stupid internet addiction has overtaken life, sigh.. I barely write anymore, I should I should. Promise to write more beginning next month (am harboring a huge secret inside me that’s just waiting to burst out.. when I can’t hold it in any longer, I’ll write it down here).

Oops, I did it again.. the digressions.

Anyway, so this assignment, the second we had to do during the month-long course, was a hundred times more interesting than the first, which if you’ve seen it, you’d know was dry as a rehab doll 😉 This assignment, which our trainers called ‘Focus on the Learner’ was more my style, i.e. journalistic.

All the CELTA trainees had to interview one of our ESL students and evaluate how much English they have learnt, what their most significant strengths and weaknesses are, and how they fare in the 6 defined areas of language learning… reading, writing, listening, speaking (Skills) and grammar and vocabulary (Language Items).

We had a lot of guidelines to go by and as long as we made sure we had covered every aspect of learner issues in our assignment, we knew we could pass. And yet, so many had to resubmit this assignment too!! I told ya, the trainers are really anal about following the guidelines.

I interviewed one of my favorite ESL students in the elementary group at St. Giles International. Maryanne (name changed) was in the elementary group – very sweet, very pretty. She had the typical mellow (typical among the Japanese girls I’ve met) style of speaking. She was almost deferential, in the way many Asian students are towards their teachers. She wasn’t sure how to say my name, so she often called me ‘Teacher’. I had to coax her a lot to call me Pulkit.. but in the end we became really friendly. I took her to Santa Cruz too after the course was over, but that was a flop trip, thanks to the awful traffic in Santa Cruz.

There I digressed again.. Anyway, so that first day when I asked her if I could interview her, she looked really nervous and I asked her why. She pounded her chest softly and said, ‘”Interview. Very scared.” I burst out laughing.. I hadn’t realized I hadn’t clarified to her I was doing this as part of my assignment. She thought it was an actual evaluation of how well she had been doing at school.. Hahaha…

Once we got that out of the way, I gave her a few questionnaires from Multiple Intelligences and Language Learning, 2005 Alta Book Publishers (thank you, Jason) to evaluate her learning style, and another one I Jason shared with the whole class. I’m going to upload the latter document here. This can function as an easy guide to learner assessment too.

Coming up next are the assignment and the learner assessment questionnaire.

Drop me  a line if these were useful. Cheers!

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