A web site for the developing language teacher

Arzu - a detailed analysis
of a language learner
by Kendall Peet
- 1


Learner Profile

  • General background

  • Language learning background

  • Learning style

  • Motivation

Learner Assessment

  • Principals of assessment

  • Rationale for method of assessment

  • Evaluation of Learners strengths and weaknesses

  • Receptive Skills - Reading - Listening

  • Productive Skills - Speaking - Writing

Language Learning Objectives

  • Speaking/Listening

  • Writing: including mention of grammar and lexis

  • Resources recommended


Appendix 1: Arzu’z writing samples
Appendix 2: Arzu’s speaking samples


Learner Profile

General background

Arzu is a 26 year old Turkish female living in Istanbul with her family (mother, father, sister 24, brother 28, and brother 16). She is engaged to be married next year. Her fiancé, Coskun, completed a degree at Istanbul University in Foreign Trade and a degree in Business Administration at Anodolu (open) University. He is currently working for a customs company. Arzu also attended Istanbul University where she completed a Diploma in Foreign Trade. She is currently completing a business degree part-time through Anadolu (open) University. She has been working for MSC, a freighting company, for five and a half years, and is presently working in the import department as a customer representative, acting as an intermediary between MSC worldwide agents and MSC clients. She works Monday-Friday, approximately 45 hours a week.

Language learning background

Arzu first started learning English at high school at the age of 16. Her teachers were non-native speakers. The main method used was grammar-translation with elements of behaviourism, such as drilling and other stimulus response activities where the teacher provided tangible rewards and immediate, more often than not negative, feedback.(1) She did not enjoy learning English at that time, as the teaching approach did not match her learning style.(2)

Her second experience learning English was at Istanbul University, where she was required, as a part of her course, to take several classes in English. Unfortunately, the learning situation did not cater to her particular learning needs and so again she failed to get much out of the course.

Her third experience to-date has been her last two years at International House, where she attends on Monday and Thursday evening from 7-10 pm. The teachers at IH are native speakers. The teaching approach is communicative, which matches Arzu’s learning style. Arzu has a positive attitude toward learning English and has said that she now really enjoys learning English. Her attendance record is excellent, she participates well in class, and regularly completes her homework. She has recently completed the Cutting Edge pre-intermediate text.

1. Harmer, J. (1991). p. 31, 32
2. Public high schools in Istanbul typically have approx. 45 students in a class; discipline is severe by western standards.

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