Focus on the Learner Assignment (1): Detailed Guide with Real Examples

Before we begin: quick background point, different types of focus on the learner assignment.

The main three types of Focus on the Learner CELTA assignment are:

Assignment Type 1 and 2: Focusing on an Individual or Pair of Learners

Therefore, you will need to think about things like:

The right questions to ask the student/learner
How to record the interview
Getting the student’s permission, and making sure they understand what they are signing up for (think about this for low-level students – harder than it sounds)
Arranging a time and a place to conduct an interview
Choosing a student who you think will actually turn up

You need to make the student(s) aware that doing the assignment is helping you on your CELTA course, but you also need to show them the benefits of coming for an interview , because if they don’t see any benefit, they’re unlikely to come (bad news for your assignment!).

Interview Questions for Your CELTA Assignment

My experience of the focus on the learner assignment, choosing the right students for your celta assignment – types 1 & 2, type 3 – focus on the learner s : using a whole group or class.

Key points to consider when writing a group profile include the following:
Do they all speak the same first language?
Are they from many different countries?
Do they have similar reasons for learning?
Is there a mix of ages?

There are all kinds of dynamics that you can pick up on here, largely based on demographic information, which give insight into the students’ learning.

Focus on the Learner: Word Count and Key Points

Generally, the first 300 to 350 words should be about learner(s) background .
Then, the next 300 to 350 would be an analysis of the student’s language problems
This will then be followed by another 300-350 word section suggesting activities for them to improve their English .

Learner Background Section

The above appears to be better motivation for language learning than for somebody who’s been forced to go by their parents after school (but not always!).

Needs Analysis Section

Again, the document by ISE Hove have this covered and have provided a self-assessment grid for learners  to complete themselves (see page 3). It’s simple, but it should work!

Choosing the Right Language Points for Your Assignment

“How do I know which language points to focus on when writing the Focus on the Learner Assignment?”

From your extensive notes (hopefully), you can then choose only the language points that you know how to explain, because there will be probably many, many different points if you have taken lots of notes!

 Suggested Activities for Improvement Sections

Using books to help with celta assignment 1.

You will need to refer to different books to show that you’re reading around the topic and that you are aware of the different academic thoughts on these things.

Examples of the Focus on the Learner Assignment

Finally, where can you see examples of the Focus on the Learner Assignment?

Example of  Assignment Type 1: Individual Learner

Example of  assignment type 2: pair of learners, example of  assignment type 3: group of learners, summary  – focus on the learner celta assignment, further reading on celta assignments, more helpful content for you:, recent posts.


Exam (elaborations)

Celta written assignment 1 - focus on the learner - answers.

This new document contains: 1) the full written assessment (1095 words) 2) a learner-oriented interview 3) a writing activity for the student 'under study' 4) a self-assessment grid to be used for the rationale Passed without resubmission !!

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CELTA Assignment 1 'Focus on the Learner'

Profile image of Annamaria Merletti

 Stefania is 67 years old, she is Italian and she speaks Italian. Her level in English is preintermediate.  The differences between L1 and L2 cause many problems to Italian learners. As stated in 'Learner English 1 ' to indicate grammatical functions Italian relies on morphological inflections whereas English relies on word order and phrase structure. As a consequence Italian learners complain about English little and unpredictable grammar. Since Italian is basically phonetically spelled with strict rules for word stress, learners find it difficult to understand and to be understood in English.  Stefania studied French at school, but she can no longer speak it. She started attending English classes here two years ago, before that she experienced mainly grammar classes, with not enough speaking, no translations, and a lot of 'listen and repeat'.  She is a retired teacher with a degree.  Her ideal teacher would speak slowly, and repeat a lot, to motivate the student she would use...

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