|CELTA-007| Assignment 1 – Focus on the Learner

Hello Exam Seekers,

Yesterday was February 1st, and in some countries, like Brazil, the school year has just started. That means that in some countries, some people started their CELTA course yesterday.  If you don’t know what CELTA COURSE is, make sure to get some information about it.

I’ve already made a couple of texts about the CELTA Couse:

Actually, there is not exactly a specific date for the CELTA course to start. It really depends on the center where you are taking the course. There are some centers that offer the full-time course and the part-time course, so you just have to decide on which one to take. Either way, if you choose:

  • Full-time: It usually takes one whole month (4-5 weeks); that is, you have to study from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, usually in January or July to fulfill the syllabus.
  • Part-time: It usually takes one whole day – or two mornings / afternoons / evenings – of every week during a semester. That is, you choose a day – or days – of the week that the center offers and attend the input sessions and perform a lesson for around 5 months.

Both full-time and part-time courses can be taken Face-to-Face, Online, or a mix of both. Either way, the center has to adjust holidays and classes accordingly to either type of course. Moreover, the centers also have the freedom to select the order that the lessons will take place and the order of the assignments.

If you take the CELTA Syllabus, you will see that the first assignment is Focus on the learner. When I took my CELTA, my first assignment was the Language Related Task which made sense at the time. As I mentioned, the tutors and the center can choose which assignment they are going to ask for first.

Today, I am going to start sharing what I’ve learned about the assignments, but I will start with the first assignment in the Syllabus: Focus on the learner.


As I said, the centers are responsible for designing the CELTA course, therefore, the assignments. According to the syllabus, you can use a variety of formats to write your assignment, having two written in academic prose. However, most centers ask that you write all your assignments using formal academic writing; therefore, don’t forget to check my post about semi-formal writing.

Assignments may consist of a series of tasks, and they are supposed to be four, but the centers can make two short assignments into two longer ones if need be; in that case, the assignment is still assessed as two separate pieces of work and each section of the assignment must be graded separately.

So let’s start with the first assignment. According to the syllabus:

Assignment 1: Focus on the learner

Tasks: (750-1000 words)

  1. investigation of the learning context and assessment of learner needs with reference to a specific learner or group of learners.
  2. identification of sources for language and/or skills development and, where appropriate, personal support.
  3. suggestions for specific language and/or skill-focused activities and an explanation/rationale for the use of these activities with the specific learners identified.

In other words, you are supposed to do 5 tasks:

1. Choose ONE student from the group of students you are presenting your lessons to and write his/her profile: (200-300 words)

  • Social and  Educational Background;
    • age, occupation, hobbies, birthplace, etc.
  • Reason for studying English;
    • has studied English before, why study now, etc.
  • Attitudes toward English Learning;
    • homework, preferred skill, strengths, and weaknesses, etc.
  • Learning Style.
    • based on the interview…

Choose the student carefully (you should think about the student’s level of English), then interview this student for approximately 10 minutes and record the interview. Use the guide above to formulate questions.

Here is the transcription of the interview I made. You guys must remember to post the transcript as an appendix to your assignment 1.

Script for the CELTA task 1


2.  After that, ask the student to produce a piece of writing (topic and genre are free). Select 3-4 grammar and vocabulary problems and explain what they are, giving examples of your student’s production. Your student’s piece of writing and oral interview should be attached to the assignment. Justify why these mistakes were probably made based on your bibliography. (200-300 words)

E.g. In her interview, the student made some mistakes when using the pronouns, as you can see in these sentences, ‘people goes to buy [them]’(4’11’’), ‘but if my partner isn’t so good, I don’t like [it]’(16’30’’). Shepherd (2001:124) says that pronouns for Portuguese speakers are frequently left out if they can be understood in context.


3. Then select 3-4 fluency and pronunciation problems and do the same procedure: explain what they are, give examples, and justify. (200-300 words)

E.g.  Portuguese speakers have also problems with the final /l/, which ‘is often pronounced as a vowel similar to /ʊ/’ (SHEPHERD,2001:115) as in travel /ˈtrevəʊ/.


4. Then describe your student’s writing, mentioning cohesion, coherence, punctuation, spelling, the range of grammar and vocabulary, etc. (150-200 words)

E.g. ‘Angelina’s informal written work (appendix 1) is expressive, with very good spelling, a good range of vocabulary and grammar accuracy, and occasional mistakes’.

5. Choose ONE mistake and correct it, then suggest a task so that the student can practice and improve. (100-200 words)

E.g. ‘When I went in Paris’ – correction: ‘When I went to Paris’. This exercise from Murphy (2004:253), will help the student review and decide which preposition to use (appendix 2).

CELTA Task 1

Remember that you should provide a rationale for all the parts (except part 1 – obviously). Also, provide the bibliography and the files you used in the appendix attached at the end of the assignment.

As you can see above, I gave examples from my own assignment and a suggestion of the number of words for each part to help and guide you along the way. You won’t have words to talk about all the mistakes, so choose them carefully, in a way that might help you describe the mistake and produce a rationale.

Well, I hope that this description does help you with your first assignment, and remember:

  1. Start the assignment as soon as possible;
  2. Choose a student who is either a beginner or an intermediate student (it tends to be easier);
  3. Look for a bibliography that is relevant to your student’s level and mistakes.
  4. For your first submission, try to write as much as you can. Do not worry so much about the number of words for the first submission. Anything you wrote can be pruned off in the resubmission.


Good luck, and do your best! To help you a little more, here goes my bibliography:

  1. GODOY, S; GONTOW C; MARCELINO, M. (2006). English Pronunciation for Brazilians. DISAL.
  2. MURPHY, Raymond (2004). English Grammar in Use. e. CUP
  3. PARROT, M. (2000). Grammar for English Language Teachers. CUP.
  4. SHEPHERD, David. (2001). ‘Portuguese speakers’ in Swan, M.; Smith, B., eds, Learner English, e. CUP.



That’s it for today! Please like the post and follow the blog on:

You can also listen to this post at Anchor!!!

Have a great week,
Patricia Moura


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  • UNIT 126
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  16.    returned to France … two years in Brazil
  17.    born in Chicago … moved to New York … lives in New York

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