A web site for the developing language teacher

Arzu - a detailed analysis
of a language learner
by Kendall Peet
- 10

Writing, Reading, Grammar, and Lexis

In class I would focus on:

  • Informal letter writing(31)
  • Formal letter writing(32)
  • Process writing, focusing on the different stages in the writing process, on paragraph formation, signposting, and the linking of ideas to form a fluid, coherent text.


  • I would focus initially on modals, conjunctions and subordinate/relative clauses (and, because, so, but, however, or, which, where, who, that, etc.), a selection of the discourse markers from Swan, the perfect tense, and reported speech in this order.(33)


  • I would work from the GSL and with word groups relating to Arzu’s needs and interests , using a variety of cloze and writing activities. Ideally, the cloze activities would appear in script as a precursor to an oral activity to match Arzu’s preferred learning style.

A personal action plan

I recommend that Arzu:

  • Purchase a good monolingual dictionary, such as the Collins Dictionary for Advanced Learners, which comes with the Collins COBUILD CD; she currently uses a bilingual dictionary in class. I would also encourage her to buy a dictionary of modern idiom and a thesaurus to help extend her range of lexis and encourage greater autonomy;
  • Use Grammar Express (Intermediate/Upper intermediate), or English Grammar in Use (Intermediate) for home study purposes: I would also provide a photocopy of the Grammar Summary from English File Intermediate to be used as a quick an easy resource;
  • Write a passage in English each night in her journal; Arzu stated that she keeps a journal;
  • Write new lexis onto cards as an aid to learning;
  • Read more. The BBC library has an excellent variety of reading material to match Arzu’s interests, including up-to-date magazines;
  • Use the internet for reading, grammar work, and fun games using English: for example,
  • I would also provide Arzu with a list of commonly miss-spelt words in English, as a tool to raise self-awareness, to enable self-correction, and to again encourage greater autonomy.

Recommended texts


Fuchs, M. & Bonner, M. (2002). Grammar Express. Longman

Murphy, R. (1985). English Grammar in Use. CUP

Supplementary material

Oxendale, C. & Latham-Koenig, C. (1999). English File Intermediate. OUP

Kay, S. & Jones, V. (2000). Inside Out Intermediate . OUP

Acklam, R. (2000). First Certificate Gold Coursebook. Longman

Swan, m. (1980). Practical English Usage. OUP


Baker, Anne. (1977). Ship or Sheep? CUP (Used as a part of the mouth gym activity handout)(1982).
Tree or Three?
CUP (Used as a part of the mouth gym activity handout)

Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners (with CD ROM) , by John Sinclair

Roget International Thesaurus Indexed Edition , by Barbara Ann Kipfer (Editor)

The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms , by Jennifer Speake (Editor)

31. Inside Out Intermediate , p. 57, 65,69,71,95, 138, English File Intermediate , p. 143, and First Certificate Gold , p. 178,179;
32. Inside Out Intermediate, p. 91,141, English File Intermediate , p. 144, and First Certificate Gold , p. 181.
33. Swan, M. (1980). Practical English Usage. OUP. p.151-158, numbers 7,8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16


Kendall Peet has taught in Thailand, South Korea, and Turkey, and is currently teaching at FIBSB in Bucharest. He has completed the RSA DELTA and is presently completing his MA in Applied Linguistics. His key interests include teaching academic writing and developing a needs-based (learner-led) approach that encourages greater learner autonomy. Kendall can be contacted at: Kendall

To page 11 of 13

Back to the articles index

Back to the top

Tips & Newsletter Sign up —  Current Tip —  Past Tips 
Train with us Online Development Courses    Lesson Plan Index
 Phonology — Articles Books  LinksContact
Advertising — Web Hosting — Front page

Copyright 2000-2016© Developing