“I joined Gary’s language classes to improve my written ...
A Personalised Learning Plan
At the start I would establish the objectives of the individual (or group), assess their ability, and then write a plan for the student(s) to consider and agree to.
Here’s an outline example of a plan. It uses a fictitious scenario in section three of the plan, but this could easily simulate a real situation that is causing language problems in the students’ actual jobs.
1. Learning Objectives
At the end of this learning plan you will be able to:
- Collect and summarize accurately a range of written and verbal information from your team and
- Write a formal report to your line manager that shows the range of opinion on the problem under consideration and presents and justifies your recommendations.
2. Differentiation by Student
If there were a group of students, this part of the plan would explain how the learning activities would be modified to suit individual students. I’ve provided the example below for a fictitious student called Pierre.
Pierre has a high level of ability in reading and speaking, but his level of grammatical accuracy is low in written English, and his listening for detail needs improvement in accuracy. Dedicated grammar activities will be needed to help Pierre improve accuracy in his written work. In addition, a series of listening tasks of graduated difficulty, will be given to increase his ability to focus on detail.
3. The Communication Challenge
3.1 Background Information: the branch managers of a chain of coffee shops in the UK have been asked by the Director of UK Retail Operations to a) reduce operating costs by 20% and b) increase repeat business by 10%.
3.2 Your job: you are the director of UK Retail Operations and you have to a) get some ideas from the branch managers and b) prepare a report with your recommendations to UK Managing Director, who is your line manager.
3.3 The Problem: you have one week to produce this report which means that you won’t have time to meet all of the branch managers face to face. You know that if you are to have their help and support in the future, you must encourage them to contribute, listen to their ideas and thoughts and justify your choices of action.
4. Learning Plan
4.1 Language Systems:
- Formal vocabulary suitable for questionnaires and high level business communication. For example: ‘Please list, and carry out a brief SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of your proposal(s) in the boxes provided on the questionnaire’. And: ‘This recommendation should be cost-effective because it can be integrated within the budgetary constraints of the current operations plan.’
- Accurate use of modal auxiliary verbs such as ‘should’ and ‘can/could’ for advice and hypothesis respectively.
4.2 Language Skills:
- Reading and listening for detail to improve speed and accuracy.
- Questionnaire design: use of open and closed and evaluative questions.
- Written reports: layout conventions, effective headings, length of sentences and assessing readability.
- It is expected that you will need to spend x hours per week on teacher-directed self-study. Written work will be corrected and discussed with you throughout.
- It is expected that x lessons of y hours will be needed to achieve the learning objectives.