Learner profiles


You may have very different kinds of students in your class and such heterogenity can be discouraging. We would like to present you with three students who may be representative of some of the different profiles you encounter in your class.

Kevin is "monolingual", his mother tongue is English. Even though he has grown up with exposure to a regional language, Kevin is hesitant to learn other languages (especially new ones such as Spanish or French). He is even not at ease with students speaking other languages and is not open minded to other languages and cultures. This reluctance towards other languages and culturesis the main challenge. In addition, Kevin has also difficulty with academic written skills in English.

Neslihan speaks English very well. When you listen to her speak, you probably wouldn’t think that English is not her first language. Most of the time, we, teachers, do not even notice that she is not a native English speaker. She was born in Edinburgh and has heard English since kindergarden. She still speaks Turkish at home with her parents. Her main challenge remains her written skills and she is also not at ease in Spanish in class.

Yasmine has just arrived from Syria. She has experienced war and feels at loss. She has no command in English, the ML, but she has very good oral and written skills in Arabic, her L1. She has also learned French and Spanish through her previous schooling experiences.

Although you could adapt these profiles and propositions regarding grade level and ages but we envisiosn that these 3 student cases could be present in the same primary class (6-11 years old) and/or secondary class (12-16)

For each profile, please reflect on the student’s state of mind (self-representation written in a small autobiography) and skills before the activities and after them. A study of the difficulties and resources regarding the profile are presented. For each challenge, examples of activities, resources, excerpts of skills and reference texts are offered.


Header image based on "328/365" by Morgan (CC BY 2.0).


English learner profiles

We have identified 3 learner profiles who will be referred to in the activities.