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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Activity 2.2 - Personas

Persona 1 - Potential migrants

These are professionals who need to take General IELTS and score 6.5 or higher to earn he missing points for their visas. They are highly motivated and have a specific aim in mind. They are both male and female aged 27 to 35 (the upper age limit for those applying to migrate to Canada, New Zealand or Australia). All of them are married and most of them have children. They can mainly study in the evenings after work and after their children have gone to bed. Representatives of this group are Armenians and Iranians and their motivation levels are the same. 
The jobs of people in this group are accountants, economists, financiers and programmers. Their partners apply as secondary applicants who do not need to take IELTS. They are all migrating with their families. 
Some of them are at Intermediate (B1) level and need a lot of work to be done on their grammar. 
They are all confident users of computers as they use it in their work. They have serious issues with correct spelling as they hardly ever write anything on paper. 

Persona 2 - Foreign university applicants

These are Academic IELTS students applying to universities in the USA, Canada or in Europe. 
95% of these hold a BA degree in a variety of subjects from Armenian universities and want to apply to a foreign university to do their MA/MSc. They are aged 21 to 27 and need to get a minimum of 6.5. They all aim at much higher scores to be able to secure a place at the university of their choice and get a scholarship. 
Students in this group are highly motivated and complete their home tasks in full as it is their dream to study abroad and are hoping to be able to get a job and stay. Many of these students are unemployed and unmarried so have plenty of time to study. 99% of them are advanced computer users and spend a lot of time looking for IELTS preparation material online. 
These students are generally at Upper-Intermediate (B2) or Advanced level (C1) and know grammar rules theoretically but find it difficult to apply their knowledge to the writing tasks they do. This is due to the education system in Armenia which teaches them grammar but does not require its application in speaking and writing. They make fewer spelling mistakes than Persona 1 but still have them. 

Persona 3 - Local American university applicants

This group consists of high school male and female students aged 15-17. They want to be accepted by the American University in Armenia as this one of the few universities that provides good quality education locally. There is also pressure on them from their parents to do well so they are often very worried about their IELTS score and are doing their best to score higher. A high score will also ensure tuition free enrollment into the university. 

As they are still at school, their spelling is much better compared to the other two groups but grammar knowledge is not always very strong. 
They use computer a lot so are the best among the three groups at understanding how various tools work and are also more interested in using new online tools. However, their schoolwork and end-of-term exams do not leave them much time to do much work for IELTS which becomes a problem at times as they may not even manage to do their homework. Some of them sometimes can get deprived of computers or Internet access by their parents, which they do to make them study more.

Images: creativecommons.org

1 comment:

  1. Hi, this is very interesting and shows how rich your context is with the three distinct groups of learners. Luckily they share some characteristics so this may be helpful in establishing some basic 'generic' materials to be used by all of the learners with further 'add-on' or 'specialist' materials to address the specific needs of each group. A challenging task but may be quite rewarding. I wonder if some collaboration would be useful as this would create room for peer teaching and learning - but this of course comes in with its own constraints and challenges and maybe there is no scope for that at the moment.

    Best

    Ania

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