Sample Education Case Study Paper on Portfolio for a Case Study Student

Portfolio for a Case Study Student

            The portfolio will aid in the assessment of the student’s progress in learning English language for specialized purposes. English for specific purpose has become a common segment of the curriculum in the education system to prepare students for future employments. The program is essential for both native speakers and students whose English language is their second language. Although in higher learning institutions the study of English languages with a specific reason is more specialized and focused on a single occupation, in high schools, teachers use a general approach to teach the students the general professional use of the English language (Troia, 2011). Additionally, the general nature of the program allows instructors to include a majority of the students in the program.

The Purpose of the Portfolio

            The purpose of the portfolio is to assess the growth and the development of students over a period. English for a specific purpose (ESP) is aimed at equipping students with the right vocabularies to use in a professional setting. Further, the ESP program ensures that students have the capacity to use the normal talk or the everyday informal talk to communicate effectively with people regardless of the occupational setting. In most cases, people are swallowed up in their professional or occupational communication language that they forget or neglect the informal or the general use of the English language in an informal setup (Troia, 2011). As such, it is vital for teachers and instructors to teach students how to maintain the balance between professional language use and the informal use of the English language for social purposes.

            On the other hand, the purpose of the ESP program is to ensure that students are well equipped with the use of the generalized set of academic skills. Communication is a key determinant of the twenty first century business world. As such, employers seek professionals who not only have ideal academic qualifications but also have good communication skills, both in the workplace and in social set up. Ideal employees know how to balance occupational commitment with social responsibilities (Bernhadt, 2013). The balance between the two determines the productivity of the employee and the company in the end. As such, educators have the duty to ensure that students are well prepared with the right English skills, especially those seeking employment in English speaking nations for both professional and social purposes. Therefore, the purpose of the portfolio is to monitor the growth of students in the three main aspects of the ESP program over a period.

            The second purpose of the portfolio is to show the process of growth from one level to another as students learn English for business purposes. As such, the portfolio will document several stages that students undergo and the qualifications at each stage for further use. The result of the portfolio will serve as a tool in the placement of the students at different levels in their future courses. The ESP program is conducted at different levels from intermediate English learners; therefore, the results of the portfolio will serve as a mark for the students to proceed to the next level of their study. However, the portfolio will zero in on the three main aspects of the portfolio.  First, the portfolio will monitor the student’s ability to use jargon words for the occupational context. Secondly, the student’s ability to use everyday informal talk to communicate regardless of the occupational setting will be recorded (Bernhardt, 2013). Thirdly, the portfolio will focus on the student’s ability to use a generalized set of academic skills especially in research.

Specific Learning Goals

            English learning, whether for specialized purpose or the general study of the language for non-native speakers entails communication and writing activities. At the occupational level, one is required to communicate effectively both in verbal and written forms. As such, the specific objectives of the portfolio will include testing the student’s ability to write, speak, and comprehend the English language effectively for the professional purposes. Interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication is essential in occupational communication. As such, the instructor in collaboration with the other teachers, the students, and the parents will help the learner to achieve effective interpersonal communication with their counterparts. The teacher or the instructor will provide the necessary guidelines towards perfecting interpersonal communication. The student will also contribute to the success of the program by engaging the colleagues in occupational communication (Troia, 2011). The parents on the other hand will provide the necessary environment for the students to develop effectively ideal interpersonal communication skills at the occupational and social level. Most importantly, the teachers and the instructor will focus on teaching the student how to balance between using occupational jargons and everyday informal talks.

            The interpretive part of the learning process will entail students narrating a learning session with a person who was not present in the meeting. The interpretive skills will help the students to learn different words that are used in the business world and their meanings. Further, the interpretive communication will enhance the ability of the student to comprehend and deal with different categories of people at the work place. For instance, a businessperson must be able to interpret the information provided by the customer in the right financial and economic terms. Additionally, students will have an oral presentation to show their understanding of the various issues taught in the ESP sessions. The presentation helps to develop a student’s confidence and the ability to articulate English words correctly (Troia, 2011). The pronunciation of words matters a lot; therefore, students must learn to speak correctly for the audience to understand. Further, some of the jargon used in the business world are not common in the informal communication setting. As such, students must practice good pronunciation of words as well as the perfect use of such vocabularies in a sentence.

            The three aspects of communication will aid in the growth and the development of the student’s ability to understand the English language, speak the language, write the language and read the language. Students will learn how to communicate effectively in the written form because in most cases, people find it easy to speak rather that write. The use of ideal grammar in both writing and oral communication will be part of the ESP program to ensure that students do not lean on one aspect of the communication at the expense of another. Listening is also part of the effective communication process. As such, students will learn how to listen effectively for purposes of interpretive communication. However, because ESP is not the Basic English learning program, some grammar aspects will be avoided to narrow down the focus of the portfolio of occupational communication (Bernhardt, 2013). The program assumes that the entire students involved in the program have the basic knowledge of the English language hence the inclusion of some grammatical learning procedures.

Specific Performance Tasks and Assessment Instruments to Illustrate the Student’s Progress

            The portfolio will make use of the usual techniques used to measure the progress of students learning English as the second language. The choice of the tools and the instruments was influenced by the purpose of the program and the similarity between the ESP and learning English as a second language. Students will be required to write essays, which show their competence in using jargon words used in the business occupational world. Students will discuss various aspects of the specific business of interest and include the professional words that are necessary for such business transactions. Further, students will be required to summarize professional tools and sessions (Bernhardt, 2013). The approach will measure the progress and the growth of the student in interpretive communication, which is an important goal of the ESP program. Both the summary and the essay instruments of the assessment will measure the writing ability of the student to use the right grammar and to fix the learned vocabularies correctly in a formal communication.

            To assess the interactive communication skills, the students will be required to discuss a certain topic with their colleagues. The interactive communication will measure both the listening and the student’s ability to speak fluently in both occupational English and the informal talks. Both aspects of communication are necessary for the success of the student at the professional level. Oral presentation will also be part of the assessment tool. Students will be expected to prepare a presentation on a specific topic and present it to the entire class. The tool will aid in the determination of the students growth and development in correct pronunciations and general academic skills such as research. Lastly, students will keep the self-assessment notes on the progress of the learning program. Self-assessment shows the students attitude to the program (Bernhardt, 2013). Consequently, self-assessment allows the instructors to identify areas that require change and prepare the ideal solution. Further, the student’s self-assessment program helps them to learn more about the vocabularies taught in class and various ways of content development.

Criteria for Assessment

            The assessment of the student’s growth will be based on the results of the tools discussed above. The main purpose of the ESP program is to ensure that students have the best skills to communicate effectively in a professional and occupational setting. As such, the student’s growth will be measured based on their previous performance and the level of study. Students will receive an oral test at the end of each learning session to determine their ability to comprehend and speak effectively. The key issues to measure the growth of the student in oral presentation include the pronunciation and the ability to use correct grammar while communicating. Oral presentations will take two forms. First, the teacher will require the student to repeat certain words or to pronounce the learned vocabularies. Secondly, the teacher will require the student to place the learned words in a sentence or a clause in a way that the words make sense to the audience (Bernhardt, 2013). To assess the student’s success, the teacher will rate the student’s performance on a scale of ten. Students who score less than six will have to retake the test to ensure that the necessary skills are acquire before one moves to the next level of the study.

            On the other hand, the instructors will also assess the writing skills of the students. Written communication is the most common mode of communication at the professional level. As such, the instructor will rate the performance of the student on a scale of ten on both the summary and the essay. The results of the study will be used to procure new mechanisms of teaching to ensure that students achieve the intended results. Business English is different from the normal spoken and written English. Therefore, the assessment will focus on the student’s ability to integrate both informal English and business English in writing the essays and the summary.

Collaboration with Other Teachers

            Learning English language for specialized purposes requires the collaboration of all teachers within the school. The ESP program runs concurrently with the rest of the learning process in the school. As such, all teachers must support the program to ensure that the students achieve the intended results and become ideal employees at the workplace. Students need to practice what they learn in the English class in other lessons. As such, the instructor will work with the rest of the teachers to ensure that the class instructions provided in the different lessons allow students to exercise what they learn in the English class. The ability to practice the ideas learned in the English class in a different setting will help the students in developing ideal language skills necessary for the business world.

            Further, the instructor will encourage teachers to engage in activities that encourage student participation in all the classes. Student participation raises the student’s confidence in raising ideas and it will help in aligning the contents of the ESP program to the needs of the student. Further, the interconnectivity of the courses at the school will help the student to understand the values of studying English for special purpose (Troia, 2011). One of the failures of the ESP program in high schools is the lack of positive attitude towards the program by the students. Therefore, other teachers will also report on the progress of the student, especially in using diagrams and pictorial materials to express ideas. The use of different materials to express ideas is an ideal aspect of the presentation communication hence the need for the assessments.

Student and the Parent’s Involvement

            Both the student and the parents have a great role to play in the ESP program. The student and the parents must collaborate with the instructors to ensure that the intended results of the program are achieved. For instance, the instructor will consult with the parent by the use of questionnaires and interviews to learn the history of the student and the previous performances. Such information will aid the instructor to prepare a student-based program that will focus on the specific needs of each student in the class. Further, the parents will be required to provide an environment conducive for the student at home to practice some of the learning procedures that cannot take place in the classroom (Bernhardt, 2013). On the other hand, the student will develop self-assessment mechanisms to determine the necessary tools and ideas that should be involved in the program. Both the teacher and the student will fill part of the portfolio as the learning goes by to ensure that the results of the learning program are not compromised. Lastly, the program will run for a period of three months in which case both the teacher and the student will keep detailed portfolios of the daily achievements.


Bernhardt, V. (2013). The school portfolio a comprehensive framework for school improvement. New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis.

Troia, G. (2011). Instruction and Assessment for Struggling Writers Evidence-Based Practices. New York: Guilford Publications.