I had a class with two orange level students this evening. One of them is a very cheerful mid-aged guy and has practically done everything from basic to intermediate more than once, the other only signed up recently, but had been taking classes with students lower than her. When I saw the combination, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try out a post-intermediate item with these two after the routine, and I was confident that we would all have fun with the next 45 minutes.
Sure enough, when I asked them about bad restaurant experiences, the guy grimaced and started telling us his worst nightmare at a Japanese noodle restaurant, which I will not repeat here in case it ruins your appetite for a delicious meal of ramen! When I laid out all the problem cards from Restaurant 2, the girl quickly pointed at one of them and started on her story where she had to wait for nearly an hour before her order was processed. Naturally it lead to the question of their reaction and response in such situations, instead of just telling them how to respond in English straightforward, I asked them to think for themselves first, which worked out well because it was much more fun this way. One of the responses to slow service the guy came up was “Is my sashimi still swimming in Japan Sea?” We all cracked up at that one!
Anyway, Restaurant 2 item turned out to be really good for this group not only because the responses were short and easy to remember, but also the situations were real and practical. Both students had a big satisfying smile on their faces when we finished our lesson.
-Wendy. Smith’s School of English Kyobashi.