Will you eat lunch tomorrow? I asked, hoping to prompt the previous lesson’s one-point, “I’m sure”. This did not happen, but only because the student was confused about her one point, thinking it included their whole example from last lesson – “I’m sure I will go shopping tomorrow!” Not a bad general case, but I told her she could use “I’m sure” on its own, and asked her “Will you go to sleep tonight?” to give her another chance to say “I’m sure”.
I remembered doing routine 12 – Shopping 2 with this student a couple of months ago, and her breezing through it. This lesson I decided to alter the story somewhat, to be about something close to my recently sick heart – buying vicks medicated drops. Before I told the story I dictated the questions to the student. I did this for two reasons, one so that the student knew what to look for and could take notes if necessary, and two, as a higher level student there are sometimes extra question sidetracks and by the time we get down to the last two questions it’s hard to remember the answers, and it has little to do with English ability! I went through this story once with no board cues, but following the same pattern of the routine. I forgot to say where I bought these medicated drops, though, so “where did I buy them?” stumped her somewhat, until I told her it was a trick question, and she laughed and said she didn’t know because I hadn’t told her. To one of the last questions her answer was correct, but paraphrased. I asked her to try and answer again using the specific phrase that I had used in the story, and with a written prompt on the board “i’ll make…” she was able to say “i’ll make sure the use-by date has not passed before leaving the shop”.
From a previous lesson I remembered that this student was not very expansive on personal opinions. With this in mind I chose as this lesson’s item a newspaper article where she would have an opportunity for longer answers without talking about herself. “Tourism in Africa” provided few vocabulary difficulties for her, and her doubt about “mating” was eased when I suggested she think about lions making more lions! Most of the questions were a breeze – basic comprehension questions. Listing various affects tourism has on animals provided a difficulty. I often find that questions asking the student to summarise pieces of information variously spread out in the article seem to be the most difficult. I got her started by writing “how animals have been affected by tourism” on the board, followed by blank dotpoints, and confident with the format, she was able to give some examples.
What will you do on the weekend when you have time? I asked her. She told me, and I asked her for a full sentence, starting with “When I…” She gave her example, and I wrote it on the board. I then wrote “If/When I have time/feel like it, I (A)”. She asked what the difference between If and When is, and I said in this case it’s the same.