I had a class with a red level student the other day. She turned up a few minutes late and apparently was not in a good mood. I enjoy lessons with this student because she likes to ask a lot of questions and is always very cheerful. But this is not one of those days clearly.
I felt concerned about her, so I asked what was wrong. It turned out that she had an English-speaking customer asking her for directions the other day, but she was unable to help verbally although she knew perfectly how to get to the place. She ended up having to get her manager who could speak better English to help the guy out. So she asked if we could do some practice related to directions in the class.
Although I had prepared a lesson for the hour, I thought it would be a lot nicer to accommodate her needs. Since she was by herself in the class, I gladly changed my lesson plan to giving and asking for directions. She had done this lesson before, but this time she was a lot more focused and proactive in practicing. By the end of the lesson, she was giving me directions from her shop to Yodobashi Camera, which was what the English-speaking customer asked her for. She was relieved when she managed to give me the directions and was really happy to see the exact map I drew based on her description. She laughed and said that she hoped to use her newly acquired skill very soon. I was glad too because I was able to help her with her English as well as her confidence to give directions in English!
-Wendy, Smith’s School of English, Kyobashi