Recently, I met a student at my Smith’s Kotoen franchise for the first time. He is a mature, professional man and although I have met him only once, he seems to be very intelligent and quick to learn.
I started out a little different than usual as I had been informed this man has been studying Smith’s routines privately for about 11 months. Rather than do one of the prescribed Smith’s trials, I went to checking what he had covered already. There was no doubt that he had a firm grip on the Smith’s Q and A routines, and not only was he able to use ALL the 110 questions, he could use them at will and in random order. Now this is very impressive to say the least. About this time in the lesson I was feeling he may well be a strong RED. (Intermediate Level – Smith’s uses color codes for levels.) I thought this was a little strange as I had been told he was more likely a strong ORANGE to beginner RED.
I started to scratch around for other areas of the curriculum and landed on a lesson I love and know most students need: “Directions”. This lesson gives students a good work out on location prepositions. Sure enough the student did not get one right. Not one. OK now I see what is going on. A lot of work has been done building confidence but not too much on, can I say, the other bits. Prepositions, articles and adjectives are clearly missing. But I’m sure all he needs is the opportunity to practice these other topics and speak. If this man reacts as positively to all lessons as he did to my “Directions” intro, he will soon expand that confidence into a broader and more accurate command of English.
As we were packing up the lesson, I noted among his study materials a ring of cards. When I asked what they were he showed me. I expected the usual interesting curriculum vocabulary items or perhaps even an idiom or two. I discovered the first student ever in my experience to have written down all 110 Smith’s Q and A curriculum questions from his private study and memorize each one together with its use!
This man is a true pleasure to teach and I am happy he decided to join my school. This man is why I do this job.