Last week, my regular Saturday afternoon high level student caught a cold so it was nice to see her back and healthy again today. She was also back to her regular joking self as we started out the lesson by discussing the new responsibilities that she’d been appointed with at her son’s school.
As usual, going through the four-step loop works well in providing a structured lesson that is also able to adapt to her specific needs. One of her weaknesses is being able to organize her thoughts and keep on topic so this helps her with that particular problem.
Since she hadn’t been able to come to the school last week, she had unfortunately forgotten the previous one point. So we went over her one point “(A) is generous/stingy. For example, when (B)”, complete with examples. She eventually came up with, “My daughter is generous. For example, when she gets me a birthday present.”
Today she was feeling very talkative and wasn’t in any big hurry to rush into the item. We were nearly done the routine when one of the questions sparked up a lot of excitement and conversation potential. The question came from Routine 7 – the Restaurant. “Why do you tip the waiter?” Since tipping is non-existent in Japan, she wanted to know more about the requirements for tipping when traveling abroad. For example, is it always necessary to leave a tip? How much is sufficient? When and how is a tip left? Noticing that she was really more interested in talking about tipping, I pushed the item to the last few minutes of the lesson. This gave her the much needed time that she longed for on the topic of tipping and settled her anxiety on what to do should she ever be in a country or position where tipping is required. She was particularly surprised to hear that sometimes no tips are left if the service is very poor or unsatisfactory. She also expressed the desire to leave without tipping if faced with bad service but ultimately admitted that she would feel guilty and would leave one anyway. By the end of the routine, she had a lot more knowledge about tipping and thanked me for the helpful tips.
On we moved to the item…I’d prepared the vocabulary unit #14 for her and we went through each word to make sure that she understood the meanings. Next, I gave her some examples so that she would have a better idea of how to use the various verbs, nouns, and adjectives. She enjoyed this part as well, making up her own sentences and examples for each new word and reinforcing ones that she already knew.
The one point of today was “I’m (not) interested in (A) because (B)” She had several examples to give for this one point. For example, she said, “I’m not interested in taking on a new job at my son’s school because it’s too much responsibility.”