The three students all merged on this last lesson of a Saturday afternoon from all different teachers, times and lessons previously. As I greeted each of them, I asked simple questions that gave them the opportunity to use the one point from their previous lesson.
Although they were pre-intermediate and intermediate students, I decided to review the questions from routine 1 with them. I wrote the sentence structure of 9 questions on the board (omitting “what do you do next?”, and also creating a multiple of 3) and asked them to use their imaginations when asking one another these questions. One of our confident students who have been at Kyobashi school for a long time began with asking “what time do you wake up?” “No!!” I said, “that’s not using your imagination!” Usually I wouldn’t consider saying something like that to a student, but he likes joking around and the general spirit of the classroom was very friendly. “ok, ok,” he said, “what time do you….” And then he had to think for a while, which was quite gratifying. Even though routine 1 may be a breeze for these students, they’re never at too high a level to practice basic questions. I often find that the intermediate students are the ones whose sentences are the most pivotal, as they are straining so hard against set phrases, trying to express complex ideas. It’s wonderful to see students really pushing their vocabulary and knowledge in aid of what they wish to convey, and fixing this really opens up in their spoken communication skills as they become more confident doing this. Finally this student asked “what time do you eat lunch?” and the circle of questions and answers got off to a good start.
We looked at Let’s Talk Odd One Out. I wrote up the four words on the board, only the first line, and asked one student which one they thought was the odd one out and why. Then I asked if the others agreed or disagreed and why. Then I wrote the second line of four words on the board and asked a different student which one they thought was the odd one out and why, then asked the other two if they are agreed or disagreed and why, and so on. There were some differing opinions and it took a little while before it was accepted that there were no ultimate answers, and that they were just subjective ideas. Some other questions came out during the discussion, like what language is spoken in Brazil and did you know dishwashing liquid can kill cockroaches?
For their one point I asked them to tell me something that they had taken up or given up at a certain age. I explained that given up meant stopped, or quit, and that taken up meant started, or began. Each of them gave me a perfect example, and that was the end of the lesson.