April 21, 2007
Smith’s School of English Kyobashi
It’s hotter today that it has been of late, which is pretty surprising and unfortunate for those of us who are wearing itchy, woolly socks. Many of the students coming in are in high spirits thanks to the wonderful weather.
ET: B18 – I’m sick of (A) because (B) – From Smith’s School of English One Point Series
B33 – I sometimes (A) while (B) – From Smith’s School of English One Point Series
The two students for my second class are eagerly waiting to start so I don’t need to go searching for them very far. They quickly take up a seat beside each other and we spend a few minutes on casual chatter. Then I ask if either of them remembers the [one point] from the previous lesson. They both laugh at this and quickly open their notebooks in order to jog their memories.
One student glances at the underlined reminder from last class and quickly says “I’m sick of TV games because I played them all last night.” Then he laughs, as if remembering the time that he’s wasted.
The other student is a newbie and is grateful that her classmate has spoken first. She then makes up a sentence of her own using her previous [one point]. “I sometimes eat my breakfast while driving my car.” We joke about what kind of breakfast she could possibly get away with eating while driving.
Routine 5 – The Japan Sea – From Smith’s School of English Routine Series
After the L shape has gone up on the board, we go through the routine by first listening, and then listen-and-repeat. There are various touchy spots like missing articles or mistaken possessives but those are quickly fixed. On the last go, both of the students are able to recite the Japan Sea with almost no assistance.
After the routine has been finished, I dictate the 10 questions for the students to write down. We run into a bit of difficulty with listening skills and pronunciation but we spend a bit of time to correct any problematic areas. I then get the students to ask me the questions and model the answers. Then I let the students question each other and have a bit of fun by trying to remember exactly how I had answered.
With the questions out of the way, the routine is done. Now, onto the item.
Item: Intermediate – Adjectives 2 – From Smith’s School of English Item Series
The students have just begun to relax but I keep them on their toes by handing each a marker. They look at me in confusion until I gesture in the direction of the board and tell them I’d like to test their artistic ability. I can see the excitement building in their eyes as they approach the board. I then go about describing an imaginary friend and ask the students to illustrate this fictional person according to my description. They do their best, struggling to keep the marker on the board as some of the descriptive elements become slightly weird. In the end, both have produced an accurate representation of my lopsided friend with non-existent eyes. I ask them what they think of their artwork and they apologize between laughs about their lack of artistic talent.
We then sit down and open the text to page 80 and go over the various facial descriptions and take care over the pronunciation of certain words. We occasionally pause so that I can explain new vocabulary to them.
So now that they have all the necessary vocabulary, we start a game by describing a character from a picture and having the other student guess the chosen person.
One Point: A2-10 – I’ve never heard of it – From Smith’s School of English One Point Series
I get into the [one point] by asking the students if they’ve ever been to Hokkaido. One of them answers affirmatively. So I make up a story about a famous ice cream store out on one of the mountains and ask if either student knows about this store. Both of them look dumbfounded, wondering what an ice cream store is doing on a mountain in the middle of the snow. I then ask them how they would say “kiita koto ga nai” in English.
The woman who has probably heard this phrase before answers, “I have never heard it.” I reassure her that this is not bad but correct her grammar to, “I’ve never heard of it.”
We try a few more examples with me making up fictional places on a map that is taped to the wall. Each time, they are both only too happy to shout out, “I’ve never heard of it!”
Great work! Class dismissed!