Green curry English
Twilight falls as a hot curry settles in my stomach from a place nearby. Sweating slightly I find that my first lesson is with a green level student who has been coming to Smith’s School of English for many years, and who consistently has multiple lessons every week, even on the same day. This is his first lesson of the evening, and so I map out a rather structured lesson for him as he will get plenty of conversation-practise later on in the evening.
I ask him what something he hasn’t done for ages is. His one-point from his last lesson is fresh in his mind from last night, and he tells me “I have been studying English conversation for ages because I invested a lot of money in it.”
Routine 11 The Restaurant 2 from Smith’s School of English routine series
I write up the hint box on the board of routine 11. Even though this green student has done all of the routines multiple times, I think it will be good for him to give me concise structured answers. Last time I taught this student I noticed that he had a tendency to give very vague fragments of answers if he could. To this end I endeavor to ask him all of the questions of the routine and get him to answer in full sentences in context based on what he can see on the board. This is a routine he hasn’t done for a while, so he cannot remember the answers off the top of his head. This means that the hints are actually functioning as such, and he has to think about forming an answer to my question.
There are a few times when he gives me answers that make sense using the words on the board, but I need to urge him to use a full sentence. There are also examples of when he gives me a full sentence answer without using the words on the board. When he does this I nod, but also gesture at the words that he could use in that sentence, and he agrees and amends his sentences. The fact that he is answering the sentences out of context simply shows that he has done many routines in his time, and answered questions both in and out of context, so he is certainly demonstrating both abilities.
At the end we talk generally about birthday and why they are celebrated. The student is not so keen on celebrating his own birthday, and we look at the reasons for why this is. The answer that at first seemed so odd, about a move to a gravefield, is perfectly understandable when transformed into moving toward the grave, though no less morbid of course.
Build-up Reflexive verbs – From Smith’s School of English Item Series
I anticipate that we will go through all of the item within the lesson, perhaps even with time to spare. With this in mind, as we go through the item, I ask the student extra questions related to the tasks that we are doing. For example, when looking at the card of “they help themselves”, I ask him some questions about situations and places one might be asked to help oneself, and also what he prefers. Not surprisingly he prefers when the food is carried to be in front of him. I write this sentence up on the board, and show him that “when the food comes to me” is a shorter and smoother sounding sentence that expresses the same thing.
In the later parts of the item I ask him questions about things that he has made himself. I make sure to spend some time talking for a time about each of these questions, turning them more into topics for discussion. We spend a good deal of time discussing poetry and poets. He tells me that a sensitive person makes a good poet, and when I ask him to expand on what he means by sensitive, we find ways to express some more difficult concepts, such as “a poet can see things that pass others by”. We also talk about when it can be useful, and even beneficial to talk to one self. When practicing English conversation from a walking-listening gadget of course!
With a few minutes left at the end of the lesson, and having exhausted all this talk of myself, himself, themselves, ourselves her selves and their selves I bring out a phrase card. From previous experience I know that this student enjoys the phrase cards, as he likes learning new phrases and idioms. I’ve planned to use this phrase to present this lesson’s one point. The student has no idea what the phrase means, and so I describe a situation where someone is being “talked out of” something. At this point he says something magical to my ears, relating to something he already knows, “persuade”. This gives me a perfect lead-in to the one point.
One point – From the Smith’s School of English One Point Series
Yes, instead of “persuade”, you can say “talk out of”. This lesson’s one-point is “instead of”. He absorbs this uses the one-point in a sentence. He is still interested in the new phrase and wants to talk a little bit more about situations where “to talk out of” can be used. As we don’t have much time left, he decides to ask his next teacher of the evening about the phrase. Before the next class begins, I give this teacher a heads up about the phrase, hoping she’ll have some time to think of something that satisfies our curious green student.