A Quiet Orange Saturday Afternoon
It is a quiet Saturday in Smiths School of English, Kyobashi. I’ve spent the morning at Horie school, with eager students. Combining this with good luck in the subway getting to Kyobashi, I am in a rather zesty mood. This enthusiasm seems catching as I start the lesson with an orange level student. From the last time I had the opportunity to teach him I remember that he is comfortable in and enjoys free conversation. As it is Saturday, we chat about weekend plans, and Friday night. This leads naturally into the one point from last time.
E.T. – From Smith’s School of English One Point Series
I asked the student what they will do next week. “I’ll drink, maybe” was their reply. He had just been telling me about the shotbar he went to last night, so I said “Next week I’ll probably go to a shotbar, because it sounds fun and cheap.” He nodded his agreement at my choice of future activity, and when I gently reminded him – “one point?” – he remembered, and rephrased his own sentence to “Next week I’ll probably go drink, because I like to.” Not a perfect sentence, but luckily the lesson I had planned for him would let him practice his gerunds and infinitives and much discussion of going to drink or going drinking would later ensue.
Routine – from Smiths School of English Routine Series
Pre-Intermediate Routine 8
Subsequent our discussion of weekend plans, the student is following a logical path through answering the questions from routine 8 out of context. He tells me about renting DVDs, which ones he has been renting lately, and what sorts of things he likes to watch. As we talk, and he answers my questions, I write up the sentences on the board that he is struggling with.
Item – from Smiths School of English Item Series
Intermediate – Gerunds and Infinitives
Again it is easy to continue the flow of the topic into a different part of the lesson. Review moves into a new item as I write “What do you like doing on the weekends?” on the board, and introducing to (verb) and to go (verbing). “I like sleeping”, he says. This is an easy and straightforward example, and I write “I like to sleep” on the board.
Although the student is at a pre-intermediate level, I’ve decided on this plan because I am confident the student will handle it, and it is fun to do on a Saturday afternoon. This is confirmed as the presentation moves along very swiftly and the student grasps the ideas quickly. It is clear almost immediately that the student doesn’t need a lot of practice of the exercises in the book. He shows verbal application without hesitation, so we move on with his aptitude.
The student particularly seems to enjoy the practice section, where he gets to talk about his bad habits and what he doesn’t like to do. We spend some time on this area therefore, and I ask him to expand on some of his answers. This lets us easily segue into developing the questions with the picture cards and WH questions. Each topic so simply introduced by “do you like to exercise?” has now become a fully sustained discussion. Gradually we also move away from the picture cards with the questions, and cool-off by asking and answering general questions.
We are on the topic of liking music and seeing the Rolling Stones live, when I see an opportunity slip in this lesson’s one-point.
One-point – from Smiths School of English One Point Series
“That reminds me, I would really like to see some live music while I am in Osaka.” This lesson’s one-point is “that reminds me.”