When I saw my schedule today, I felt a bit anxious about first lesson of the evening. This particular student is known to make a lot of very specific request about the material and type of lesson she wants to study. It took me nearly 20 minutes to come up with the lesson plan for her I felt would help grow her confidence.
We started our lesson with greetings and she seemed to be in a good mood, so that was a relief for me. After she told me about her day, I asked her if she remembered her one-point from last lesson, and since it was a B type one-point, she gave me an example quickly.
I prepared an intermediate item(questions) for this lesson, but changed the lesson plan slightly to suit this high level student. I had noticed earlier that while her speaking ability was quite high, she tended to be rather passive in class. So instead of answering question, I lay out the “wh” question cards on the table, wrote down 3 topics on the board: work, television, dating. She was a bit confused to see that because the setting actually came from two different lesson plans ( intermediate and let’s talk). I explained that I wanted her to be the teacher today, and try to ask me as many as questions as she could about the topics on the board. I was a bit worried that she would not cooperate, but it turned out to be pretty successful, because it put her under pressure and pushed her to think and be active. I kept my answers to each question short so that she could ask more. She seemed to enjoy it once the conversation started flowing. Because her English is quite good, she felt she was in control by initiating the conversation.
From Smith’ School of English Routine series
I knew that, as a high level student, she doubted the practical application value of the routine bit because she thought it was too simple and mechanical. So I picked Routine 9 and as she had done it once before, I told her that we were going to go through the 10 questions and see if she still remembered. As I expected, she did and finished the questions in a few minutes. I told her to ask me the same questions, she frowned at first, but did what was asked. When I started to give a story out of the context, she realized what I was doing. So when I told her it was her turn, she was not surprised.
I wrote it down on the board one minute before the lesson finished. She didn’t get it and I could see the frown on her face again. So I asked about her experience of learning how to ride a bicycle. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy! That did the trick.
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