I have a student whose family lived in Vancouver for 2 years. She studied at a private kindergarten and elementary school for two years. She is reading at about 3rd grade level. However, she needs to practice writing, otherwise she will not be able to write at her level. She is a little reluctant to write and takes a bit long to write something down. She is only 7 years old so it is not too surprising. (Post from when she started.)
In addition to reading a book that is at her level and discussing it I recently I started the practice of making up a story with her and writing about three pages in her practice book. She makes up the story and I write it down line by line while leaving a space for her to write below what I wrote. She does this as homework each time. This is working quite well so far and I feel a little relieved. Next I just have to help her to learn more vocabulary and I think this writing practice will help.
She is very cute and is enjoying the lesson very much now. It is quite interesting to teach a young Japanese student who already has fair fluency and needs mostly to brush up on past tense etc. and to practice writing. I highly recommend this method to others who have such students. I think there are many such students out there whose parents are looking for a way to prevent their children from forgetting what they have learned. The normal corporate school KIDS lessons do not meet their needs but we can because Smith’s has much more flexibility.
Now I just need to get my other students up to her level so they can study with her. That seems to a bit difficult since she is far ahead. But we shall see!
Al Bartle (Smith’s School of English – Okamoto)