In one of my Man-to-Man lesson today, I covered Adjectives 2 and reviewed Adjectives 1. I think it was a good lesson in which I introduced and huge list of adjectives and encouraged the student to describe things and people. I encouraged her to always learn adjectives as pairs including the words of opposite meaning and to use phrases like “it is useful to control a CD Player” and “it is made of plastic, rubber and metal”. She was definitely speaking 70% of the time which is one of the Smith’s main goals for the student.
This man-to-man student works for a shipping company and has to speak on the phone with English speaking colleagues in China and Europe. She said that she often cannot catch what her Chinese and European colleagues say because they speak so fast. I told her that it is extremely important for her to make every effort to use English often and to be sure to make complete statements without forgetting articles and prepositions because, if she really completes her English by always putting these in properly, she will become much better to catch what other better English speakers are saying. We practiced Routine No. 12 on Shopping and she had some trouble with the article “an” in “an expensive boutique” and “the” in “the right size”. This gave me a chance to point out how these phrases, when spoken at normal speed by native speakers, become very hard to catch by non-native speakers but if students work hard to always includes these and to say them more quickly, they will become much better at catching what native speakers and better English speakers are saying. She understood the importance of this and promised to “do her very best”. What more can we ask for? Nothing of course but it is important to keep our students in this frame of mind and positively motivated.
To help our students keep motivated, we must praise them each time they succeed. It isn’t hard to see how good this makes them feel and we, as coaches too, feel great to be able to help them succeed. What a fun job!
Al Bartle (Smith’s School of English – Okamoto)