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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Dennis

Message: 8496 From: djn@dennisnewson.de Received: Do Apr 28, 2005 9:20
Subject: Re: EfromZ: 2000 words
Julian, You wrote: "Last night I was remembering your account of Lesson 1 and thinking your drilling of the hours and the time sounded a bit dry (unless it's made into a game), but for Sergei, it might have been the high point--the least 'different'--so far." This will sound like a defence - which it is :-) . I reasoned that since S knew no English at all, and since this was our very first meeting numbers, time, days, months (up to April!) were easily understandable (and communiciatively useful) and would allow us to confirm the next meeting in English. It also threw up our first pronunciation points in need of attention. You also wrote: "Maybe you can teach Sergei in the conventional way with a textbook, Dennis. And balance that with some time actually using what you learn--which is another way of saying recycling it--to give him the best chance of learning it." I've been thinking as hard as I can about this one. In the end, of course, Sergei has to decide. He who pays the piper...... I need to be more informed about what he wants his English for, but I know it is not for examination purposes - he wants to be able to understand and take part in discussions about his subject that take place, apparently, quite frequently in English. He himself has said the technical vocabulary "is not the point. I can learn that later. It's the rest I need to understand." I'd be sad on his behalf if we went for a method, textbook- based, that, I believe, would be almost certain, by definition, to leave him with less real skill in English than one based on his specific needs, with the emphasis on oral and aural skills. // This discussion, of which the current exchange between Julian and myself is just a hiccough, is a moument to my loquaciousness. I've taught ONE lesson and engaged in a few thousand words discussing it, mostly before it was taught! //

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