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Location: Osnabrueck, Lower Saxony, Germany

Sunday, April 24, 2005

English from Zero

dogme@yahoogroup.com Message: 8419 From: Fiona Received: Fr Apr 22, 2005 7:23 Subject: Re: S To be honest, Dennis, I would wait and see what he's like as a student. You may not need to speak any German at all, if he's good at the context stuff. Like kids. I speak to most of the kids on our street in English, they reply to me in Spanish. My eight-year-old son can't work out how his buddies always understand me, but "hello" "hola" "how are you?" (big smile) "bien" "Oh, be careful, there's a car coming" (large Peugeot estate heading towards us) etc etc....... In our old flat, I used to ask our neighbour about cartoons and stuff. They don't get squiffy about language until they're around 7, BUT some adults can function like this too, especially if they realise that this is the way you work. And anyway, how many classes do you start with "May I have a pound of garlic sausage please?" (ie, it's usually obvious stuff, innit?). You could use the other two languages as a sort of tool or resource, for example, looking at a magazine or something, ask (in English) "how do you say that in Russian?" pointing to something. "Did you understand?" is clear from context - how many people know what capisci is without studying Italian? Maybe I'm just mean to my students, I'm a battleaxe where English is concerned, only using Spanish for being cross in.........maybe it is slower initially, but in the long run, it's much faster. Just like you, one of my classes of 3-4 year olds, a few years ago, learnt to dot their Spanish with words in English, but their one complete sentence - which they could all shriek with delight in the second week of the daily course - was "David! Would you PLEASE get off the table!" What was the question, again? Fiona :-)

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