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Location: Osnabrueck, Lower Saxony, Germany

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Message: 8484 From: Julian Bamford Received: Mi Apr 27, 2005 11:10
Subject: 1-2-1 with Sergei
Hi Dennis, Thank you for your report on your first meeting with Sergei. It was good to read it, and the responses to it. Recycle, recycle seems the way to go. And using Scott's Crusoe scenario, "There's that damned parrot again" and "Shall we cut across the beach or go round the lagoon?" can be recycled as is, and can be expanded and reduced to such things as, "There's that damned bee again." "Shall we (do it) again." and so on and on. You wrote: > What's a bit eerie about teaching one-to-one with a total beginner is > that there is (in S's > case, at least) no other source for the language than me. Do you mean you are the only source of the (English) lesson content? My experience in a similar 1-2-1 situation is that the situation we are in supplies the content and I put the English to it (like you did when climbing the stairs, and with the bee). Or the student provides the content (probably in response to a question from me such as about hobbies, or heavy engineering, or what he did yesterday evening. . .) With a beginner, I probably have to ask the question in both native language and English, and the student probably responds in his native language. I translate (which I know you don't fancy!) all or some of his response into English if I think it is useful, or if it recycles something we did before. Because basic English items are by definition high-frequency, items like "again" and "Shall we" and things in the immediate environment (parrots, beaches and lagoons for Crusoe and Friday; bees, stairs, cups of coffee and homework tapes for you guys) appear and get recycled over and over. I'm very careful, especially at the beginning, to limit the English input to what he can understand and handle, but after a few hours when the recycling starts seriously kicking in, there begins to be exponential growth in the English he can understand and use. All the best for "lesson 2!" Julian


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