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Location: Osnabrueck, Lower Saxony, Germany

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Message: 8476 From: Robert M. Haines Received: Di Apr 26, 2005 6:14
Subject: first meeting
Dear Dennis, I love the bit about the spirit bee buzzing around inspirationally. And I'm really glad you led us to the classroom along with the two of you. with an eye and a nose for detail, a teacher can make mountains out of molehills in the most positive sense. I told you you'd be speaking some German in the beginning. :-) But, as you've made clear, not in the *explicit* teaching. Your comments: 1. It was most enjoyable and we achieved something. Could we perhaps have done more?| *Sure, but what's wrong with what you did? One thing I might have asked for was whatever words, phrases, etc. Sergei could write (Can he write German?) on a slip of paper for me to copy, which might serve as a written record of our first meeting. I tend to encourage journals, even with beginning learners. Pictures, poetry, words and whatever else they want to include. 2. Did I put on too much of an act? | *I doubt it, but did you? 3 I definitely spoke too much copulating German, though not for the teaching. I can see, however, a first session is not typical and there are lots of arrangements to make. | *Kein Kommentar. :-) 4.. He has said several times: 'This is very different.' Does that mean where is the textbook? *You should ask him that. He asked if he should have a vocabulary book. I said, if it helps, but only if the words end up in his head as well as in the book. | *Have you thought about introducing Sergei to the Keyword Approach if he doesn't already know it? 5. I'm thinking I must provide him with a list of words - the 1000 most commonly used words in English? - so that he can tick them off when he's 'done' them. | *Which list, and with so many of them being function words, won't it be better to put them in context in order to help S. notice patterns and functions, e.g. 'for+VERB-ing' to talk about purpose. He can also tick off English 900's 800 base sentences- and I'm beginning to think I will (we will) produce dialogues that try capture what he needs and wants to say. ||||| *Good! 6. My worry is that *I* could end up having a great, humanistic, dogme time and S could feel he isn't getting much. As I write this point I'm having an awful bout of: "It's all very well for us, but what do the Ss of this world want? ........ Do you think I qualify for a free copy of "Throwaway", just in case ? I'll pretend I didn't read the part about the textbook :-) You concern is legitimate except that a great, humanistic, dogme time would mean that you both had a positive learning experience, or at least S. did. Did you connect with Sergei? You've said very little about what kind of person he seems to be, which might be your way of respecting the man's privacy. However, I'd like to know if you can share any knowledge of his previous learning experiences, his passion for cars, the outdoors, schematic drawings or whatever? What makes Heavy Engineering different from other forms of Engineering? You see, Dennis, it's all about *me*, not you! :-) My point should be that it's only the first lesson, and, as you've said, there are arrangements to be made. I think the fact that you went a half-hour over your allotted time indicates a good time was had by all. In anticipation of the next meeting with Sergei, Rob


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