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. He can't learn from his classmates, because there aren't any. He can't, at least yet, learn from radio, TV, songs, because he can only tell the time, tell you the day of the week and say. 'bee'.
*Yes, and it's important for me to remember that you are working in an EFL context, not one where Sergei is exposed to the target language as soon as he steps outside the classroom. So he grew up in Russia(n), moved to German(y) and now wants to learn English in Germany? But there are plenty of English-language newspapers, TV programs, films, radio stations featuring at least some of their content in English there, right? But, again, he doesn't seem to be ready to learn much from these sources of language, so you feel you are his Source of Sources, is that right? What about a good beginner's (picture?) dictionary? S. could use that at home or wherever.
Which brings me to the writing:
Dennis: You made a comment in your previous message I think it was about writing. I'll admit something. Writing individual words down is one thing, but any kind of writing exercise I don't fancy any more than I fancy translation. The trouble with writing, of course, is that it slows things down, and I think S and I need to keep up the pace, at least for the first few meetings.
*Sergei can always write outside of class, can't he? That way, he writes at his own pace, checking his dictionary perhaps, and class can be spent interacting with you and the immediate surroundings. In class, it might help to use a board, if you have one, to provide visual as well as aural impressions of the language that seems useful, i.e. Sergei hears it, he sees it, and maybe later he writes it down. Cognitive depth for better acquisition, no?
Hope you're not feeling overwhelmed, Dennis. I've not been able to teach 1-2-1 for so long... this is exciting for me, too!
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