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Location: Osnabrueck, Lower Saxony, Germany

Monday, April 25, 2005

Wendy from the Young Learners SIG list asked me some leading questions:
Message: 3254 From: Received: Mo Apr 25, 2005 12:59
Subject: English from Zero
Wendy, You ask: >"So can you confirm that you are going into your very first >lesson/meeting without any preconceived ideas of what you're going to >do? No. I've been thinking what I'm going to do for weeks. But there is no lesson plan. No hidden agenda to teach the Present Simple. > Is this 'real' dogme' stuff? Wing it? Well, I know that's what people think dogme is, but dogme (to me) means something like: being prepared to work with what comes up. > Or are there things you want to find out? I want to find out all that I can about S and his past and his family and his ambitions etc. etc. but that is going to take time. And I want to find out, of course, what he is like as a learner, what helps and what doesn't. > Are you showing any materials? Not for our face-to-face session, but I want to show him how to use the tape material I'm experimentally suggesting he uses at home. < Will you be speaking German to him? As little as possible. I'll repeat that. As little as possible, only when it is totally unavoidable, and I think that will be with management matters. >Will you negotiate what English he wants? Yeees. I only hesitate because he tells me (and I believe him because I know his history from my wife, who used to work with his mother) that he really knows no English at all. He himself told me he understood a few words from TV. (If I remember, I'll get him to say all the words he knows, or some of them.) >How exciting! Ohhh and is he really and truly an English from zero or >a false starter? How can you be sure? It IS exciting. Strangely so. I'm relying on what S told me when I say he's an absolute beginner, but he is that rather than a false beginner. He's bi-lingual, but he has never learned a foreign language institutionally. Dennis


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