Sunday, December 25, 2005


Pronunciation key

The teaching nightmare: four "high-level" students, three perennial strugglers and one 17-year-old returnee from Australia. Lesson planned: organising events.

Lesson aims:

1. Students should be able to delegate tasks in both office and domestic situations

2. Students should be able to make a realistic schedule for sorting something out

3. Dan should be able to make it through the lesson without dying a grisly death

It was all bad, the poor 17-year-old was sitting next to a total geriatric, which meant she was paired with him for all of the activities. I dropped the workplace-oriented tasks in order to make it slightly less painful and obtuse for her, but she still looked bored and confused.

Then the stroke of luck: having listened to the geriatric stumbling on the words "whole house" a few times, I decided to risk a bit of corrective feedback.

OK, I said to the class, this is what I'm hearing, and I wrote out the words I still have to vacuum the whore house on a sheet of paper.

The three strugglers frowned and reached for their dictionaries; the 17-year-old was already laughing so hard I thought she was going to fall off her chair.

The three strugglers laughed as well when they found out what was going on. It's things like this that turn 40 minutes of purgatory into a happy memory.

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