Friday, February 29, 2008

Changing gear

Nina and Anton are off to the Seychelles for two weeks and it will be another 3-4 weeks before I see them.

In their last session - I was trying to imagine some of the questions people here and guests in the hotel might ask them - we practised things like:

When are you going to the Seychelles?
to South Germany

(Nina tends to say: "When you going...."

(I'm going to the Seychelles in) March

I'm trying to get them to answer with one word "March" and not the whole sentence, which sounds very stilted to me.

(I am going away) this weekend.

(We are going to South Germany) next month.

I don't know /when we are going to South Germany).

"I don't know seems a useful expression to know!

When did you last go to Kazakhstan?
South Germany?
the cinema?
a concert?

We played the "Now you ask me" game - always good for a laugh. "No. You ask me." Nina repeats: "You ask me."

(I last went to Kazashstan in) 2000.

I can't remember.

What time do you usually go to school on Mondays?
get up on Sundays?

(I usually go to school on Mondays at) 7:30.

I try to make all these examples things Nina might well have said, or want to say. I'm trying to ensure that I teach her, assist her to learn, what she wants to say or might want to say. This is the principle that guides me, not covering particular structures, tenses or lexical items.

Now, with the hiatus of the Seychelles visit, I feel the need for a change of gear. Perhaps I will switch to talking about paintings - I know she is especially fond of Russian art. I'm wondering, too if we shouldn't work a bit with recordings - from the BBC, for example. News items. I must think this through

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