Something Different

I just wanted to say that I had a nice experience at work tonight, giving a tutorial to a young girl of eight years old.  I’ve never taught anyone this young and at such a low leve, so I didn’t know what to do, but somehow, it worked out.

I talked a little bit in Spanish throughout, but less so as she revealed her comfort zone in English and I worked out what kinds of questions to ask her that she would be able to respond to, like “Do you like…?”, “Do you have…?”, “What colour is your… ?” etc.  I know that in our game, we’re not supposed to speak student’s L1, but I do with very weak students in one-to-one tutorials to establish a rapport before taking the stabilizers off.  It paid off this time, as we managed to break the ice and then move into basic English and go over free time activities vocab in the book.  Obviously, I encouraged her lots and was less wooden than I usually am.

One really nice thing was that I got to help her go over the telling the time at the end.  She was already comfortable with “o’clock” and “half past” but the rest were difficult for her, and I realised that even in Spanish, she didn’t have a good grasp of it, so I drew her a clock and labelled the “minutes” and elicited most of it from her.  I felt good teaching something useful rather than trying to force grammar through a student’s head.  It felt like something that mattered.

Just thought I’d share.  The lady who had brought her (I think it was her mum’s friend) had watched  us on the television screen (we have a camera in one classroom, that’s really nuts!) and she seemed quite pleased with how the tutorial had gone.


2 Responses to “Something Different”

  1. Carole Says:

    That’s a nice story. Much like some of the experiences I have as a TA. I get to support an 11-year old Iraqi Kurdish girl in class and I find that really fulfilling.

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