Nooo! You are addling my brain!
I have a student, T, who can always be guaranteed to get things later than everyone, say at least one thing I don't get, frustrate the rest of the group and who won't stop grinning. Today, after explaining something, demonstrating, illustrating, doing an exercise with the group and having everyone else answer questions before her... she didn't get it. I could see the look of frustration on the faces of the other students when I had to explain it again to her.
In the past I used to set diary writing homework for my students from time to time. Some students do it regularly. Looking at some of these pieces of writing is like trying to do complete a sudoko puzzle. Some of the pieces slip easily into place. Others just do not make any sense. Many a time I've stared and stared at a sentence, trying to figure out what the student might have meant when they wrote it and scanning the sentences before and after it to try and find the missing link that will help me understand enough to correct the sentence. Sometimes I'll be really brave and ask the student what they were trying to say. This, of course, is a last resort as things are often no clearer once the student has 'explained'. As in sudoko, sometimes I cheat and just pass over the sentence. I know this is bad; but it's unavoidable. I had two of these today.
I played a game with a couple of intermediate adult sisters today where they had to guess which famous person had been allocated to them by the other only using yes/no questions. When they got to the end of the game (finally) they actually spent three or so minutes arguing over whether Brad Pid (sic.) had blue or green eyes. It was in English, so that's something, but still..... Anyway, I told them I didn't know and to go away and look on the internet.
Another class today, a pre-intermediate mother and son were doing an asking for directions exercise and had a map of the Covent Garden area in London with 30 random places marked on it and then listed underneath. I asked them if they'd heard of any of the places, neither had ever been to London, and they mentioned a couple of places before the son suddenly, and randomly, started explaining a route on the map. I had a really hard think and couldn't recall having asked him to do that. The mother saw my face and tried not to laugh. I confessed to the son I had no idea why he'd come out with that, and he laughed too.
And you wonder why my blog is so random. This is a typical day. In a week I see more than 50 students, many of whom are very random. My brain sometimes really really hurts.