Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I cannot imagination

I had another student say that to me today. [Bashes own head repeatedly on keyboard].

She'd managed to successfully mime the movie 'Pretty Woman' (kind of successfully, I mean badly, but the others had guessed) but when I asked her what a man and woman in the cockpit of a plane with no pilot but the view of someone in front of them dropping down with a parachute and a mountain in front of them, might be saying to each other (one line of dialogue was required from each character) she just couldn't think of anything they could say. It wasn't hard. It didn't require brain surgery. GAH! Sadly, many Japanese students are like this.

I seem to also be getting a little 'collection' of 'special needs' students. I have one kid with Aspergers who I find very frustrating to teach. The text book is too easy for him, but anything harder would be too complicated. If that makes sense. His concentration is such that it makes him really hard to teach. He's 12.

Another boy, of about 10, that I teach has a milder form of something similar, but he's very funny and has a good sense of humour. He's silly but we laugh together. He does random things like dancing across the classroom or pretending imaginary objects are there. I normally join in!

I have a further one, an 18 year old with cerebral palsy (maybe - I'm not totally sure) and mild autism. He's easy to teach and the lessons are always lighthearted (he shares the classes with his mum) although he can be hard to understand and I don't generally feel I can correct his pronunciation.

I also have a TOTALLY blind adult who, I think, is amazing. She's been learning for years with our company but only transferred to be my regular student last week. Our lessons will be 45 minutes but, last week, I taught her for 90 minutes and was really nervous about the lesson not being interesting as normally I rely so heavily on sight.

She's 24 years old and has the text book in braille. Every braille unit is massive! She also has a braille machine that she types notes into. We had a great lesson and the time, according to both of us, flew by. She loves English, has an international communications degree, is about to start a massage degree, does classical ballet and loves 'watching' football. I did many of the same games I'd do with other adults with her but just adapted them and made things more tactile. I also realised that I normally sit there like an idiot using encouraging facial expressions but now have to make lots of random noises when she talks instead! Thankfully she had some sight when she was a kid so has a memory of colours and other abstract visual things that would be impossible to explain to her.

I mean, talk about having to be versatile as a teacher here!


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