Happy Wednesday,


I am currently working with a student who is very proficient and knowledgeable with spoken English. Her desire is to speak with me for roughly an hour and have me "correct her grammar" as she goes. Her mistakes are usually few and far between, and she has a hard time believing me when I say that I rarely stop and correct her because she is very good at expressing herself. She is quite humble.

On the other hand, my idea of a successful lesson is working on idiomatic expressions and vocabulary. I am thinking of "expanding her lexicon" and less "correcting her lexicon." Of course, I could simply speak with her and make observations here and there, but in my mind I would not be helping her as much as I could.


With all that said, I have a couple of questions:


1) Have you ever navigated through this kind of discrepancy between student expectations and teacher advice?


2) Can someone point me toward good speaking resources that will introduce advances stylistic choices in speech while also providing new vocabulary and idiomatic expressions? I think finding a way to overtly combine these two will both satisfy her desire while also expanding her knowledge as much as I think she should.


Thanks, in advance, for your time. I hope the distinctions and questions I am asking are clear.


Ben

BenAldridge0Her desire is to speak with me for roughly an hour and have me "correct her grammar" as she goes. Her mistakes are usually few and far between, and she has a hard time believing me when I say that I rarely stop and correct her because she is very good at expressing herself.

This is a common situation.

BenAldridge0my idea of a successful lesson is working on idiomatic expressions and vocabulary.

I don't think that is a very successful approach, actually, if limited to that. It is too much like exercises instead of communication.

BenAldridge0Of course, I could simply speak with her and make observations here and there, but in my mind I would not be helping her as much as I could

I think you will be helping her more than you think—if you do try to consistently catch the errors and bring them to the student's attention. There is also ample opportunity in conversation to suggest more native idiomatic alternatives. Also, you should actively participate in discussion, of course.

BenAldridge02) Can someone point me toward good speaking resources that will introduce advances stylistic choices in speech while also providing new vocabulary and idiomatic expressions? I think finding a way to overtly combine these two will both satisfy her desire while also expanding her knowledge

I have used textbooks that try to do this. In practice, I haven't found them very successful. Their articles force discussion on the topics they present, which may not interest the student. Their listed vocabulary may not be new to the student. In the end, they are too much like a 'lesson'.

After more than 25 years of teaching English in Japan, I have found the newspaper much more effective. I ask my intermediate or advanced students to develop the habit of reading the Sunday English-language newspaper. Reading is the main way to expand vocabulary. On Sunday morning, I read the same paper and cut out the photos from stories of interest / with good vocabulary / etc; then I paste them on a sheet of paper and ask students to tell me about the news. Very simple; the weekly news is always changing; and the paper has sections of interest to everyone.

Thank you so much. I will propose the newspaper idea to my student!

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I just went through a physical newspaper for the first time with another one of my students. He really took to the activity. Thanks again for the recommendation. Emotion: smile