Transcription of Nyah’s lessons Oct. 2

This lesson took place on Oct. 2, 2018 at Nyah’s house without the vocab posters.

Il y a un animal chez nous. l’animal est un ours
L’ours s’appelle Boris. (pr. in English)
Porous? Oh, Boris.

la nourriture des ours

What’s bear food, salmon? Berries.

Qu’est-ce c’est comme nourriture?

Salmon and berries.

Est-ce que les ours aiment manger les gateaux?

No, there’s no cats in the woods (thinking of Sp. gato)

…………. oh, oh, oh, cake.

A la maison de Mema et moi, il n’y a pas de nourriture des ours.


La seule nourriture que nous avons chez nous c’est les petits gateaux.

Oh, a small cake, like a tea cake.

(Pat gesturing showing something round and smaller than a cake)

A cookie?! They call cookies a small cake?


le magasin ou on achete quelque chose a manger

Buy with money?


On achete les fraises

Oh, strawberries.

les ours aiment la nourriture de la mer

And the river.

Les crevettes………..

No, salmon. They get on a rock and ………..

Est-ce qu’il y a d’autre chose que les ours aiment manger?

Salmon, berries.

Quelque chose d’autre que les ours aiment manger, c’est le requin.

Huh? Why ?

Les requins nagent, dans l’eau, dans la mer, les ours aiment la nourriture de la mer.

Yeah, but they’re in the ocean. Why would a bear eat a shark.

En bateau c’est possible chercherau requin.

Po what?

En bateau…..
Yeah. But what did you say before that?

Oh, possible.

Yeah, what’s that. (Clearly showing that she is indicating comprehension when she continually says ‘yeah’ after my utterances but will halt the procedure when she does not understand. This is a major element in checking comprehension and knowing she is not just ‘getting the gist’ or otherwise just ‘going along’ but is not shy about stopping the story when she doesn’t understand. )

Me: like Spanish ‘posible’.

Yeah? I didn’t know that (after 2 years of Spanish with excellent grades, and if you think her not knowing posible since it was surely presented is somehow a deficit on her part, you do not understand the FL learning process)

Les ours peuvent nager.

Swim? With sharks? Is it a regular bear or a polar bear? (showing involvement in the story, the content, rather than a focus on form or on language)

Mais le requin est tres grand.

Like a great white? (showing comprehension of ‘grand’ as ‘big’ and extending its meaning to the Great White shark)


C’est pourquoi l’ours arrive avec son permis


Sa license

Oh, what? Oh, license. (again showing refusal to assume ‘license’ must mean something like ‘permis’ but wanting to pin down the meaning)


Pecher. C’est attraper …. vous vous souvenez des policier qui ont attrape……….

Capture? (she remembered the movie scene)

Et le manger.

Yeah. To eat, for food. Turn it into soup.


Et le bateau, il est rouge.

Oh, red. What’s it called?

Il est tres froid.

It’s winter. (we had had ‘froid’ only once or twice and some time ago. Her retention is amazing)


Comment s’appellent les enfants des chiens?


Comment s’appellent les enfants des chats?


Comment s’appellent les enfants des ours?


Et des oiseaux?

(There follows a good deal of confusion with this new word as I try to get her to remember her friend, Birdie to get to bird. She thought I wanted her to invent a friend for the story. Then I resorted to returning to an old story where her friend, Birdie, was prominent.)

Vous et votre amie habitant a la Cite des Fleurs.

Oh, Birdie. Bird.


Vous croyez que quelqun a vole votre license?

Oui. (she responds in French! There was some confusion about what I was asking – where and how she lost her drivers license – and so it was the perfect communicative environment for her to spontaneously emit French)


I used enseigner and tried to relate it to Spanish ensenar and at first she said she didn’t know ensenar but then did remember it, so I asked her how she had accessed the Spanish and she said they had had to write it a lot on posters, etc. I think this is a good example of how forced output such as writing it “a lot” allowed her to recognize it but not access it until I gave her the English. That’s after 2 years with good grades.


I finished the lesson by explaining to her that she was learning the language as evidenced by the way she had created an image in her mind from my words of a bear eating a shark, otherwise she could not have objected to the scenario. Then I asked her to imagine back to where she was 2 months into her Spanish class and she said “still on estar, learning how to conjugate”.

When I said I lacked the posters at her house she replied that I could use the gestures. That was a reminder to me that I needed to go slower and use gestures more.






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