Nyah’s lesson # 110 March 29, 2019

I gave Nyah a template for a fairy tale – conte de fees – hoping to get her to create a story. It went:
Once upon a time _________X______
was going to __________Y_________
At Y, there was ________Z________
We did some vocabulary review of recent words, then went to selecting items from cards of fairy tale elements to put into the template.
As Ben Slavic says in TPRS in a Year, kids do enjoy vocabulary review and Nyah does.
She got unhappy when she gave ‘club’ for ‘la boite’ whose standard meaning is ‘box’ and I asked for another meaning. I pointed to the kleenex box, which I had used before to get the meaning of boite but she still didn’t get it. She gets frustrated b/c she is used to knowing answers in school where she is a very good student.
She understood ‘davantage’ only when I gave a synonym, ‘plus’ meaning ‘more’.
Usually in context she gets words but in isolation it is common for her to get about 80%. Sometimes I’ll refer back to a story we did and then she gets it.
She had asked about French ‘ranger’ being related in some way to English ‘ranger.’ Her context for it was park ranger. So I explained the circuitous route of ‘arrange’ to a park ranger (no, she doesn’t arrange the trees).

At the end I had her identify the tenses of the verbs – imparfait – and why they are in that tense – telling a story putting you in the middle of the action. She got ‘imparfait’ and then said they are imperfect b/c they want to be. So I asked what is going on here and she replied, I don’t know, what is going on here. But she recovered from her snarkiness and said, ‘telling a story’ and ‘setting the scene’; I just added from the chart, ‘putting you in the middle of the action’.

I used ‘ensorcelee’ and she asked if there weren’t another word and it was enchantee. (an example of my deficits is I gave it initially as ensorceliee)

Then she asked is ‘par’ had another meaning and I told her ‘through.’ That seemed to satisfy her.

I asked if she wanted a new story next time or extend this one. She was OK with either. I may start with a new one but using the same template and format.

I pointed out a mistake I’d made in the previous lesson where I said ‘apres laver’, after washing, when it has to be ‘apres avoir lave’, after having washed.

She was extremely fatigued today, both cleaning up her grandmother’s house after moving her into assisted care plus studying for the ACTs.

Due to the latter, she is going to be absent the weekend plus Monday and Tuesday. I have a lot to do to catch up with organizing material, etc. plus looking at the SAT French to see what aides we might find and use.




  1. Judi says:

    Thanks for sharing in such detail, Pat. I appreciate it. The fairy tale template will help!
    I am very distracted these days but have not forgotten your blog.
    Apres avoir lave is the same in Italian: dopo aver lavato (qualche cosa)
    Students don’t love it when things don’t translate .. here no one says after having washed in English, except maybe language teachers, so they need to learn a new mindset through lots of reps. Maybe fairy tales again: after leaving (having left) her house Red Ruding Hood entered the forest. After entering (hacing entered) the forest she picked flowers. After… etc.

    I just read some research that speaking does help input, whereas our CI people — do they still disagree? I lost track of them when they left the listserve. Now I wonder if it does help or hinder… the parents want them speaking.

    Is Ben doing something different now? Are there two factions or are they one happy group?
    Is Blaine Ray still gaining new advocates? Or not.

    1. Pat Barrett says:

      I missed your comment b/c WordPress has decided to change formats for lots of things. What a waste of time! The same thing for all this Facebook migration. It seems it is just people who agree with each other – at least initially – chattering blithely away and then falling out with each other over more and more picayune points, kind of like the old NYC Trotskyites in the 30s. That’s why I have my blog and great teachers like you respond. Soon I’ll be posting an article I am writing for Le Canard Dechaine (Unchained Duck) on the 5 Cs and I address briefly that issue of idiomaticity and cross-language comparisons.
      Mantenga la forza! (Is that right? I didn’t look it up)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *