Lesson Six…in quite a fix

<A series about tutoring English to speakers of other languages. This experience is with a girl from Spain.>

Cristina had emailed me during the week with some ideas for our session. As I’d mentioned in previous posts she’s very motivated. So much so that our tutoring sessions are only one of three outlets she has for improving her English. She takes classes at the local community college and attends free English classes at a local church. If she identifies where she needs additional practice in those venues, I’m more than willing to try to help compliment them.

She brought a list of verbs that helps her with tenses and pronunciation:

Sit, sitting, sat…I explained. We sit in a chair. We are sitting down.  When you came in, I sat back down.

Fight, fighting, fought. I made fists. We agreed the visuals help.

Shut, shutting, shut. I shut the door.

Slam, slamming, slammed. She asked what the difference was. I said that one is done in anger as I got up ….

Stand, standing, “stood” up to reopen the door.

Spit, spitting, spat.

She looked at me with a smile for reference.  We both just  laughed!

Go, going, went.

That one made me appreciate people that learn to speak English.

Eat, eating, ate.


Yes, I ate a sandwich for lunch.

Like 6, 7, 8…


And yes.

We spelled them  separately on our paper.

It made me appreciate people that read and write English.

We also talked about beets.

Beat, beating, beat.

Yell, yelling, yelled.

I started to demonstrate and then realized I was at the library. And the door was open.

She knew that one.  She knows them all. I just add the sticking points.

And get myself into sticky situations.

She pulled out something she wasn’t able to translate earlier in the day and asked me about it.

“What is foil?”

Think about how you would (not wood) describe that without a point of reference. I did my best but sometimes you have to just move on.

She brought a Christmas book from the house where she is staying. I think she said the children are 7, 8 and 11. She wanted me to listen to her pronunciation.

I took a deep breath, glad to be back to a slower pace.

Ironically, then the turtle hollered.

“What is difference between yell and holler?”

I think I made something up about distance versus anger.

Then his friend was  knitting a stocking!

Again with the damn English.

Knit.   <Demonstration ensues>

Knead. <I make some bread.>

Kneel. <I genuflect…but sure as hell don’t use that word.>

Knife. <Where’s one when you need it?!>

We went back to the story. Several pages go easily for both of us.

Then the turtle meets a beaver?


…and he gnawed wood?

What is gnaw?

I am motivated now. Next week I will make the lesson plan and bring the book.  I will also gather some visuals to identify the words we’ve learned. I too need outlets. I am more than willing to help compliment today’s lesson.




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