#10 – More Than Just Words

<An entry about tutoring English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)>

This week I prepped for our ESOL lesson in a personal way.  We would be reviewing a large vocabulary list, so I decided to take pictures around my house to illustrate the words. It was the”B’s” that gave me the idea. I was in my bedroom reviewing the word list and decided I could make my bed, take a picture of my baby doll, pick out a bag and get a banana snack while I played photographer.

I took those few photos and landed in the kitchen. I moved to “C” with the cats, a can, coffee and celery. I included our dishes, my desk, dolls and our dog. I continued with my feet, a farm, my gem of a wedding ring, games, a giraffe, a girl portrait and my hand.  Jugs of water from the last storm were in the hall indicating the household ABC’s were meant to be. A jar, my husband’s jacket and a king, one of my peeps, were next. You get the idea but now my idea  was an investment in time.  I continued, hoping Cristina would appreciate my efforts.

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Cristina humored me and we started our lesson. The objective was for her to properly pronounce the words, say if she was familiar with them and ask a question about each photo. Cristina was intrigued by my pictures and I was entertained by her questions.

She’d thought the baby doll was a little off the wall when we started but only because it was naked. She laughed out loud when she saw its close-up, this time of only the legs! The lamp in my bedroom, the ladder in Tarah’s bedroom and letters from my block collection. Cristina was starting to wonder where I kept all my  toys? The milk  wagon and seven peep mothers didn’t help my case.  The extreme close-up of my nose might not have improved international relations either. She saw the man in the photo and asked if it was Richie….and if those were his pants….and if he’d been cooking with those pots and pans?  It was getting personal. She saw the queen peep, radio in our bedroom and my sock drawer. Cristina saw everything that included our kitchen sink…the telephone, table and towels.

She had an interesting question at that point.

What are the towels on the kitchen counter called?

Paper towels

What is the paper in the bathroom called?

Toilet paper

To me they are opposite. Why?”

I had to think about that and she had a good point.  Paper was an adjective in the first and a noun in the second.

We restarted our alphabet in the bathroom. Tub. Valentine. Window. Water.

Back to the bedroom to finish my diminishing roll of photos. BoX (she let me get away with that one), yellow and a book about Albert’s zoo.

Cristina may have thought my house was a zoo after our extra long session. My wacky photos in this library study room might’ve made her feel like a caged animal?  She may have been hoping to get out alive…

…It’s over a week later and I haven’t seen her since. She emailed and said she had the flu.

It aches me to even think about it.

I don’t want her to be sick – and pray she’s not sick of me!

 

Copyright Donna L. Crowe, 2015

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