ELT ESL EFL CLIL Dogme lesson with Electrical Engineers

Jay was the sole student today. I’d known that SG wouldn’t be coming to class, so I’d prepared to do the Wagging the Question activity since I’d previously done it with SG when J was absent.

As usual, I started the lesson with the question, ‘How are you?’

Not very well, as it happened. There was an accident in one of his company’s sites, but fortunately the technician survived. Unfortunately, however, it was the second accident that has happened in 2 weeks, though not at the same site. Quite rightly, he was stressed and worried. We talked about this during the whole lesson, but, towards the end, I had time to run through the linguistic problems that had emerged.

Errors were mainly lexical:

the last Monday/week/month (misuse of article)
the former week (instead of last)
signalise (incorrect translation of ‘señalizado’)
ICU for Intensive Care Unit (he didn’t know)
was died (incorrect passive use)
by walking (instead of on foot)

He also made a couple of pronunciation errors:

the /id/ sound was incorrectly used in several past simple verbs: relaxed, fixed, specialised, designed.

In fact, although I’ve explained the rules a few times before, J still finds it difficult to remember. I will have to think of a way to help him. Has anyone got any brilliant ideas?

The other pronunciation error he made was with the word ‘muscle’, pronouncing it /’mʌsk(ə)l/ instead of /ˈmʌs(ə)l/.

Since I had five minutes to spare, I decided, for the first time, to explain the ‘methodology’ behind the lessons, as though I needed to justify the apparent ‘informality’.

His reaction was immediate. He thought it suited him (or them, speaking on behalf of SG, too) to a T. He said that it was rather difficult for them, being senior directors, to disconnect completely from whatever was going on with their work (reports, meetings, etc) to concentrate on the lesson. Bear in mind their lessons are in-house.

So, for him, it’s like killing two birds with one stone, and he thinks, today, for example, he’s learned a lot.