I modified the lesson to make it a little more structured, and used it with my university class. When I introduced the topic and asked if anyone knew what small talk was, some thought it was using little words when talking, others thought it was talking quietly. They had never heard the phrase “small talk” before. We discussed what it is and when to use it and how it is different from introductions, which we have practiced in the past. I divided the class into small groups and gave each group a card with a situation and some topics as examples, such as several students get to class a few minutes early, or they see someone they know at the grocery store or a sporting event. I didn’t hear anyone get beyond the topics on the cards during that class period. This week, I had them pair off and I gave them situations verbally without examples, and I was very pleased with what I heard. Not only did they come up with topics, some even used appropriate questions for the individual person they were talking with. I love my university class and the private English students I have (all adults).
My other English teaching job is at a children’s English school. I started working there in April and signed a contract for the school year, through March 2014. This week I was asked to commit to another year (April 2014 – March 2015). While I expected this situation to come up, I thought it would happen in January or February, not October. I didn’t give them an answer, even though I know the answer. I don’t want to be put on the spot to say I don’t want to do this another year. What are the chances that they won’t ask me again this week?
Several people told me they thought the Japanese pumpkin from our garden (that I posted about yesterday) was a weird shape, and I agree, it is weird. This is how it is supposed to be, though. Weird, but true.
Inspired by the Suffolk Puff Christmas tree that Margaret made, and using some of the fabric she had left over, I’ve started making one too. I want to make it for Ted to hang in his office and I’d love to get it done in time for this year. It’ll be November in a few days! I’m going to try to finish it before December. We'll see how it goes.