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terça-feira, 25 de fevereiro de 2014


Because of the rainy weather, there was a terrible traffic jam and thus, I arrived five minutes later. There was just a student, he told me the others had gone because they had not seen me there at 11:00 AM. He was the only one who could wait for me and I found him in front of the gate thinking I would not teach because there was only him. But I called him, "come on, of course!" and I explained him, it was because of the traffic. We followed the room and I entered the class very anxious for being five minutes late, but it was not my fault, for I had left home two hours before presaging that since it was a rainy day I should leave earlier than usual, but unfortunately, I could not predict the traffic would be so slow. I started the class reminding him of some sentences they have learned last class and I told him that day he should make a great effort to apply them, but he acted as if he did not remember those sentences and I had to remember it all again writing on the board.

He understood it all very fast and I asked for his homework, he answered begging me pardon asking me, teacher, how do you say "me desculpa! in English?" as I wrote and helped him to pronounce it, then he answered, "teacher I'm sorry!, Eu não fiz o homework". After that, I moved to the next stage which was the pre-reading activities and then I started writing questions on the board eliciting him to understand their meaning, he was very good at understanding my illustrations for I started using reading strategies like asking him to search for the helpful cognate words. When I asked "what is basic sanitation", he hesitated to understand the word "sanitation" as I encouraged him to try it by asking if it reminds something in Portuguese, he answered: "É sanitário, teacher?" then I said: "É algo bem relativo a isso." I started to work in his cognitive process until he finally said it was "saneamento básico". I helped him to pronounce it and then I wrote the other question, "what is biodiversity?" he right away answered it and then I asked him what he understood about it, as he hesitated, I helped him by asking, "do you know what diversity means?" then he said: "sim, é diversidade." e "do you know what the prefix "bio" means"?

He said no and I explained to him that it refers to life, then I tried to make him infer what it meant, but in spite of all my elucidating efforts, he had troubles to conclude the idea as I had to explain everything telling it was the great diversity and amount of life that exists in nature. I helped him with the pronunciation of biodiversity (baiodaivêrsiti) which was quite challenging since it changes a lot from the spelling. I continued to ask him other sentences in English following the same elucidating strategies and raising a little awareness of ecology, finally I played a video in Portuguese that showed a lot about bad sanitation conditions and we started watching it. The video was just about images and reading, there was no interlocutor and at every key word that appeared in the video, I stopped it and asked him "how do you say that in English"; most of them he did not know as I had to write them on the board and help him with the pronunciation. Since the video was by itself a raising awareness and reflective instigator, it contributed immensely to immerse him in the theme. But I was not just worried about the thematic reflections as I took it to expose the target language.

As the video finished, we made some pro-reflections on the video and then I asked him to open the page number 116 in English writing on the board. He had not brought the book and, since that day I had two books, I lent one to him. I asked him about the title, "Water and sanitation for all" I induced him to understand it successfully, then I asked "what do you think it talks about?" He immediately answered it talked about "saneamento básico", ecology and people's health problems. Then I showed him all of these reading strategies, I started to read it and then I asked him to read after me. I helped him with the proper pronunciation and with understanding by using inductive strategies, but since the class was almost over, we just read to the second paragraph and I tried to ask him about what he had learned. I asked him to continue reading it at home and as homework he should make a list of the new words he just learned with the translation in Portuguese and answer the following questions in the book. But unfortunately, they usually never follow our instructions and homework assignments, for they miss the class so often and it makes so hard for class subject continuations.      

Considering that the class plan was meant for a group not just for a single person, I think I could manage well for I relate to him face to face and this brings some more direct interaction which enable us to see clearly the need of the student. Despite of the lack of dynamism intrinsic of groups, the class did not lose the dynamism for I struggled to keep that in a direct and objective way. I kept eliciting this student onto the construction of knowledge and it was successful for he could answer everything properly. 

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