one student again; a good deal of casual conversation mainly about the future of the class, need for clear schedule etc; also talked a bit about the possibility of finding more students from eslewhere
retell of “ Kirk Jones”
conversation practice using sentences from Kirk Jones;
discussion: of the suggestions in the second part of the conversation activities for Eric W;
discussion: of the practicality of online two language as opposed to English-English dictionaries.
assignment: repeat: prepare for conversation using suggestions in 2nd part of “Eric W”; read “Wangari Maathai”

ad hoc verbal questions on Eric W: (How old was Eric when he went blind? (13); What was his first blind sport? (wrestling); What was the most dangerous part of the climb? (the Khumbu Icefall); why is it so difficult to cross? (ice moves quickly, no permanent path); why do the climbers have to cross it so many times? (carry supplies, acclimatize)
review of supplementary reading assignment:The oldest man to climb Mount Everest” (retell by one student who had read it; repetition by the other student who had not)
• replacement drill (“allow” + complementation): (Francis’ parents allowed him to go to the market; Michael’s boss…drink; Gabriela’s husband……bank account; Clint;…girlfriend…gamble)
• assignment for Monday, March 2: read over 2nd part of conversation activity Eric W, “extras”

• only one student; entire time spent on retells of “Michael Lee” (with many interruptions for grammar and pronunciation correction)
assignments for next time: 1: read: “Eric Weihenmayer” 2: writing: paragraph on: “What is wrong with slavery?”

• retells of “ Francis Bok” (reading assignment from previous lesson)
• brief discussion of vocabulary and multiple choice quizzes for “Francis Bok”
• first activity from Francis Bok, drama activity (conversation between between two students)
assignment for next class:
1: read: “Michael Lee” 2: look at questions and “explanations” in first section (intermediate activity) of “Michael Lee” conversation activities.

• there were two students at the beginning; another arrived a few minutes late.
• re-tells of “Clint Loggenberg”
• multiple choice questions on “Clint Loggenberg” (five minutes individual work and then discussion); • discussion of a couple of errors (one grammatical, one semantic/grammatical) in one of the compositions that were submitted in response to last week’s assignment;
• the following assignments were given (and explained):

• read the paired story, “Francis Bok
• prepare to participate in the drama activities for “Francis Bok”
• write a paragraph on the following topic: “Someone I Met Only Once But Who Made a Lasting Impression on Me” (to get an idea of what a good response to this assignment would be, see here).

• Finally I mentioned to the students that I’ve been thinking of increasing the size of the class by one or two and that I’d like the new student or students to be from some other part of the world. I invited the class to think about whether they knew anyone who might be suitable — and interested.

• first regular class with three students;
• began with a technical glitch perhaps caused by my forgetting that setting up a group skype is rather more complicated than starting an ordinary conversation; I left it until a couple of minutes before the class began and then got confused; then, when I managed to get going a couple of minutes late I found that although I could see and hear the two students (the third arrived later on) they could hear but not see each other. We decided to continue that way rather than spending too much time on a technical problem. A few minutes later the third student arrived; I could see and hear all three and they could all hear each other, but each of them could only see one of the others. After the class was over, I shut down and then hooked up again with two of the students (the third wasn’t available) and we were all able to see and hear each other.
what we did in the class: we began with some casual conversation then moved into retells of “Gabriela Byrne.” During the retells, I interrupted several times to make make points on grammar or meaning (see “notes”). Next, I had them work individually for five minutes on the vocabulary quiz then we worked together to get the correct answers.
assignments: I asked them to read “Clint van Loggenberg” for next Monday and also to write a 150-word paragraph — to be handed in by e-mail on Friday — in response to one of the topics listed in the “communicative writing” page (see “Gabriela Byrne”extras directory)

• experimental class on Skype with two students;
• informal interview with each student; casual chat between students;
assignment for next class: read “Gabriela Byrne” and be prepared to discuss it in the next class
• comment: this went very well for the first day of an experimental class (this was my first experience at a group Skype, and I think this was the case for the students as well) I was particularly pleased — and a bit surprised — by how comfortably and enthusiastically the students spoke to each other;
• there were no technical glitches