Friday night I found welcome relief from science; from imagining the motion of matter along gravity-created geodesics in curved space-time. Rocky's Sports Bar? Studio 10 Theatres? Nope. A quiet kitchen and a chance to tell the story of Canada.
I support a learner who reads at a lower-level, and who wants help prepping for her citizenship test. It's not an ESL gig - English is her first language. But she is from Africa, and so her spoken vocabulary lacks many of the words and phrases she'll need to pass. It's the problem of background knowledge again, compounded by low literacy.
Last Friday was our fourth or fifth meeting, and as I told the story of the growing web of railways, I drew maps and charts, wrote out the names of people and places, and generally represented graphically whatever I was presenting verbally.
I always do this, and it makes sense for me because I'm a "visual" learner - I learn by visualizing and/or by recasting ideas in graphic form.
But does it make sense for her?
I was right in the middle of printing out F-e-d-e-r-a-l, when it occurred to me that I might as well be printing out, well, g-e-o-d-e-s-i-c.
Then, I got to thinking about me yammering on and on - I do love showing off, as I'm sure you noticed! - leaving her the role of passive learner.
Now, it's not exactly that bad. Well, yeah. It is. I've given her some blank maps to write in, but that's it.
So, course correction. Before we meet again, I've got to devise some active learning activities appropriate for a learner with limited background knowledge about our country, and who reads independently at a level two.
If, um, you've got something like that in hand, you will let me know. Right?