Monday, June 1, 2009

i don't know

one of my classes today reminded me of a conversation i had this weekend. one of my friends asked 'what do i do if a student asks me what a word is and i don't know'.

first. i try to always be prepared. i always choose the article that i have them read, based on their ability and what i think they may be interested in. some students i need to challenge and others i need to take it easy with. some like to read articles related to their job, others would rather read about gossip or movies. so i always choose the article. i also ALWAYS read the article before i give it to them to read. i look up words in the dictionary if i don't know them and i try to anticipate what they may ask.

today, some religious words came up; we were talking about a new movie called 'doubt'.
my student's question: "what is the difference between: sermon, mass, and service."
my answer: "that's a good question. i don't know. i didn't grow up with a religion. i'll look into it and email you."

i also, always, carry an english dictionary with me. to be honest sometimes the easiest words, that i know, are difficult to give a one word explain. i usually start off by using the word in a sentence or two, then i'll look the word up in the dictionary.

overall, i'm honest with them. i just say i don't know, it's not a common word. sometimes the word is industry / profession specific and i tell them just that.

with that, i almost always look up the word when i get home. out of my own curiosity and to pass on the info.

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