Today’s lesson plan was the order of adjectives – you know, the reason why we say a beautiful, green lawn and not a green, beautiful lawn; why we say a small, Japanese car and not a Japanese, small car – because I find it fascinating how all native speakers adhere to this rule automatically without even knowing there was a rule. (the rule is opinion/size/shape/age/color/pattern/origin/material/purpose)
It went fairly well. In my first class, which is the largest, I wound up just talking about it so much that as we got to the exercise portion, the bell rang and that was that.
In the second class, my most argumentative group (which is a good thing) I discovered that the problem is not so much that there are exceptions to the rule (there are almost always exceptions to the rule – it’s English), but that it very often is difficult to decide which of these categories an adjective falls into. Is ‘fat’ a matter of opinion, size, shape, or condition?
The beautiful, shiny, metallic starship, however, led to a good discussion about the greatest TV show of all time, and, as I reflect on it now, it’s impressive that my trekkie student is a lover of the original series, as it was off the air decades before she was born.
By the 3rd class, I was getting a bit bored with the lesson myself, but I’d still say the lesson was a success. We talked about Moby Dick, and how ‘interesting’ is definitely a matter of opinion.
In the last group, more than half the class was missing. I’m not sure why, but I think this school is just way too lax on attendance. So, I ditched the lesson entirely and just read Tarot Cards for everybody instead, which is always popular, and they learn a little bit of English vocabulary, but they’re an advanced group to start with so I’m not too worried.
It was a successful enough lesson that I’ll probably do it again some day, just not this year at that school. Once is enough.