Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Private Lessons

A while back I posted that one of the administrators at the local school district had asked me about taking lessons. How did that end up going?

Really strangely. He will be working in the US next year so he wanted to work specifically with an American on American English. Except that we rarely have what might be called a class. Mostly what he wants to do is read out loud to me in English from either his work contract or letters he recieves from the place of work, have me correct his pronounciation, and ask me about something if he doesn't understand it. Last week he had been at the entrance exams for IUFM or something, part of which took place in English, and he had copied down all of the questions that this French professor of English had asked. He wanted to ask me if these were things we would say in the US or not.


I don't really know what purpose this serves! I'm trying to talk to him about how we usually say "gonna" instead of "going to" and get him used to the speed of speech in the US and he wants to read out loud to me! I think the problem is that he's mostly worried about interacting with people in his job and saying things correctly, while I'm worried about how he's going to understand the woman at the grocery store checkout who was born in Mexico. I brought in money today with the intention of having him practice making change but he just wanted to examine the 50 State series of quarters and know what the letters on the dollars mean (not even the stuff on the back, the letter on the left front side of the dollar bill. Heck if I know. Probably has to do with where it was minted).

Last session is next week. He's the customer, and the customer is always right, but man, I feel like the €15 I'm earning per session is more of a payment for emotional distress than payment for any service I'm rendering.


Isabelle said...

15 euros per lesson, that's cheap!!

The guy sounds like a true nerd to me, you shouldn't even worry about him, he isn't worth it...

Eileen said...

lol. Oh well. He probably thinks reading aloud is the way to learn a language. People think weird things... I wouldn't worry about it if he's only paying you 15 euros.

Anonymous said...

That sounds odd. I guess perhaps that is the way that he thinks is best for him to learn? Just go along with what he wants and get your money... you can only do your best and you've tried to be more helpful/interactive but if he is not into it, then just go along with how he does things.

In saying this, I have no idea! I've never taught anyone anything - except my french friends who now have a very New Zealand way of saying things! haaha

au soleil levant said...

Wow, I must be really out of the loop on private lesson prices. I thought €15 was kind of expensive! I had suggested €10 and he told me he'd pay me €15!

Isabelle - definitely right about the nerd thing. Only one more class so I won't have to worry for too long...

Eileen - but how on earth does he think reading aloud is going to help him? I guess he's just self-conscious about his accent or something?

Kiwi - very true, just have to work with what he wants to work with

Zhu said...

The joy of private lessons...!

A couple of years ago, a lady asked me for French lessons. Sure, no problem, I love the extra money.

Problem is, she was a French-speaker from Quebec herself. So lessons with her were basically:

1) Her correcting my "Parisian" French (mais enfin, comment pouvez-vous dire "parking" au lieu de "stationnement"!)

2) Her asking me really tough questions (she loved punctuations...)

3) Her concluding that she knew better

Er... right.