Lesson 1. 30.12.14
The German toolkit on this site is an attempt to enable pupils to put their thoughts into German from the outset, orally and in writing. This lesson was with an eleven year old, who had been learning German for a term, with no textbook other than an Edexcel GCSE vocabulary book, and a small vocabulary book in which she had written some nouns related to the family. She had a subscription to a website, which did not include any sentence building.
We began with pronouns. What, I asked, did she think Ich lerne Deutsch might mean? Are you learning Dutch? she replied. So, she had been learning German for a term, and thought Deutsch meant Dutch. I explained that the words were similar, and had probably come from the same word originally, but that Deutsch was in fact the German word for, well, German. What did ich mean? I, she replied, and we got to the meaning of Ich lerne Deutsch, which Suzie, as we will call her, wrote. She left out the s in Deutsch first time, and so inserted it.
We moved to Du lernst Deutsch. I pointed to myself, and said Ich lerne Deutsch, and then to S, who understood that Du meant you. She wrote the new sentence accurately. I got a figurine of an old man, and S understood that Er lernt Deutsch meant that he was learning German. It took her two goes to write the sentence, as she inserted an s in lernt. A female figurine gave us Sie lernt Deutsch, but it took another attempt to remove that s. We then discussed the idea of first, second and third persons. The first two were parties to a conversation, and the third was outside it. We moved to the plural, now signing with both hands, Wir lernen, Ihr lernt, Sie lernen Deutsch. S picked up quickly that w was pronounced as an English v. We sang the conjugation a couple of times to the verb song from the toolkit, and moved to colours, discussing the links and differences with English colours, and the German pronunciation and spelling, including umlauts and how vowels came to be known as vowels. S did know that German nouns could be masculine, feminine or neutral.
Lesson 2. 31.12.14
S remembered what we'd done yesterday, and was amused at the name I'd given her. I introduced sein and haben, then nicht to make negatives. This gave us enough to begin to build some sentences with Clicker, and to introduce the idea of the subject of a sentence as well as the verb. We made these sentences:
Peter ist mein Bruder. Ich habe einen Bruder. Ich liebe Peter. Peter liebt mich. Ich liebe meinen Vater und meine Mutter. Ich hasse Sam nicht. Ich bin seine Schwester. Wunderbar. Alles klar? Ja.
Then some tenses:
Ich lerne Deutsch.
Ich habe Deutsch gelernt.
Ich werde Deutsch lernen.
and finally Gern. We looked at some illustrations from Google - Bleib ruhig und lerne Deutsch - and I passed Suzi's dad the address of the primary materials from the Goethe Institut. Mum said she'd loved the lessons.
Lesson 3 follows.