Summer is thought to be a poor time for learning - experience tells us that a significant number of children move back over the summer, a view that is supported by some research evidence on transition. So, a very pleasing lesson with my fourteen year old pupil, assessed by his LA as dyslexic, after a month off.
He needs to learn to use a wider range of words, so I started calling some out to him as we looked at a grammar book. Exquisite, delicate, fragrant were all correctly spelled first time. Subtle wasn't, so we discussed the origin of the silent b, which is pronounced in the original French, subtil. We came back to it later in the lesson and he got it right. Call me old fashioned, but I suggested he get hold of some of Wilfred Funk's It Pays to Improve Your Word Power...
The main problem with p's grammar is his tendency to slip from one tense to another without realising it. We tried the idea of "time zones" - he had just switched time zones during his holiday - and introduced the idea of having to be aware of the zone you are in, and when and how to switch. This made sense, and we will work on it.
Next, the Spanish. He remembered how to tell the time, and could construct simple positive and negative sentences. This was encourageing, and we looked at shared words between English and Spanish, which I asked him to write - once again, he did so accurately, confirming my paradoxical view that pupils assessed as dyslexic benefit from using the written as well as the spoken word. I had expected more reinforcement to be necessary, and think he is well placed for his GCSE. We agreed that when he was given vocabulary to learn, he would make sentences involving one or more of the words. As he had been given a photocopied sheet rather than the examining board's textbook, A Book of My Own bought him the textbook. I'm sure that if he'd been in the private sector, he would have had his own textbook, even if his parents had had to pay for it.
Finally, I asked what book he would be reading for English. Of Mice and Men. So, I got out my mother's prize copy of Burns, and read and explained To A Mouse. We then looked at the unities in Greek tragedy, that underlie the structure of the book.