LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||01/OUT/2005 12:10 PM|
The original meaning of counterfeiter was someone who printed currency. (At least one counterfeiter painted money. Today they use computers and Xerox machines.) This may be less a problem in the USA now than before due to the introduction of new paper currency there. The new bills are said to be much more difficult to reproduce. Today counterfeiting includes the manufacture of "knock-offs", unauthorized copies of designer purses, wristwatches, shoes, etc. They may look authentic, but they are not. They are counterfeiters produced by counterfeiters.
The original bootlegger made alcohol without the usual formalities of taxes, licenses, etc. His product was called such names as bootleg, moonshine, blue gas, pop skull, white lightening, etc. Today the word is often applied to people who make unauthorized copies of videos, DVDs, CDs, etc. If you own a "pirata" copy of the film Titanic, you own a bootleg copy.
As for your teaching problems, I was surprised to learn years ago that there are at least four main ways of learning, and typically a student prefers a combination of two of them. In my case, I may or may not remember something that I hear. If I write it down and read it, then I have a much better chance of recalling it later. The combination of writing and reading helps me a lot. Also, I like to be shown things. I'm visual. Don't tell me how to paddle a canoe, show me and I'll remember. Don't tell me to write an analysis of a book, show me one that someone else has written so I will understand what you want. In school, teachers often thought that I was somehow cheating. Not true. I simply didn't understand what they wanted, and I wanted to see what someone else had done. There is a difference between seeing a report and copying it. I'm not telling you this to be telling you this. I'm just saying that students have different ways of learning, and teaching must be adjusted to how the student best learns. What does your student say about your teaching style? What does he recommend?
Years ago I was having trouble understanding a point in grammar or maybe it was pronunciation. I don't recall what it was that was giving me trouble, but I certainly remember how I overcame it. Instead of teaching me the right way to do it, the teacher taught me the wrong way. As soon as she did it, I could see why I was having trouble. It was a wonderful technique done by a wonderful teacher. Instead of giving examples of what is right, give some examples of what is wrong and have the student find the errors. Whatever works is fair. Right? I can teach you how to put up a tent in a strong wind. If you are going to be camping in windy conditions, I bet you're going to be a great student and learn well. If you have no plans to sleep in a tent, I'll probably be wasting my time and yours. Chances are your student will learn more easily if you can show him how he is going to use what he is learning. Do you agree?
I had learned conversational Spanish as a kid on the Mexican border, but none of the men on the ranch were cowboys, not what I'd call qualified grammarians! I learned to express basic thoughts and needs in Spanish, but nobody took the time to correct me. In high school I did well in my first year of Spanish and I did poorly in my second year. Why? The first year of high school Spanish is very basic. The second year emphasizes the use of the subjunctive, something rarely encountered in English. Looking back, I realize now that during my second year somehow I missed learning this very essential feature of Spanish grammar. I must have spent the year staring at the babes in class! If someone had recognized my problem, he could have explained within minutes the basic uses of the Spanish. I didn't get the personal attention, but I did get the bad grades. It was at the university level that I finally saw what I had been doing wrong. Be alert to problems. Often a mistake means that something was not understood earlier. What was it? How can you correct it?
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