Having just read this from Paul Blake, in which he suggests learners who are ‘confidently wrong’ are more likely to correct their responses in subsequent questions, I’m reminded of an example from my own classroom. The first concerns the roasting of cats.
This potentially catastrophic cure for quinsy (a severe throat infection) is my most favouritest of all when discussing mediaeval medicine:
“Take a fat cat and flay it well, clean and draw out the guts. Take the grease of a hedgehog and the fat of a bear and resins and fenugreek and sage and gum of honeysuckle and virgin wax. All this crumble small and stuff the cat within as you would a goose. Roast it all and gather the grease and anoint him [the patient] with it.”
Now, in the way I tell it there’s a pause and a question just after gather the grease, where I…
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