A New Metaphor

My friend Christine, who has been studying English with me for several years now, was explaining to me that she had trained to be an “ergothérapeute”. The word was new to me and I asked her to explain what it meant. She said an “ergothérapeute” worked with people who had physical disabilities so that they could function better in their daily lives. I looked it up in the dictionary and found “occupational therapist”. And I wasn’t sure what that meant either. I asked her if it was like a physiotherapist.

Christine has been my student long enough to have a good grasp of “Comprehensible Input” principles. She shook her head. “No, the physiotherapist has the patient do exercises like this.” She flexed her arm up and down several times. “They make the muscle work, but nothing is accomplished. They are just exercises that the patient may or may not apply in his daily life. We teach the patient to raise a cup to his mouth and drink.”

She smiled. “Physiotherapy is grammar study. Occupational therapy is TPRS.”

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