My oldest never-ever did not speak English. She looked to me to be in her mid-60s. She was from Belarus, and I think this was her first experience with English speakers. Her son-in-law explained to the line-up boss that she had skied in the distant past and would need a refresher lesson. Something got lost in translation (his spoke in broken English). After we started the lesson it was clear she had no muscle memory from having skied in the past.
I have no specific memories of how we proceeded, but I taught her somehow without any initial boot work or straight runs, because she was booked as a fresher-upper lesson and once I realized that this was not the case it was too late, were were on the trail. I got her to make wedge turns left and right, and to stop with an uphill turn. This was not easy, because I had to teach her several words from scratch. The word "stop" was not in her vocabulary, nor any of the other words used often in lessons (uphill, downhill, slow, foot, face, look).
As the 1-hour lesson drew to a conclusion, her turns were still uncertain, although she had not fallen. There was one point right at the end where she gained speed and froze, heading for the woods at the side of the trail. I thought she would surely run into a tree. That didn't happen; at the very last minute she turned to a stop, as we had been practicing. So I took her for two overtime runs and that did the trick.
The issue with her turns initially being weak wasn't her age, it was the language barrier. When I said goodbye, she could turn in both directions and do a turn-stop on the beginner terrain at our mountain, without any freezing-up or pauses. She smiled. Actually, she smiled the whole lesson.
Edited by LiquidFeet - 10/17/16 at 7:43am