Sunday, November 20, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
The semester is progressing and students' theses are due in two and a-half-months. Bonsai, Hope, and YuS have now started to put more time into their papers. You can go to their blogs and see how they are progressing. Bonsai is writing about the roles that ALTs and JTEs should take in elementary schools. Hope is investigating how elementary schools and junior high schools can work together to coordinate their English programs. YuS is investigating why so many jr. and senior high school students lose interest in English and how to remedy this problem.
The juniors (Ayu, Cube, Eri, and Gami) and I are working on our own investigation. We will be conducting our own survey and will post it on the blog hopefully next week.
Speaking of the juniors, Eri and Ayu wrote about their experience doing teaching practice at a nursery school. Both their posts were very interesting. At their nursery schools children learn through play and children arguing with each other is seen as a good thing because they learn how to deal with conflict.
I have been a little too busy to read many other blogs, but I did read an interesting post on in class discussion topics by AJ Hoge. Read the entry and tell me how you would like to participate in such a class.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
- This week, Ayu, Gami and myself facilitated an English Department Open House for high school students interested in our university. The public relations committee had asked us to do a "mock lesson" for the students and it was a success! From this experience, I had an epiphany about how I could make group work actually work next time I am called on to teach a demonstration class at a junior high school.
- Gami wrote about her experience teaching at a cram school. Do you think her experience working at a cram school is typical?
- Bonsai, YuS, and Hope have finished their 2 weeks of teacher training at junior high schools and have rejoined the seminar!Bonsai has started distributing a questionnaire she made for ALTs working in elementary schools. Sometime this week, she will write about what she hopes to learn from this questionnaire and what she thinks the results will be. YuS is putting the finishing touches on a questionnaire asking recent high school graduates to reflect on their six years of learning English in junior and senior high school. This week Yu will also write about what he hopes to learn from the questionnaire and what he thinks the results will be. Today, Hope and I are going to meet and see how she is progressing with her paper "The Future of English Education in Japan."
- Eri, Ayu, and Cube have been a little quiet lately. I hope that we can hear from them soon.
- AJ Hoge's situation at the university has had some unfortunate developments, details are here. AJ is now in Japan and already has some new students! He was interviewed by students in Aaron Campbell's class. The interview is here.
- Marco Polo after reading the blogs of AJ, Aaron, and myself has theorized why teaching at institutions is difficult for teachers who care about their students' learning. What do you think about what he has to say?
Blogs from Other Classes
- I have looked at the blogs of students from Rosa's ESL class in Australia. The students are from a variety of countries and talk about their home countries; pretty interesting stuff!
Well, tomorrow, I have to give two 3-hour workshops to jr. and sr. high school English teachers about teaching reading. I am now going to prepare. Have a nice week! Adios!
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I have made a voice blog and will be periodically posting my son's word of the day; his mother speaks to him in Japanese and I speak to him in English so it will be interesting to see how his language develops. The site is in Japanese and English. The link to the voice blog is here.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
- Team Orepan, a junior high school teacher from Hokkaido, is in a slump. If you would like, please write him and give him some encouragement.
- AJ Hoge, a University English teacher in Thailand, was fired for speaking his opinions on his blog. Personally, I did not think his blog was controversial in the least bit. Actually, I quite liked it. Some of my favorite posts of his were "Beating the System" which no longer appears to be on-line and the "Jerry Mcguire Business Plan" in which he talks about what he thinks good education is.
- Marco Polo, a University English teacher in Japan, writes about his struggles in encouraging his students to take charge of their own learning and become autonomous learners.
- YuS writes his thinking to the question of Why Students Lose Interest In English.
- I am hoping that people will comment on the following entry Good and Bad Discussion Topics in the English Class. I write of asking students to talk about personal information in the language class (what is your favorite TV show etc.) and them being very reluctant to provide an answer. I wonder if personal topics make for bad discussion topics.
- This is a class blog of adult migrants in Sydney, Australia. The blog contains links to other members' blogs. If you would like to learn more about these ESL learners who have moved to Australia, check out their blogs. What have they been talking about?
This week, I would like you to look at the other blogs you have on bloglines and see what people are writing about. Write some comments if you wish, I am sure the other bloggers would be very happy to read your comments. Also, based on what you have read, I would like you to write your own blogging entry by October 24.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Seven aspiring teachers in a Research Methodologies in English Education seminar are blogging. We all live in the prefecture of Iwate in Japan. Some of the students aspire to be elementary school teachers, some junior high school teachers, and others are perhaps undecided. They have begun blogging about issues in education in Japan that concern them, their teaching experiences, or anything else they wish to discuss! Their pages and recent blogging topics are described below:
The Juniors: Teacher Training
In September Eri-chan, Ayu, Cube, and Gami underwent 3 weeks of teacher training. They were so busy that they could not write in their blogs! The 3 week teacher training program is very intensive but they survived. Please go to their blogs and read about theit experience. Anyone interested in elementary school education in Japan should read Ayu and Eri Chan's blog. Anoyone interested in junior high school English education should read Cube and Gami's blog. I learned a lot from watching their classes. For example, Eri-chan did a class on how to wash your hands for first graders. I realized that in my 30 years, I had never washed my hands the right way! Yuck!
The Seniors: Their Graduate Papers
Bonsai, Hope, and YuS (pronounced "U.S.") have created their blogs. These three are writing their graduate papers and all deal with the topic of how to make English education in Japan better. Hope, is writing about the future of English education in elementary schools; Bonsai is investigating the roles of ALTs and homeroom teachers in elementary school and will offer suggestions as to how the two can work together to make better class; Lastly, YuS is investigating why students in junior high school and high school lose interest in English.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Seven aspiring teachers in a Research Methodologies in English Education seminar are blogging. We live in Northern Japan. Some of the students aspire to be elementary school teachers, some junior high school teachers, and others are perhaps undecided. Come October 8, they will begin blogging about issues in education in Japan that concern them, their teaching experiences, or anything else they wish to discuss! Their pages are listed below:
This course will end in January, 2006 for Bonsai, Hope, and YuS but will continue into next fall for the remaining students.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Friday, July 22, 2005
For teachers with experience teaching reading: What methods have you used to teach English reading before and why did you select such methods?
For aspiring teachers with no experience teaching reading: What methods do you think would be useful when teaching English reading? Why would you select such methods?
Please submit a comment by Wednesday, July 27.
Friday, July 15, 2005
★One way is to explain the rules and have students practice the rules. This is calles "deductive approach".
T: When you want to say about a singular form of the three person, you put "-s" at the ending of verbs. But there are some verbs to put "-es" and some verbs to change different forms.
① like ⇒ likes （put "~s"）
② watch ⇒ watches (put "~es")
③ have ⇒ has (different forms)
T： Let's practice !!!
1, I like baseball. ⇒ He ___ baseball.
2, I watch TV everyday. ⇒ She ____ TV everyday.
3, I have a little rabbit. ⇒ Shin ____ a little rabbit.
★The other way is to show the picture or example sentenses and have them notice the rules. This is called "inductive approach".
T: I would like you to find the rules from the following sentenses.
1,I like baseball.
2, We have a party.
3,They study English.
4,She plays the piano.
5,He likes red.
6,Mike eats breakfast every morning.
C: I think that when the subject is "I" , "we" and "they"， we don't need to do anythig. But when the subject is "he", "she" and someone's name, we put "~s" or "~es" or change into the different forms.
T: Yes, that's right.
When the subject is a singular third person, we need to put "~s" or "~es" or change it to the different words, but we don't need to change forms in others.
Which method do you use??? ｄBY SNIFFLES！ｄ
Thursday, June 30, 2005
In her blog, she writes
"I think many of students like to do movement , but there are not only positive and cheerful students but also negative and quiet students in the classes . When I attended "Reader's theater" , one of real junior high school teacher told us that there are students who do not speak in the class . There are many kinds of students , and I think to use this way is very difficult for teachers . I want to try to use this way , but I want to pay attention to students' character at first . "
Another student, Tomi , takes a slightly different stance. He wrote the following in his blog
"I think it's better English teacher call on shy student. Probably, most of students have some occasions that they must present something in front of many peple in the future. Actually, I have many such occasions since I enterd the university, so if the teacher leave shy student alone in the class, though he/she might be good temporarily, he/she will have a problem in the future."
Lastly, an English teacher from Brazil, Bee wrote as a comment in my blog that, for the most part, her students really enjoy doing presentations and she also talked about her techniques for calling on volunteers.
I would like to ask this question to current teachers:
How do you handle students in your classroom who are reluctant to speak?
To readers especially who are going to start teacher-training from this fall,
This is my analysis of Unit 4 in New Horizon English Course 3 (U4 in NH3, for short) and my opinion about teaching English at school. They are based on both my success and failure during my teacher-training last year, so I’m very happy if this helps you prepare teacher-training and if I receive any comment.
1 My Analysis of U4
(GOAL) According to pp.0-1 of NH3, the communicative goal of U4 is to learn how the students make themselves understood in English, using gestures, pictures, or easier words. Also, they will learn some useful expressions such as ‘Could you speak more slowly?’ ‘What does … mean?’ All these are very practical in communication, so learning them will contribute to building of the basis of the students’ practical communicative competence.
(GRAMMAR) New grammatical items in U4 are ‘how to’ and ‘it-for-to.’ Before teaching them, it may be good for the students to review functions of to-infinitives they have learned in the previous year. It will make them less confused about new grammars with those already learned, and help their understanding.
(TEXT) Text of U4 is set up from the viewpoint of culture. The students will not only deepen their understanding of Rakugo, but realize its value accepted even in foreign countries. Furthermore, they will understand differences in behavior at restaurants between Japan and America.
2 Mistakes in My Classroom
(1) At first, time control was the most difficult for me. I took too much time for pattern practice, so I had no time to have the students do the communicative activity. Using flash cards and doing pattern practice quickly are very difficult for beginners. Rapidity is important. I recommend you to see carefully how your instructor does pattern practice.
(2) In my open class, I said “Ato, ippun ne (One more minute),” “Hai, yame (OK, time’s up)” in Japanese while the students were speaking English in the communicative activity. At the meeting of the class some teachers advised me to use “classroom English.” Classroom English is very useful in teaching English, and I think it makes good atmosphere of English classroom and encourages the students to speak English.
3 Successes in My Classroom
(1) In my open class, the students learned speaking and writing with ‘it-for-to’ structure and listening to the text including the structure. For example, they learned speaking by having interview about what was difficult/easy/fun/important for them with their classmates, and then writing by writing sentences based on the information they got in their interview. After I had some of them present the sentences they wrote, they listened to the next in Dialog and tried True/False quizzes to check their comprehension. I think the class becomes interesting and useful for the students if it aims at various kinds of communicative skills.
(2) I challenged making some teaching materials. For example, I made original dialog for teaching ‘it-for-to’ structure and its meaning, because in the introduction of my open class, I want to use easier and more meaningful dialog than in the textbook. I also drew some pictures describing actions ‘get up at six’ ‘study math’ ‘play a video game’ and ‘sing together,’ which were used in the following interview, in order for the students to understand these actions easily. Using visuals are very helpful for them to understand English vocabularies, but please remember not to take much time to make them without thinking your teaching plan well.
4 Through Your Classes, What Do You Want to Tell Your Students?
This is a question which my instructor actually asked me during teacher-training. My answer was, “The most important thing in school days is to understand more about classmates. I really want the students to make friends with them. I don’t want them to get satisfied with unimportant, surface relationship among them.” So I always kept this in my mind when I planned communicative activities. What’s your wish for students you will face soon in your teacher-training? Please remember your school life and observe students, and then think about this question.
Friday, June 24, 2005
★☆"What do you like the most and what do you like the least about teaching English?" ★☆
To answer this question, please add a comment to this post.