Monday, 4 June 2012

My favorite English games

So, I'm nearly at the end of my contract here and I'm thinking about what to tell my successor. I keep noticing certain games that I reuse, so I thought I would share them.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

How school is during February

So, just last week I had the contract for re-contracting with JET before me on my desk. This is the 2nd time I'd seen this paper. In my first year it came a a surprise. You receive the paper in January and must submit it sometime in February. In my first year I felt like I had only just arrived, and I was being asked to decide on another year (with 6 months remaining on the current contract).

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sumo in Fukuoka - tastes of Japan

So, I hopped on a bus with some friends from Nagasaki and took of to Fukuoka for a 1 day 1 night holiday. The main thing on the schedule was Sumo wrestling! I really had no idea about it, but I have learnt a few things. Firstly, this is something you have to do at least once! It is far more interesting to go there in person than it is to watch on TV. Here are a few things i've learnt:

-Most of the famous fighters fought later in the day. Since we got there early we saw all the juniors fighting each other. They weren't even displayed on the ranking sheet. Though, this was still really awesome. You can see that there are hardly any people in the picture (taken in the morning)

- Acquaint yourself with the schedule.

- You'll probably be there for quite a while. Get some food because I don't think you can go back out (though in Fukuoka there was food and omiyage (gifts) down in the lobby.

- If your getting a cheap seat (in the back) make sure your camera has a good zoom... obviously mine didn't.

Yeah, but really try it out once at least. It cost me about 3000 yen for a cheap reserved seat.
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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

A theory about making a good English lesson - part 1 - concepts for a good lesson

So, I have recently just finished my TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) course. It was a 100 hour course with ONTESL which I would recommend. 100 hours doesn't sound like to much, but it ended up taking up a lot of my time (maybe this was just me). It had 3 modules: learning styles, grammar, and lesson planning.
The one that I see as the most important would probably have to be the lesson planning, even though I was in it for the grammar module. As a ALT on the JET program we don't always get to create the lesson plans, but when you do, you'll want to understand how to create a decent lesson. I'll give you a brief run down on some of the structures and points it taught me about lesson planning.

Monday, 31 October 2011

"Time bomb" search game - TESL game

So, I came up with this game the other day when trying to think of a game to spice up a lesson on "Health problems". But I can see that this game could work well for those lessons that have a lot of vocabulary (which was the challenge I had at the time). This is only an activity, a part of the class, and is geared to getting the students speaking to each other. It would be good at the practice stage of a communicative lesson plan.
So let me explain how it goes.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Nagasaki Takengei performance

It has been such a long time since my last post. I have been doing a 100 hour English certificate, so i'm sure I'll have something to say after that.

But, I have been to some recent events in my city, Nagasaki. One of which is Takengei 竹ん芸.
So this event takes place in mid to late October. The performers (some as young as 3 years old) do some amazing acrobatics on the flexible bamboo poles. It is better that you just take a look at the pictures.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Improving your students reading comprehension

So I came across a great website recently that gives some great tips about reading strategies - Mind tools.
Firstly, before introducing the link... 
The article isn't exactly aimed at foreign students, but people fluent in the language. However, these are still really valuable tips. There is one important thing, make sure that you don't use the information to "slot" your students into a certain "learning level". Don't box them in. Instead, when wanting to improve the student's skills (in this case reading comprehension), first identify what they need to work on and then suggest an appropriate strategy to employ. Consider the variables, what content are they trying to tackle, and for what reason (test, report, etc)

One of the things I liked about the article is about how deep one should read. Useful for students that struggle to comprehend some vocabulary. Having a brief skim of the text can give you a lot more context.

Anyway, take a look at the article. I'm sure it'll give you a few strategies you can teach your students.