English Language Crisis This year Japan welcomed a new era in its history. From Heisei to Reiwa, as it stepped into the new era, Japan started preparing for a big change, from politics to education, from technology to business. The strategy plan "Japan Vision 2020 highlights "Strengthening foreign language communication"¹ as the key element for … Continue reading The End of One, Beginning of Another Era
Working as a teacher involves a great deal of curriculum and lesson planning. The process of defining and breaking down the learning objectives and strategies is a time-consuming yet an invaluable 'investment' in the cognitive, emotional, and social development of students. Not to mention the fact that a well-structured curriculum along with thorough lesson plans … Continue reading The art and science of English lesson planning
What surprises kids? What astonishes them and leaves them with eyes wide open and jaws dropped? Kids are amazed by the things we, the grown-ups, take for granted - bugs, scars, holes, small objects like buttons, marbles or bolts that might fill in some empty space. As if all the life's wisdom can be found … Continue reading Stimulate Curiosity and Promote Exploration: the World of Circles and Holes
Professional Development through Class/Lesson Observation It is a common practice among teachers in Japan to engage in professional development activities in the form of a lesson study or research of teaching/learning by visiting other schools and observing classes. It is meant to help teachers enhance their capabilities and competencies and to incorporate new ideas and … Continue reading Professional Development through Lesson Observation
The following set of activities is part of our monthly theme on planting, growing, harvesting, and eating fruits and vegetables. Overall, we attend to, observe, talk about, and try to understand nature and the changes that occur during summer time. Our cherry picking school field-trip is the ultimate reward and we were all looking forward … Continue reading Practices of Wonder, Curiosity, and Creativity
Depending on their particular age level, children frequently find themselves in certain situations. For example, our preschoolers often drop their bottles and spill water on the floor, tend to argue over toys as a result of their difficulties sharing, and cry when things don't go their way. Within the immersive way of teaching and learning, students … Continue reading Immersive Learning in Action – Phonemic Awareness
If you are a language teacher/principal who has just embarked on a journey towards implementing some elements of immersive learning into your class program/school curriculum, this blog post may help you sort out your priorities in terms of planning and conducting the language lessons. The earliest stage of the immersive language learning method can be … Continue reading Immerse and Provoke
In my previous blog post I discussed the rationale behind having children start learning their foreign language at an early age (whenever that's possible and provided that children's social skills are developed to a greater extent). The training that I recently attended helped me see for myself the benefit and ease with which a language … Continue reading Language Learning through Grammar or Language Acquisition through Immersion – which method is best for your students?
Do lessons need to be meaningful? Definitely. Do they need to be fun? Desirably. Do they need to be creative? Not necessarily. "I aim for making fun lessons that also have meaning" is the oath that every serious teacher needs to take and uphold to while involved in their lesson planning endeavors. Creativity does matter … Continue reading Is There a Need for Creative Lessons?
Challenge #1: Use of Target Language One of the major challenges the English language teacher may face is the reluctance of students to use the target language as a means of communication when they are expected to do so. For example, when asked a question in English, early learners in particular, who have already undergone … Continue reading Teaching English in Southeast Asia: Challenges