Christmas Puzzle Our year culminated with a garland of fun Christmas activities. Even in Japan, Christmas is filled with excitement and anticipation of the time spent with one's family and friends. Building upon this sense of community, for the most part, we worked collaboratively while celebrating our individual strengths and tightening our bonds the way … Continue reading Our Nice, Nice Christmas
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
In light of the worldwide importance and acceptance of the English language, it is necessary for a learner of English as a second language to acquire strong communication skills. Therefore, it is a challenge for an English language teacher to help students learn to communicate in English within the confines of the classroom. In a … Continue reading Take your English language lessons beyond the classroom
The book "Japan: A Guide to Traditions, Customs, and Etiquette" reveals what makes the Japanese Japanese and what sets them apart. The revelation about the distinctiveness of Japanese culture literally threw me into a deep contemplation. I ventured on a deliberate interrogation of my teaching practices and my role as a home-room teacher of 16 Japanese kids. … Continue reading Is English Language Immersion Right for your Child?
When it was about time to start preparing for our end-of-year performance, I went on the Internet in a desperate need to find some tips on how to teach 3 year old kids their lines in an age-appropriate manner. Yet, I couldn't find any easy to assimilate, step-by-step guide. Eventually, I had no other alternative … Continue reading How to teach drama in the Kindergarten classroom?
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
In his ‘Introductory Course in Teaching English to Children’ David Paul, author of Teaching English to Children in Asia (Pearson), presented in a truly accessible manner many of the teaching strategies based on the constructivist (student-centered) approach and employed by IB practitioners. In the course of his lecture, I could constantly draw parallels between the language learning method … Continue reading One-day English teaching course by David Paul
Here you are, native of a non-English speaking country, with a sincere passion in making a difference in the lives of children, and a yearning desire to start a new life in a place you have always dreamed of being. Your job hunting strategy consists of scrolling down to the Job Requirements section of any … Continue reading Challenging some well-established beliefs
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