Bringing the World to the Classroom

Need, Relevance, Utility Our Sharing activities do more than connect the world of our students to the world of English, they validate each individual’s identity and demonstrate a sincere interest and concern in what they have to say as evidenced by the initiative of one of the students to suggest a topic for our Sharing … Continue reading Bringing the World to the Classroom

How Covid-19 fast forwarded us into the future

The World of Work As mentioned in my previous post, during the first month of the school year I took my students on a voyage of self-discovery. With it, I implicitly communicate the importance of learning taking place beyond the boundaries of the classroom and the school building. In our attempt to let students take … Continue reading How Covid-19 fast forwarded us into the future

Design Thinking, Language Learning and the Power of Giving

Design thinking activities are a powerful tool for engaging students and developing their creativity and communication skills. The real value lies in the interactivity and authenticity of the experience. The content of the learning is genuinely supplied by the students in the room in the form of their impressions, memories, experiences, ideas, opinions and feelings. … Continue reading Design Thinking, Language Learning and the Power of Giving

Our Nice, Nice Christmas

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

The End of One, Beginning of Another Era

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

Marketing an English-language institution

To promote an English language institution, we need to get to the core of why people in a certain geographic region learn English as a foreign language. Why do parents enroll their kids in English courses? Why do youngsters bother learning English? Back in the days, I started learning English at the age of 10 … Continue reading Marketing an English-language institution

Is English Language Immersion Right for your Child?

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?

Building Pre-Writing Skills

Reading as a Prerequisite to Writing One of the classroom resources I prepared as soon as the kids began to connect visual letter symbols with letter names and sounds were a few sets of magnetic uppercase and lowercase letters. On their own, kids enjoyed matching the letters to a picture that has the same initial … Continue reading Building Pre-Writing Skills