In an education environment that screams ‘More! More! More!’ sometimes the smart teaching move can be to teach less. If you don’t have to spend your entire class explaining new language, students can spend more time recycling, reinforcing, and expanding the language they learn. (more…)
If you’ve read my About page, you know that one of my day jobs is co-author of a coursebook series called Let’s Go, for children learning English as a foreign language. I’ve worked with my co-authors Ritsuko Nakata, Karen Frazier, and Carolyn Graham for more than 20 years. We’ve shared many “firsts” during our long partnership, quite a few involving technology. We got our first computers in order to write the books, and our first fax machines in order to share drafts of units (because the Internet was still off in the future). When e-mail finally came along, our first messages were sent to each other. Our books have given us amazing opportunities to share what we’ve learned in workshops with teachers around the world, and to learn even more from working with those teachers. (more…)
Whenever I teach, I do all I can to present language so that it comes to life for the students. As an English teacher, I instantly become an actor in order to convey meaning for any new language being taught. I recall the first time I was teaching in a classroom in Taiwan, where every student spoke the same language. In order to communicate with beginning and elementary level students, clear gestures and the use of realia were essential. These helped create a context for the language so the students could grasp the meaning. (more…)
Iro iro is Japanese for “this and that.” I love the sound of the word, and it sounds better than publishing a post called “miscellaneous stuff”
So, here’s my iro iro:
20 years of learning and playing with Let’s Go (more…)
My students love parties. I’m always looking for excuses to have a party, so it’s a good fit. It’s also fortunate if you happen to teach English in Japan, where end-of-year parties are already built into cultural expectations for groups.
I have a confession to make. As I get older, my learning style more and more resembles an eight-year old boy’s. You know, push buttons until something works. That, coupled with my determination to maintain a beginner mentality by trying new things, keeps me solidly on a learning curve for something or other.