English Club in High School

As well as regular classes many Japanese High School English teachers are also put in charge of English Club. As with most other school clubs it takes place after school and students opt-in at the beginning of the year. There are a couple of reasons why students may choose to join the English club. The…

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Printing

One challenge every new ESL teacher will face is how to print using the large industrial photocopiers that schools have. Once teachers have made their worksheets how should they go about getting them ready for the class? This is something that worried me when I first started teaching so here I hope to give some…

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Interview Activities

What is a conversation? Why do we talk to other people? Sometimes we want to tell someone something: I’m hot. You’re very attractive. These pretzels are making me thirst. And at other times we want to find out something from someone else: How are you? What do you think about my new brown, corduroy trousers?…

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Consistency in the Classroom

Structure is a key part of daily life. People who use the bus regularly don’t need to think about where to get off, they do so almost instinctively. When a waiter announces an order the chef’s hands move reflexively into action. These kinds of reactions come from consistency. Implementing this same kind of consistency in the EFL…

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Making Worksheets

Worksheets are a staple of Junior and Senior High School students’ lives. The kids encounter them frequently. They are an incredibly useful tool that a Foreign Teacher can employ every lesson if they so wish. Some JTEs even insist on worksheets being made. The first worksheet I ever made was the most pathetic thing ever…

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Working with a JTE

Something that nearly every Teacher of English as a Foreign Language will have to do is work with a JTE. The Japanese Teacher of English is the professional school teacher who, in most cases, is in charge of the year’s curriculum and thus also determines the Foreign Teacher’s schedule. There’s a few things to bear…

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Teaching Blunders – Tears and Trauma

A friend of mine once said some thing to me that I think can also be applied to teaching. He said Can you remember the first time you tried to fry an egg? How did it go? Did you make a perfect fried egg? My answers were “Yes.” “Not so great.” and “No.” There were…

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Teaching High School – An Introduction

I’ve already talked a little bit about Elementary and Junior High Schools in Japan, now on to the last stage of public education. In this introduction to teaching High School in Japan I want to share some of my experiences as well as those of my colleagues. Specialisation One of the main things that separates…

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Teaching Junior High – An Introduction

Junior High Schools in Japan are similar to Elementary Schools in a lot of ways, so some of the things I mentioned before are likely to be of use to anyone teaching at a Junior High too. The obvious difference is the students’ age range and the fact that they now have subject-specific teachers as…

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Teaching Elementary – An Introduction

Of all the levels I’ve taught in my brief stint as an English Teacher teaching Elementary School has certainly been the most joyful yet physically tiring experience. So for anyone who’s about to step into a Japanese Elementary for the first time here are a couple of things to be aware of. Pack your phrasebook….

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