Monday, 4 November 2013

Small accomplishments

Here are a two recent accomplishments in my job that I am proud about.

1.   1)     I trained two students for a speech competition who came first and second place. This won me a lot of points at my Tuesday school. I later found out that my friend Daniel had been the judge. He told me that he had been surprised that one of the students was speaking in a strong British accent. It’s amazing to think how much the way I speak must be rubbing off onto my students. I wonder if people in other parts of Japan will think I have an Ibaraki accent? (Although my Japanese is waaaaay too basic at this point).

Further, I met a JET this weekend at a culture festival who had won the same competition for the last three years in a row – and had not been able to figure out what went wrong this year. Zara came to town – that’s what.

2.   2)     One of the best prepared lesson I have done so far. This was a lesson on ‘direction language’. It was for my higher level school, so the students English goes far beyond “turn left, turn right and go straight”. Luckily I had Marc staying with me at the time, so I used him as a teaching resource.

I found a really great tourist map of London online, so I printed it off and customised it. I then wrote out a script with 5 conversations of people giving directions starting from the same point.  I was lucky to have found a microphone in my desk drawer at the start of term – to think I almost threw it out. With Marc, I recorded the script, we took turns to be the different characters – trying to change our voice a little each time. I burned it onto a CD, made an accompanying worksheet – and tapescript sheet. After testing it out on the teachers and making my last few adjustments I was ready for class. 

I was worried that the students would find it too difficult. However, it couldn’t have been more perfect! I played the CD twice, and then allowed the students to use the tapescript to check their answers. It went soooo well. I then had students write their own script in pairs to a landmark in London using the same map, and act their conversations out in front of the class.

The only thing which I didn’t enjoy about this lesson was having to hear my own voice recorded, which I ended up having to play in class 10 times in total. 

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