If you teach adults, chances are you have had the request “free conversation please, no texts. At Dave and Amy English School, we don’t do free conversation. These are the reasons why:
In conversation, students will use the same vocabulary and grammar that they always use. I know from personal experience. My Japanese is not that great and could really improve, BUT my conversation skills are pretty good precisely because conversation often covers
We’re often asked by family if we miss America / England? The honest answer is no. We love living in Japan with our two kids. There is so much about their childhood that their cousins back home can’t have or do.
Children in Japan have freedom to go out on their own without a guardian. From the age of 6, children walk to and from school by themselves. After school and on weekends, they play
Traditionally, children's English teaching in Japan has relied heavily on FUN lessons. But what is FUN? Why the emphasis on FUN? Was any real learning occurring? Students coming to us from other "FUN" schools seemed to indicate: probably not.
Despite 4 – 5 years English instruction, most of these students can't read, write, speak or listen well. Dave and I wonder what HAS been going on
Amy and I came to Japan, in 1996. Very happy with our job, accomodation, new friends, food, new places....but the neighborhood nightlife was like pre-war Britain, I'm guessing here. Tokyo is brilliant for nightlife, but we wanted to meet people where we lived, Saitama.
The turning point was seeing famous UK DJ Fatboy Slim
The Principal’s Office
It was NOT where I wanted to spend my Friday night. In the principal’s office of my 13 year old’s Jr High School.
It all began a week ago when Alfie was LATE home from school, and late for soccer practice. We began to fear the worst. We called school. Alfie was in the principal’s office. Great. What had happened?
Some of Alfie’s friends had been lighting paper / trash
1. Why should my child go to Dave and Amy English School? My child has English everyday at school and in cram school.
Our lessons emphasize speaking. Jr. High School and High School Classes at school and cram school often emphasize grammar and vocabulary. (Of course, you will also learn grammar and vocabulary but the main focus of class time is speaking and listening)
1. How are lessons grouped?
For elementary school students, we place students into classes depending on reading level. Why? 40 minutes of the class is reading and speaking in pairs. Students should be similar reading levels to participate fully in class.
Writing is a solitary activity. So it doesn’t matter if there are different writing levels in the same class.
Many teachers overthink lesson planning. I think it is best to keep things simple. This is the basic plan we use for 1 hour elementary school lessons at Dave and Amy English School.
30 minutes: 2 fifteen minute activities or 3 ten minute ones. Mainly done at the table in pairs or threes. Do the SAME type of activity for ALL lessons that day/ that week. Make your life easy and your
Many people dream of opening their own English School. Well, you’re in luck. Japan makes it extremely easy to start a business. And the start up fees for opening an English School can be minimal.
My first piece of advice is to KEEP your job. Teach in your free time.
For us, that meant opening up two lessons (1 kindergarten and 1 elementary) on Thursday nights. And 2 lessons on Saturday morning.
When those 4 lessons become FULL,