Do you know about myelin?
It’s the mysterious stuff that grows around your nerves in response to your daily activity.
You might have heard of it from famous books such as Daniel Doyle's " the Talent Code". Scientists believe it's like an insulation that forms around your nervous system’s "wiring", making your reactions quicker and more accurate. The myelin stops leaks of information from the "wiring" making learning smoother and faster.
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
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
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
Kindergarten Lessons at Dave and Amy English School:
Goals (before elementary school, students should be able to)
1. Know Lots of Vocabulary
2. Ask and Answer Simple Questions and Answers
3. Sing simple English Songs
4. Recognize all 26 Lowercase Letters: begin reading
5. Know the Phonetic Sounds of all th
One of the key philosophies at Dave and Amy English School is to give the students thinking time. What does this mean? Simply that in ANY activity, give the students TIME to THINK.
Too many times, teachers—-in the bid to TEACH and be HELPFUL —- jump in and give the student the answer. We’re undermining our students by doing so.
Why is rushing students bad? For many reasons:
At Dave and Amy English School, we used to have popular, effective Mommy and Baby lessons. 14 - 18 Moms and young children would come to the weekly lessons. Before kindergarten, students could usually say their name and age, answer basic questions and knew a lot of vocabulary.
Let’s go through the basics:
1, Who: Any child from the age of 6 months to pre-kindergarten. Of course if a mother had a 3 year old and a 2 month old, both children were welcome.
Songs are a vital part of any kindergarten lesson. But WHICH songs you sing and HOW you sing them in a EFL classroom are important. Let’s go through some song basics.
#1. Why do you sing songs in kindergarten lessons?
A. Songs liven up and re-focus the class. In general, we will do an activity, then sing a song. In a 60 minute class, we will sing 7 or so songs.
B. Students learn
Touching students in class is an area of some controversy. What is appropriate? Is it ok to use it to create a bond with and encourage students?
Recently I observed a new teacher and noticed that the discipline problems that had been causing problems might simply have stemmed from an over emphasis on establishing discipline at the expense of warmth. I have noticed how eye contact, smiling and a little nudge on the shoulder seem to foster a bond with students that doesn’t exist with a strictly