Teacher Tips

Teacher Tips · 22. May 2018
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

Teacher Tips · 27. April 2018
      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

Teacher Tips · 13. March 2018
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

Teacher Tips · 12. February 2018
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

Teacher Tips · 24. January 2018
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: Maybe the

Teacher Tips · 27. November 2017
Believe it or not, we have a toilet break policy at Dave and Amy English School. It sounds ridiculous, but it is necessary. To begin with, let’s go through WHY

Teacher Tips · 20. November 2017
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

Teacher Tips · 14. November 2017
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

Teacher Tips · 14. November 2017
I’ve just finished the book Why don’t students like school recommended in the Guardian. Here’s what I gleaned that we will be using at Dave and Amy English School, with my kids soccer training and in my quest to learn music and Japanese! 1. Change Pace to Keep Interest Up "We all inevitably lose the attention of our students." As this chapter described, it's likely to happen if they feel somewhat confused.

Teacher Tips · 14. November 2017
Here’s an activity that we use to improve reading and writing skills rapidly. It involves something we’ve heard the modern teacher is sometimes reluctant to use these days, the much maligned eraser. I read the Talent Code by Daniel Coyle . In it he talked of the importance of correcting mistakes in order to master a skill. This was a constant theme and got me thinking how we could it employ it in our classes

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