Tuesday, November 24, 2009


So its been a while since my last blog, that's because all I've been doing really is working and adjusting to the change of seasons here in the mountains of Japan. Anyways I've been working a lot on changing the approach to teaching English. The current system that is in place here isn't as effective as I think it could be, so I took a proposal to the head of the education center Mr. Uemura a couple months ago and he liked what I had to say. I suggested that with phonemic languages such as English, as opposed to logographic languages like Japanese, there should be a much heavier emphasis on speaking and listening. This isn't to say that reading and writing aren't important, but the primary goal that the government has listed in teaching English is communication skills. This being the case I developed a few concepts of how to more effectively teach those communication skills rather than just teaching a language through the textbooks. So a month ago at our monthly meeting, I outlined some new concepts to him and he told me he'd like to come to the school for a demonstration class with the new approach. Today was the day he come to watch. So for the past couple weeks I had been preparing a lesson and demonstration to show him and other teachers. Today after my demonstration we all sat down for a meeting, my fellow teachers, Mr. Uemura, and myself to discuss whether we should begin implementing my ideas throughout the board of education and the school system. The Japanese teachers were hesitant, they have a very set way and are afraid of change it seems. However, Mr. Uemura, loved my ideas. He was quite excited telling the teachers that we need to start with new approaches and so all in all this project was a huge success for me. Aside from that things are just moving closer to winter, getting colder and grayer. So I'm learning how to keep warm with no-insulation and no central heating, a challenge, but I think I've got it figured out. That's all the news for now. Hope everyone back home is doing great!