Abstract: This is the main communication activity for third grade junior high school students, in their first lesson of the English Communication Abilities Development Program (ECAD). It gives teachers a chance to determine students’ abilities and to set the tone for the semester and the year. The chaos activity is a fun way for students to adjust to the kinds of activities they will be expected to do throughout the year. Students will have to perform different types of tasks, some of which they will need assistance understanding. By cooperating with each other, seeking help from the teacher(s), and completing the activity students will need to use all of the communicative skills available to them.
Bio: Ivan Botev is currently a full-time instructor in the Saitama City’s English Communication Abilities Development (ECAD) Program in municipal elementary and junior high schools as well as an assistant teacher in the compulsory English classes in junior high school. He has been teaching ESL/EFL for the past five years. His current interests include immersion and multilingualism.
Abstract: SIGN UP! In my presentation I will demonstrate how I use sign language in my school through songs. We will also learn how to sign the alphabet, which I think can be an effective spelling and a memory aid. As there is not one universal sign language this has led me to slight dilemma. Should I use Japanese (JSL), American (ASL) or, because I am from England, British (BSL) sign language? If there is enough time, I would like to discuss what the merits and/or demerits of using sign language in an EFL classroom might be.
Bio: Graham has his own school in the Saitama area. He teaches all ages of students from the very young to the not so young! In 2007 he started to work as an ALT at a school for handicapped children in Tokyo. Some of the student at that school have hearing difficulties and are unable to communicate in Japanese, let alone in English. It was because of this that he became interested in using sign language in his English lesson as a communication tool.
Using Adjectives as a Communication Strategy.
Abstract: This presentation is about two lessons that were created to prepare students for learning the new skills they would need in junior high school English classes. There were three aims for these lessons. 1) For students to use multiple adjectives, in a sentence, in the correct order. 2) For students to learn and use the word ‘not’ as a communication strategy. 3) To introduce Romanji as a part of the lesson.
John is currently a third year Irish ALT on the JET program. He is employed by the Saitama City Board of Education and works at Urawa Municipal High School and Kita Urawa Elementary School.
Simple Sentences for Young Learners
Abstract: In this workshop, the presenter will show you how to teach vocabulary and simple sentences in a communicative way to young learners. This method can be used in adult classes too, especially for low-level beginners. The presenter will show you a couple of games using easy sentences that can help students learn in a fun way.
Bio: Sanae is an author, as well as the owner of the English conversation school "English Time”. She currently has two English Time locations in Saitama. She started to learn English when she was 32, which is considered quite late to start learning a language in Japan. Sanae was a self-taught student and never attended any English conversation schools or studied abroad in her pursuit of learning English.
Do Your Mistakes Stand Out?
Abstract: Students often do not recognize they have spoken English in a way not usually used in general conversation. They are also often very afraid of making a mistake and feel uncomfortable when they realize they have made one. The opposite also exist with students who are not afraid of making a mistake but don't improve because the number of mistakes does not decrease. Let us review how teachers can assist them in realizing that making a mistake is natural and will always happen but with care they may be reduced to a level that allows for general communication with others.
Bio: Shaun studied 10 hours of Japanese before arriving and starting work in a 99% Japanese environment on his second day in Japan. His only chance of understanding was to realize the patterns that existed then learn, when, where and why they changed. Later he started teaching and this continues to influence the way he teaches even 20 years later. The majority of his present students are beginners.
Using Music in the Classroom
Abstract: Calvin is planning to talk about one of the well-known techniques he uses quite successfully in elementary schools. He will talk a little about the usefulness of songs and chants when teaching students, then demonstrate how he actually introduces a song to a class for the first time. Even if music is not one of your stronger skills, Calvin believes you will definitely want to incorporate this technique after the presentation. Some song and chant books will be suggested may beneficial to use when planning for your own classes.
Bio: Calvin Ogata has been teaching in Japan since 1998. Currently he is with the Saitama City Board of Education, as a Head ALT Instructor, splitting up time between classes and working at the BOE. Calvin graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychobiology, but went on to get a Masters Degree in Education specializing in Curriculum and Instruction. Most recently, he helped to complete the revisal of the ECAD curriculum being used by Saitama City, but in the past has written a number of curriculum books used by Niiza City’s BOE. On an interesting note, his high school senpai from Hawaii is President Obama.