Issues in EFL in Japan (Not currently being updated)

My name in James Hall and I teach an English Teaching Methodologies class for aspiring English teachers and advising 5 senior students (one is in the USA). This blog is will be used as a forum to discuss issued in EFL in Japan. This blog will also serve as a portal to the learners' blogs as I will periodically summarize the hot topics appearing in the learners' blogs. Please come join us!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Tasks 1 & 2: Talking about and Analyzing Our Language Learning Experiences

Last week I asked students to write a post titled "How I learned English" where they briefly summarized their English learning experiences. A lot of students such as Napoti mentioned that the NHK English lessons were instrumental in their learning English. Pinch Hitter, whose dream always changes, writes that listening to CDs has been instrumental in his language learning. Fantasista talks about his junior high school and high school learning experience in a little depth.
This week I have asked students to analyze their learning experiences (See the assignment blog). First, I asked students to download and fill out the following questionnaire (Pennington, 1990, p.136) asking them about their language learning experiences. Then I asked them to answer the following questions on a new post titled "An Analysis of My Language Learning Experience":
1. My most enjoyable language learning experience has been….
2. My least enjoyable language learning activity has been …
3. My most valuable language learning activity has been …
4. My least valuable language learning activity has been ....
5. In general my language learning experience has been ....
6. What kind of influence do you think your language learning experience will have on your teaching?

Some students such as Happy Days have already written a post. I asked students to write their posts by May 9. Right now in Japan we are about to enter Golden Week which means that we will have no classes between May 3 and May 7. Yeah!

Pennington, M.C. (1990). A professional development focus for the language teaching practicum. In Richards, J.C and D. Nunan. (Eds.), Second Language Teacher Education (pp.132-151). Cambridge, UK:Cambridge University Press.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

About this Blogging Project

Absract: A blogging project consisting of 25 aspiring English and primary school teachers at Iwate University. Come join us for discussion and debate! (April 20 - August 1, 2006)
Detail:This is a blogging project with my advisees and the learners in my English Teaching Methodologies 3 (ETM3) class. The members are 25 junior and senior undergraduate students as well as two graduate students. Some aspire to be elementary school teachers and some junior high school teachers.
We will be doing both group and individual blogging work and have three types of blogs: A group discussion blog, individual llearner blogs, and a blog to post assignments, resources or announcements.
The first blog is called "Issues in EFL in Japan". This blog will serve as a portal to the learners' blogs and summarize some of our hot topics of discussion as well as point out some interesting posts from learners' blogs. Every week, I or another learner will summarize the hot topics appearing in the learners' individual blogs and link to them. Sometimes this blog will also host discussions with English teachers inside and outside Japan. It is our aim for the reader of this blog to learn more about the state of English language teaching in Japan.
The second type of blog will simply serve as a bulletin board for assignments, relevant anouncements and class resources.
In the third type of blog or individual learner blogs(the blogroll is displayed on this blog and in this post), learners will reflect on their own teaching, what they have learned in ETM3 and their own theories about teaching English. They are also free to write about anything they want. The goals for the learners is to 1) Increase their understanding of English education and 2) Improve their English. I hope that you will come join us!

ETM3 Blogroll
Bear or Toshi?
happy days
head banger
Pinch Hitter
the loe
The lion
yoshie hb

Advisees' Blogs

Jamie Hall's Personal Blog

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Teachers' Employment Test in Japan

Keywords: Teacher Employment, Japan
This year, Eri, Montiti, and Olive plan on taking the teacher's employment examination. Eri and Olive want to be elementary school teachers while Montiti aims to be a junior high school English teacher. The teacher's employment examination in Japan is extremely difficult to pass. My (very rough) estimate is that only about 20% of the applicants pass the test every year. This week Montiti and Olive blogged about what they have to do to prepare for the test. A post about this subject from Eri will be coming in the near future.

Comparing Teaching English in Thailand and Japan (Revisted)

Keywords: English teaching in Thailand, Japan
A few months ago in my personal blog I talked about some of the differences between teaching English in Thailand and Japan based on my 1 week teaching experience at a Thai secondary school in Ayutthaya with Eri and Olive. Last month Cube also went to the same school to teach English for two weeks, and she wrote about her experience on her blog. If you are interested in learning about some of the differences that Cube, Eri, and Olive noticed between Thai and Japanese secondary schools, please see their blogs.