How Traveling Can Inform Our Teaching

Have you ever wondered whether there is any correlation between traveling and teaching? The experience of traveling to, and especially living in, another country shows us how stepping outside of the familiar can open our eyes and minds. Undoubtedly, the more new cultures we experience, the more open-minded we become. Can we assume the same … Continue reading How Traveling Can Inform Our Teaching

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What Does It Take to Be a Japanese?

The purpose of this post is multifold and I encourage you to look at it as if it was an origami model. Well-aware of the fact that Japan and its people are one-of-a-kind in so many ways, I find it virtually impossible to draw a definitive conclusion on why things are the way they are … Continue reading What Does It Take to Be a Japanese?

The art and science of English lesson planning

Working as a teacher involves a great deal of curriculum and lesson planning. The process of defining and breaking down the learning objectives and strategies is a time-consuming yet an invaluable 'investment' in the cognitive, emotional, and social development of students. Not to mention the fact that a well-structured curriculum along with thorough lesson plans … Continue reading The art and science of English lesson planning

Stimulate Curiosity and Promote Exploration: the World of Circles and Holes

What surprises kids? What astonishes them and leaves them with eyes wide open and jaws dropped? Kids are amazed by the things we, the grown-ups, take for granted - bugs, scars, holes, small objects like buttons, marbles or bolts that might fill in some empty space. As if all the life's wisdom can be found … Continue reading Stimulate Curiosity and Promote Exploration: the World of Circles and Holes

Challenging some well-established beliefs

Here you are, native of a non-English speaking country, with a sincere passion in making a difference in the lives of children, and a yearning desire to start a new life in a place you have always dreamed of being. Your job hunting strategy consists of scrolling down to the Job Requirements section of any … Continue reading Challenging some well-established beliefs

Ladybugs’ First Big Appearance in front of an Audience

We celebrate the end of our first semester with a lovely mini performance. It comprises of three distinct parts - yoga, dancing, and singing in English and in Japanese. It encourages broad-mindedness and supports students' development of a wide perspective. As part of the yoga 'repertoire', the kids perform a simple set of movements accompanied … Continue reading Ladybugs’ First Big Appearance in front of an Audience

Professional Development through Lesson Observation

Professional Development through Class/Lesson Observation It is a common practice among teachers in Japan to engage in professional development activities in the form of a lesson study or research of teaching/learning by visiting other schools and observing classes. It is meant to help teachers enhance their capabilities and competencies and to incorporate new ideas and … Continue reading Professional Development through Lesson Observation

Immersive Learning in Action – Phonemic Awareness

Depending on their particular age level, children frequently find themselves in certain situations. For example, our preschoolers often drop their bottles and spill water on the floor,¬† tend to argue over toys as a result of their difficulties sharing, and cry when things don't go their way.¬†Within the immersive way of teaching and learning, students … Continue reading Immersive Learning in Action – Phonemic Awareness

Immerse and Provoke

If you are a language teacher/principal who has just embarked on a journey towards implementing some elements of immersive learning into your class program/school curriculum, this blog post may help you sort out your priorities in terms of planning and conducting the language lessons. The earliest stage of the immersive language learning method can be … Continue reading Immerse and Provoke

Language Learning through Grammar or Language Acquisition through Immersion – which method is best for your students?

In my previous blog post I discussed the rationale behind having children start learning their foreign language at an early age (whenever that's possible and provided that children's social skills are developed to a greater extent). The training that I recently attended helped me see for myself the benefit and ease with which a language … Continue reading Language Learning through Grammar or Language Acquisition through Immersion – which method is best for your students?