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Practice with Presentations

Recently I started teaching a class for presentations. As I have never taught such a class before I spent time looking at university approved textbooks and spoke to teachers about how they go about teaching such a class. This particular class is a different kind of class, as it is task-based. Technically it is a speaking class, but the focus of the course is for students to learn to give presentations in English. Students need to give a few presentations in the class and the final test is for each student to give a longer presentation in their groups. The final speech could be as long as six minutes. In order to prepare the students, I have three main goals. The first goal I have in the class is for the students to help evaluate each other. I want the students to listen to each other, not only because it is a source of input but I want them to compare their speeches and learn what makes a good speech. However, in the past when I tried to do this, I found that students did not give constructive criticism to other students, and were easy to praise other students.
I have wondered why that is. Perhaps I asked them to evaluate too many things at once, and instead I could make a worksheet for the students and only ask for them to evaluate no more than two points at a time. Here are a few that I think I will focus on in the course:

Eye contact
Do students look at the floor? Do they talk to other students and face them? Do they just read from a paper or notebook?

Delivery
How is their pronunciation? Are they easy to understand? Are they too quiet? Are they loud enough? Do they speak too quickly?

Posture
Are they nervous? Do they face other students? Do they look confident?

Another goal I have in the course is for students to be better at writing. It must be daunting for them to have to give a speech for six minutes. I think writing practice will help them with learning vocabulary. Also, I think they need to learn the parts of what makes a good speech. At first I will focus on the introduction. I want the students to speak slower as it makes them appear more confident, and will also make it easier for other students to understand. So they need to introduce themselves, state which department they belong to and to say what they will talk about. Later they will need to have a few main points.
The third goal is for the students to have visual aids. If they want to use Power Point, that is fine, but not all students know how to use it. As an alternative, making posters is fine too as long as they are clear and are easy for other students to read. An advantage with posters is that it gives the speaker something to look at, but it replaces notes. I want students to avoid reading, and want them to maintain eye contact with the audience. Also, I think that it must be tiring for students to listen to each other without being able to see something to help them understand what the speaker is saying.
These are a few points which I think teachers need to focus on in order to get better at making presentations. Repeated practice is really the most important part, but getting constructive feedback from other students helps a lot as well.

References

Stafford, Mark. (2012). Successful Presentations: an Interactive Guide. Tokyo: Cengage Press.

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「Bounce Now かんたん使い方ガイド」について

渡邉先生By 渡邉 孝子(Watanabe Takako)渡辺イングリッシュスクール(有)

幼い時期から英語を学ばせる最大の利点は、英語を音で理解できる耳を育てることができるということです。言語は基本的に音声でのやりとりです。どんなに高いレベルの英語力を身につけるにしても、まずは英語を音で理解する力を育てなければなりません。理想的には日常生活の中で英語を使うことです。私と夫、一保(奈良教育大学名誉教授、英語教育)は二人の子どもを英語で育て、結果子ども達はバイリンガルになりました。言うは易く行うは難し、で家族全員の努力の賜物です。今では娘は福井大学の英語教員となり、英語を使って授業を行い、息子もミャンマーと日本を舞台にした映画製作(“Passage of Life” 2015年公開予定)や日・英語の字幕の仕事をしています。

この家庭内バイリンガル教育から多くを学びましたが、第一は音声で英語の基礎力が築かれるということです。音声でのやりとりを重ねて子どもは聴く力と話す力を伸ばし、英語の知識を得ていきます。そして文字と音声を結びつけることができるようになると、声を出して読むことでその英文が既知の音の意味と結びついて容易に理解できてリーディングへと進むのです。児童英語教育の実践と研究を一保と共にして20数年、学会発表を行い、学術論文誌でも論文が掲載されました。(全国英語教育学会誌The Role of Reading in Early Childhood EFL Education, 1996; 日本児童英語教育学会誌、Developmentally – Appropriate EFL Writing for Japanese Elementary School Children, 2000)これらの論文の題が示唆するように、指導の基本は、指導にできるだけ英語を使い、子ども達との英語でのやりとりを大切にし、読めるようになったら段階別の読みの教材を使ってリーディングを多くさせて、要約や感想・意見文を書かせるということです。その成果の一つとして、高円宮杯全国中学校英語弁論大会の結果があります。この11年間で10回の予選県大会に1~3名が参加して努力賞以上の賞を得ているだけでなく、その内8回は全国大会に進み、平成24年には全国で4位に入賞しました。高校の県の大会でもこの14年間で9回参加し、全て3位以上の成績を収めています。この中・高の生徒達は、参加者のスピーチを聞いて内容を理解し、どのスピーチのどこが良かったかと評価もするのです。生徒が自分の意見を何度も推敲してまとめて、多くの人の前で自信を持って発表できる力にまで伸ばすことは英語教育の大きな目標の一つだと思っています。年長児の頃から時間をかけて教えているからこそこのような高いレベルまで指導できると思います。

さて、これから英語をご家庭やクラスで子どもに指導しようと思われている方は、是非英語での音声指導を基本に始めて下さい。そして最初は音声理解を楽しみながら進めていけるコースブックに沿ってレッスンを組み立てていかれる事をお勧めします。そこで私自身も実際に年長児と1年生を対象に使ってみて、子ども達が楽しく英語を覚えていく過程を目の当たりにして感心したのがBounce Nowシリーズです。これまで多くの英語のコースブックが出版されていますが、進み方が速かったり、一度に学ぶ量が多すぎたり、子ども一人での自学習には難しい、などの難点がありました。しかしこの度出版されたBounce Nowシリーズ(Starter, Book 1 – 6)ではこれらが改善されているだけでなく、これまでの英語教育の実践・研究成果が取り入れられている素晴らしいコースブックなのです。特徴をあげてみます。

1 クラフト: Black Line Masters
小さい子どもは工作が大好きです。自分が作ったものが英語教材になるので、
英語で表現するのが楽しくなります。楽しいとその時に使った英語も長く記憶に残ることになります。
2 歌
各Unitの英語表現が歌詞になっているオリジナルの楽しいリズムに乗れる歌です。歌のワークシートSong Activity Sheetも別冊のActivity Resource Bookに入っているので、表現の理解がより定着します。
3 ワークシート:Home Study Worksheets
WorksheetではUnitの到達目標の文法や表現の習得を強化するQ&Aなどの復習問題やReading やWritingも入っています。レベルが上がるにつれて書く量が増えていき、口に出して言える英語の表現を自然に書いていけるようになります。CDやMULTI-Romと合わせるとListening とSpeakingを加えた4技能の力をバランスよく伸ばしていくことができます。各Unitに2~3ページ、各テキストブックの巻末についています。
4 MULTI ROM
子どもが一人で楽しくコンピューターでインターアクティブに英語で遊べるゲームがついているMULTI-ROM教材がついています。
MULTI-ROMの内容
*テキストの音声教材(CD)
*各Unitに4ゲーム
楽しいゲームを何度もしながら各Unitの単語や表現を楽しく習得します。スコアーが出てくるので満点を取るために一生懸命覚えます。音声と文字と共に入ってくるので「聞く」「読む」力も強化されます。また上のレベルでは「書く」ことも入っているので楽しく一人でも学習ができます。このような自立した学習者を育てることは教育の目標の一つです。またパソコンの操作を早くから覚えることにもなります。
5 教科的内容
これまでのコースブックにはなかったアカデミックなトピックが扱われています。Book 1から6まで、各Unit末のBounce aroundのページはMath、 Social Studies、Natural Science、 Science、History、Literature、Geography、Musicのトピックを扱っています。読み物、問題、実験などがあり、内容も興味深く学べ、語彙も増えます。ここでのトピックから発展させてネットや図書館で調べて、書いてまとめると情報収集の力や書く力を伸ばすことになります。また調べた内容を発表するとプリゼンテーションの練習にもなります。これからの時代にはどちらも欠かせない必要な能力です。

このようにBounce Nowシリーズは4技能を無理なく伸ばし、また子どもが一人でもCDを聞いて、パソコンで英語のゲームを楽しみながら英語を習得できるようになっています。主教材でも副教材としても役に立ちます。例えば;
グループ指導をしている場合
主教材のコースブックとして使う。他の読み物などの教材も合わせてより高い到達度を目指す。
家庭で指導している場合
コースブックに合わせて英語表現を増やして日常的に使う。
家庭での英語学習では、日常生活で表現できることから聞いて使って学び、音声面から英語の基礎を築いていきます。しかし日常で使う表現も限られているで、このようなコースブックや読みの教材を使うことで様々な語彙や表現を学ぶ必要があります。
外国人の先生についている場合
週1~2回レッスンはあるが宿題が少ない場合に、補足的に家庭で自学習的に使う。
語学学校でレッスンを受けている場合
宿題がない、または少ない場合に補足的に家庭学習に使う。

Bounce Now Starter からBounce Now 3までは「かんたん使い方ガイド」がMacmillan LanguageHouse社のHPにあります。このガイドでは子どもの英語習得の特徴や効果的な指導法、替え歌やアクティビティーのヒントなどを詳しく書きました。参考にしながら、是非一度使ってみて下さい。

Life Skills Resources August: Networking [Macmillan LanguageHouse]No.20140807

 
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『花子とアン』の英語教授法、英語ニュース教材ほか【マクミラン ランゲージハウス】No.20140807

 
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ティーチング・ティップス『花子とアン』の英語教授法、8月の学会情報【マクミラン ランゲージハウス】No.20140724

 
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最新ELT情報

How to prepare a Lesson Plan

Jim sensei  By Jim Mansfield

Aim:

1.  Is my aim definite? Is it clearly expressed in the best English possible? Is it  expressed in terms of specific knowledge, habit, skill or attitude?

 

Subject Matter:

1.  Is my subject matter suitable to the needs and different abilities of my students?

2.  Is my matter definite? Is it within the scope of the requirement in the Course of Study for the Level of students.

3. Has it any practical bearing upon the daily activities of my students?

 

Procedure:

1. Do I have devices to make my teaching clear, concrete, and more comprehensive to my students?

2. Are my devices properly prepared to help me during the entire course semester.

 

Methods:

1. Is my method practical?

2. Are my steps clear and arranged properly for the students to see what I aim to Teach?

3. Is the Lesson a dull Lesson? review? development?

4. If my method deals mainly with the teaching of a new fact does it follow at least these steps:

a. Teaching new fact or principle.

b. Impressing the new fact or principle, by examples, illustrations, comparison and contrast.

c. Generalization of forming the rule for the new taught, fact or principle.

d. Testing the Students on the new fact or principle.

Invitation


invitation

 

 

___name___先生
いつも弊社のサービスをご利用いただきありがとうございます。

この度、___name___先生に特別なお知らせがございます。

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『English from NHK World TV』について

By 森田彰森田先生(早稲田大学 / 『English from NHK World TV』著者)

・ 4技能の習得をバランス良く配置した総合教材

・ 既知情報 → 未知情報の追加 → 整理 → 消化 → 発表 と続く情報処理のプロセスを

タスクから自然に習得できる

・ TOEIC 400点 ~600点の学生を対象とする

・ 21世紀のパートナー 新興アジアの文化と社会から世界の未来を考える

 

本書はNHK World TV およびNHK BSで放映されているAsia Insight という英語のドキュメンタリー番組を利用した、4技能をバランスよく学習できる英語教材です。まず、Reading、 Listening Taskを進めながら、receptive な能力を養います。アジアの一員でありながら、アジアについては意外に知りません。それが、却って学生に情報処理のプロセスを意識させることになるでしょう。 またそうして得た情報からWriting、Discussion Taskを通じて、アジア各国の課題や日本との相違点を英語で表現することで productive な技能を効果的に向上させることができます。こうした技能の向上に加えて、Warm Upではアジア各国についての身近なトピックを取り上げ、Reading Taskでは200語程度の英文でさらに詳しく紹介していますので、DVDを見る前にその国についての基礎知識がスムーズに導入されます。Reading Task だけでなくPre-viewing Task もvideo clips の理解度高めるために役立つでしょう。ドキュメンタリー番組のためDVDのナレーションは、ニュース番組に比べ、発話速度もゆっくりでかつ明瞭なので、TOEIC 400点から600点程度の学生に適切です。

 

本書の特徴

1.教科書にはDVDが添付され、学生の自宅学習が可能。

2.TMにはUnitごとに復習テストを用意。教材のTask とは異なるDictation課題や

True or False問題、語彙確認問題を含むので学生の理解度を確認することが出来る。

3.TMにReadingおよび Listening Scriptの試訳、各Taskの解答のポイントを提示。

また15回授業、30回授業のいずれにも対応できるように教案・到達目標を提示。

4.教師用CDにはReading A, Bの音声が入っているため、導入としてのリスニングや音読練習としても使用可能。

5.Listening Script全文を教材に印刷していないため、Dictationを復習課題とすることも可能。

6.カンボジア、東ティモール、シンガポール、ネパール、タイ、ベトナム、フィリピンの7か国について、

教材の写真はすべてカラーで紹介しているため学生の関心を引きやすい。

 

各ユニットの構成

1ページ目:Warm Up [Unitで扱う国やトピックについての質問]

2ページ目:Reading A [Unitで扱うトピックに関わる200語程度の英文とそれに対する理解度確認問題]

3ページ目:Reading B [Unitで扱うトピックに関わるReading Aとは異なる内容の英文と理解度確認問題]

4ページ目:Pre-viewing [Listening partに含まれる語彙についての設問]

First Viewing [DVDを一度見て判断することができる質問]

5ページ目:Second Viewing Ⅰ[DVDを再度見る事で判断できる少し難易度の高い質問]

Second Viewing Ⅱ[CDで設問を聴いて、True か Falseかを選択する問題]

6ページ目:Dictation [ DVD後半部分のDictation]

Writing [トピックに関わる質問のうち1つを選び3行以上の英文を書く]  Discussion [Writing Taskで書いた意見を交換し、議論を深める]

 

Contents

Unit 1 The Greater Mekong Sub-region: A New Era for Cambodia

Unit 2 Singapore Playing Cupid: The Problem of Birthrate Decline

Unit 3 Energy-hungry Nepal: Urban Area

Unit 4 East Timor Now: Medical Situation

Unit 5 Born This Way in Thailand: Gender Identity

Unit 6 Gawad Kalinga Project in the Philippines: Getting People out of the Slums

Unit 7 Vietnam’s Cultural Revival; Nha Nhac Court Music

Unit 8 The Greater Mekong Sub-region: Labor Situation in Cambodia

Unit 9 Singapore Playing Cupid: Matchmaking Agency

Unit 10 Energy-hungry Nepal: Problems of Rural Areas

Unit 11 East Timor Now: Mobile Clinics

Unit 12 Born This Way in Thailand: Professional Transgender Women

Unit 13 Gawad Kalinga project in the Philippines: Supporting New Life

Unit 14 Vietnam’s Cultural Revival: Preserving Cultural Assets

English from NHK World TV “アジアの今”で学ぶ総合英語』BOOK PAGE

 

Macmillan English Grammar in Context at Kinki University

Kelly senseiBy Richard J. Kelly (Kinki University, Osaka)

 

The Department of English Literature and Cultural Studies in the Faculty of Literature, Arts and Cultural Studies at Kinki University, Osaka focuses on teaching essential English language skills (listening, speaking, academic reading, academic writing and grammatical structures) as well as literary and cultural content (poetry, drama, prose fiction and film studies). The teaching method is predominantly seminar-style teaching in small classes of around 8 to 10 students. The educational goal is to equip students with English language competency that can be practically applied to an appreciation of English literature and cultural studies.

 Macmillan English Grammar in Context forms the core grammatical instruction in my seminar classes: Tutorial I (essential) and Tutorial II (intermediate). These textbooks offer a clear and accurate explanation of English grammatical usage that makes it is easy for students to comprehend. In addition, the most important pedagogical feature of the approach to teaching English grammar in these volumes is that the authors, Simon Clarke and Michael Vince, provide ample opportunity for the students to practice and master a permanent understanding of the grammatical topic presented in each unit. The practical exercises also provide the students will the natural usage of English grammar in context which has the important effect of building up vocabulary and necessary wordlists unit by unit.

The one slight shortcoming in the volumes is that the number of exercises is a little too long and repetitive and, therefore, it would be better if this section of each unit was shortened and more refined. In addition, the book has 57 and 48 units respectively in each volume which makes it difficult to teach all of this content if the students use the book for just one semester (15 weeks). If one has the opportunity to teach the same students for two semesters (30 weeks), the number of the units works fine; however, this is generally the exception rather than the norm in Japanese universities in recent times. I suggest to the Macmillan editors to bear this in mind when contemplating any future revised editions of these grammatical volumes.

On the whole, these publications are a welcome contribution to English language teaching and fill a longstanding shortcoming in the effective teaching of English structures. The books are professionally compiled and structured. The authors clearly exhibit a very through grasp of the principles of English grammatical usage – so essential if students are to acquire a competency in the English language that will enable them to use it as an international communication skill that is anchored in accuracy and competency.

Macmillan English Grammar in Context BOOK PAGE

Face to Face in a Multi-level Intensive Program

By Bettina Begole (Tottori University of Environmental Studies)

Students at this university are required to take a three-semester set of intensive English classes. One part of that is their Speaking and Listening class, which meets once a week over the two semesters of their first year and the first semester of their second year. The more than 300 students who enter this program each year are divided into 12 class groups by a placement test, and Face to Face is used with all 12 groups.

Face to Face is a good textbook for this program because of its relevance to young students, its predictability (for lower-level groups) and the ease with which teachers can add other, relevant activities (for higher-level groups). We spend about three weeks on each unit, and the classes are conducted in English. The book includes several speaking and listening activities in each unit, plus one writing exercise.

In any speaking class the time students have for connected discourse, that is, speaking on a topic for longer than a sentence or two, is limited. We use the writing exercise that finishes each unit as an opportunity for students to communicate at length and in more depth than is possible during most exercises. In addition to the one writing exercise in each unit, most teachers do the same activity (extensive, or free writing) each week if possible. These free writing exercises are then read by a partner during class, and used in pairs as a springboard for further conversation tailored to the interests of those specific students, moving them beyond pattern practice into real communication. It also helps prepare them for their final speaking project, which is usually a presentation.

To allow for even more depth, the Speaking and Listening class students also keep a journal based on the topics in the Face to Face book. Each journal entry is between 100 words (lower-level groups) and 150 words (higher-level groups) in length. Because the Face to Face topics are relevant and interesting to students we are able to use the same basic topic for three weeks without losing the students’ interest.

For some students, the predictability of the textbook is a plus. The classes are taught in English, and for first year students this can sometimes be a challenge. However, since each unit follows a very similar pattern with similar activities, by the second unit students are able to understand what is expected of them and participate in class actively, which increases their self-confidence. Even the students in lower-level groups are usually able to “get” the humor in the recorded interview activity.

In short, Face to Face has been an effective textbook for a wide range of students over the last few years. Because it is easily expandable, we continued using it when the Intensive English program changed to a three-semester format two years ago. It might be called a basic textbook, although for this university, that is part of what makes it so easy to use over a wide range of levels.

Face to Face Book Page

Warmers? Enders? Fillers?

By Craig Simons

 

What is more gratifying to a teacher than getting a lesson off to a fun, stimulating start? Other than …  a satisfying finish and students leaving with smiles on their faces? And how about in the middle of a long lesson, when energy levels are flagging, something to break up the lesson and get the learners re-focussed? Whenever they occur, short, light language activities can have a positive effect. Call them “warmers”, call them “enders” or even “fillers” – they can always be winners and a great help to teachers.

So here is a short collection of proven activities that you can use any time in a lesson to break the ice, change the mood, break up a lesson or send them away smiling.

 

Teams hangman race.

Divide the class into two teams and put two sets of marks denoting the letters of two different words on either side of the board. The teams take turns guessing the letters of their word, and the teacher writes up the correct letter or penalises the team as per hangman. When a team gets sufficient letters that they think they can guess the word, they consult and if they agree, they have a guess. If they’re right, they win. If wrong, they lose. If you don’t like drawing a “hangman”, use your own system of penalising, like a Humpty Dumpty climbing 8 steps before falling off the wall.

 

What/Who am I?

Students stick the name of a famous person / food / household object on their foreheads, making sure that they don’t see it. They then ask Yes/No questions to their partner until they guess the word. (“Am I metal? Am I sharp? Am I a knife?”)

 

I’d like to be a giraffe.

Think of a category and write four words from the category on the board eg, lion, giraffe, crocodile, panda.  Students decide, “I’d like to be a panda” etc. Their partner has to ask questions to get more information. “Are you a wild panda? Do you live alone or in a group? Do you have panda parties? What does bamboo taste like?”

 

Truth or lies.

The teacher writes 3 sentences about themselves on the board and tells the class that one of them is a lie. The students all make guesses as to which is the lie and the teacher makes a note of how many votes each statement gets, and finally reveals the truth. Students then play the game with each other in pairs or groups.

 

Spelling quiz.

Put the class into pairs and read out a list of tricky or recent words, which the pairs have to spell correctly. The pair with the most correct words wins.

 

Make a list.

Choose a suitably random category, e.g. “things that are pointy” or “musical instruments” and give pairs 2 minutes to write as many items as they can. The longest list wins.

 

I “verb”.

The teacher models the game by thinking of a verb that they “do” (for example, breathe) and inviting students to ask questions to work out what it is. Questions might be, “How often do you verb? Where do you verb? Are you verbing now?” Students then take turns thinking of a verb and inviting their classmates to guess what it is.

 

If you like these ideas and you’d like to find more, an excellent book is Penny Ur and Andrew Wright’s Five Minute Activities.

 

—————

Craig has been teaching English in Japan for more than 10 years and currently works at The British Council.

Reading Keys New Edition [It’s all in the title]

Miles Craven sensei 2By Miles Craven (Author of Reading Keys New Edition)

 

 

  Of all the courses I have written, Reading Keys is my favorite for two main reasons. First, with a reading course comes the freedom to cover a vast range of diverse topics. Moreover, the driving force is the content itself rather than language, which for a textbook writer makes a refreshing change! The topics and themes have to be interesting to a broad range of readers. Yes, it is possible to include some quirky topics on offbeat themes, but actually far more interesting in my view is the need to cover familiar topics in new and exciting ways, by finding different angles and perspectives to explore. This is what I tried to do across each of the three levels in Reading Keys. The journey it took me on was fascinating, and I believe this comes through in the course itself.

 

  The second reason why I like this course so much is the challenge it posed at the very start. During my research, I interviewed hundreds of students and teachers (discussing which reading books they used, what they liked or didn’t like about them, what they wanted more of, or less of, etc.) and one thing became very clear: teachers in reading classes were finding it difficult to feel they were actually ‘teaching’, and their students were struggling to feel they were actually ‘learning’. Even if the topic was interesting to them, students often couldn’t see how answering the comprehension questions was necessarily helping them become better readers. However much they read, they found it hard to feel a sense of progress.

 

  That’s why I decided to base my approach on a single principle: Reading doesn’t make a better reader. To become a better (i.e., more efficient and fluent) reader, students need to draw on a broad array of skills. These include skills such as skimming and scanning of course, but also more specialized skills, such as how to separate fact from opinion, how to infer meaning, and how to identify text organization. Learning to read more fluently also requires not just text-attack skills, but word-attack skills as well, such as recognizing parts of speech, guessing meaning from context, using a dictionary, and dealing with words with multiple meanings. I felt that what was missing from many reading courses was a clear and thorough approach to these skills. By focusing on ten key text-attack skills and ten key word-attack skills in each level, I aimed to help teachers ‘teach’ and students ‘learn’. These are the keys to successful reading. Hence the title, Reading Keys.

 

  Crucially, it is not sufficient to simply list and explain what these key skills are. Students need to be shown how each skill works, and how best to put each one into practice. They need plenty of targeted practice in using each skill, and ultimately they need to be tested on their ability to use a combination of skills across both intensive and extensive texts. The Key reading skills and Key vocabulary skills study sheets at the back of each level in Reading Keys  provide a solid foundation of practical guidance and support that students can refer to. What’s more, these study sheets are woven into focused skills practice in each main unit.

 

  As for the new edition, each level is now reorganized into 16 units (eight themes, each with two units that take a different angle on the topic). The lower level is simplified slightly, and the upper two levels raised in difficulty. There is also broader vocabulary coverage (including collocations), a new focus on structure, and greater recycling. Importantly, extensive reading texts are now at the back of each book, allowing students to apply the skills they have practiced to longer texts – which leads me to my conclusion; reading is itself the key to learning a language. Whenever students ask me what they can do to improve their English, my answer is always the same: Keep calm and carry on reading!

 

 

Reading Keys New Edition BOOK PAGE

Breakthrough Plus Q+A

Miles Craven senseiBy Miles Craven (Author of Breakthrough Plus) 

 

Who are the target students for this course?

Adults and young adults who need a little support, but who also want to be given space to express themselves and their ideas. It’s a tricky balance to pull off, but Breakthrough aims to achieve this by presenting language in context, then practicing it through a variety of linguistic and visual drills, before ending with a personalization task which brings everything together.

What do you think is the main difference between Breakthrough and other rival courses?

The flexibility. No teaching situation is the same, so when developing Breakthrough I wanted to create a course that teachers could easily adapt, but which didn’t lose its integrity. So many textbooks fall apart if you don’t cover every activity in order. Breakthrough is designed to help teachers breathe. Target language is covered in each core unit, and beyond that teachers can pick and mix which activities to use depending on the needs of their students.

Which features of the course do you like most?

The humor. There is usually something amusing in every unit, and this helps to lift the mood and make learning more fun. Oh, and I also like the Challenge! feature. This is an extra activity for students who finish the main activity first. It keeps them busy, while the rest of the students have time to complete what they are doing. Handy in mixed-ability classes!

In what ways do you think the course stands out?

It’s achievable. Language is presented and practiced in such a way that students always have what they need to succeed at each task. Also, the language is authentic and very natural. Every Conversation showcases not just the key language for the unit, but also fillers and idiomatic expressions that native speakers use all the time (e.g., Hey, you know, Really? No way!, etc.). Students like to see and hear all this natural language in context. Oh, and the broad range of accents from people from all over the world (native speakers and non-native speakers) reinforces the emphasis on English as it is really spoken (i.e., outside the classroom).

Which skills and strategies are focused on?

Each unit includes one reading skill (e.g., identifying the topic, scanning, etc.), and one listening skill (e.g., predicting, identifying context, etc.). There is also a Strategy section which introduces speaking strategies such as starting a conversation, or reacting to what you hear, etc. I like this section because it shows students practical ways to help them communicate more effectively.

 What is your favorite level?

That’s easy! The Intro level. I loved writing this because it is extremely hard to write a genuine beginner level textbook. Most starter level textbooks begin slowly but then speed up, and become too difficult for many students. Keeping the level down, and yet maintaining interest and a steady progression, was a challenge I loved.

 How is Breakthrough Plus different to the previous edition?

Well, the most obvious difference is the new design, but the new edition goes far beyond simply the ‘look’ of the course. There is new and updated content throughout each level, and a whole new level (Intro) for beginner students. The Review sections are different, featuring a new Talk about… activity (which also has a listening model to show students what is expected), and jazz chants. The focus on listening and reading skills now runs across all five levels. All the reading passages have audio. There is a new Skills check that relates learning to the CEFR/ALTE ‘Can Do’ statements. There are videos, of course (one per unit), and a digibook with interactive exercises, photocopiables, tests, etc. There’s a website, too. Overall, the aim has been to keep what everyone liked about the previous edition, while improving and adding wherever possible.

 

Breakthrough Plus book page

Practice with Presentations

Brooks sensei photoBy Brooks Slaybaugh (Yokohama National University)

 

Recently I started teaching a class for presentations. As I have never taught such a class before I spent time looking at university approved textbooks and spoke to teachers about how they go about teaching such a class. This particular class is a different kind of class, as it is task-based. Technically it is a speaking class, but the focus of the course is for students to learn to give presentations in English. Students need to give a few presentations in the class and the final test is for each student to give a longer presentation in their groups.

The final speech could be as long as six minutes. In order to prepare the students, I have three main goals. The first goal I have in the class is for the students to help evaluate each other. I want the students to listen to each other, not only because it is a source of input but I want them to compare their speeches and learn what makes a good speech. However, in the past when I tried to do this, I found that students did not give constructive criticism to other students, and were easy to praise other students.

I have wondered why that is. Perhaps I asked them to evaluate too many things at once, and instead I could make a worksheet for the students and only ask for them to evaluate no more than two points at a time. Here are a few that I think I will focus on in the course:

 

Eye contact

Do students look at the floor? Do they talk to other students and face them? Do they just read from a paper or notebook?

 

Delivery

How is their pronunciation? Are they easy to understand? Are they too quiet? Are they loud enough? Do they speak too quickly?

 

Posture

Are they nervous? Do they face other students? Do they look confident?

 

Another goal I have in the course is for students to be better at writing. It must be daunting for them to have to give a speech for six minutes. I think writing practice will help them with learning vocabulary. Also, I think they need to learn the parts of what makes a good speech. At first I will focus on the introduction. I want the students to speak slower as it makes them appear more confident, and will also make it easier for other students to understand. So they need to introduce themselves, state which department they belong to and to say what they will talk about. Later they will need to have a few main points.

The third goal is for the students to have visual aids. If they want to use Power Point, that is fine, but not all students know how to use it. As an alternative, making posters is fine too as long as they are clear and are easy for other students to read. An advantage with posters is that it gives the speaker something to look at, but it replaces notes. I want students to avoid reading, and want them to maintain eye contact with the audience. Also, I think that it must be tiring for students to listen to each other without being able to see something to help them understand what the speaker is saying.

 

These are a few points which I think teachers need to focus on in order to get better at making presentations. Repeated practice is really the most important part, but getting constructive feedback from other students helps a lot as well.

 

References

Stafford, Mark. (2012). Successful Presentations: an Interactive Guide. Tokyo: Cengage Press.

普通科高校での英語授業

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy 吉田雅子(愛知県立中村高等学校)

 

多くの英語教育関係者がご存知のように、高等学校では2013年度から新指導要領に則った英語授業を実施しています。科目名は、「コミュニケーション英語Ⅰ、Ⅱ、Ⅲ」「英語表現Ⅰ、Ⅱ」となり、4技能を総合的に育成する活動を取り入れ、原則的に英語で授業することになりました。 私が勤務する全日制普通科の、いろいろな意味で本当にフツーの学校で、英語授業をどのように行っているかについてお伝えします。

 

  1.   英語で授業するための学年共通のワークシート

英語で授業を行い、「生徒が英語を使う機会をできるだけ多く与えること」を授業のねらいとする場合、どのような授業をしていったらよいかから考えなくてはいけません。なぜなら、教員自身がそのような授業を高校時代に受けたことがないからです。ひょっとしたら大学ででも経験していないかもしれません。従来の訳読式授業、生徒に単語に意味などを予測させる予習を期待し、授業では英文和訳を行う形式では、英語で授業は不可能です。 授業でどのような力をつけたいのか、その目標を明確にするために、ワークシートを作成します。多くの場合、1学年の同じ科目の授業を複数の教員が担当することになるので、学年共通の目標が必要です。

たとえばリーディングの場合、プレ・リーディング→ホワイル・リーディング→ポスト・リーディングの流れに沿ったワークシートを考えます。スキーマの活性化のためのウオームアップ活動から始まり、語いの提示、全体を通した概要をつかむための活動、パートごとでの内容把握、既習した表現を使ってのオリジナルの英作文、そして内容に関して自分の経験や考えを簡単に述べ、クラスメートとそれを共有する活動へと進んでいけるように作成します。最後に、読んだテーマに関連した内容でのライティング、好きな場面を選んでの、または全体を通してのリテリングなどをポスト・リーディング活動として取り入れます。それを発表させ、生徒同士がお互いに聞き合ったり、作品を読み合ったりすることで活動は広がります。せっかく英語で読んだことがらについて、心の中に何が残ったかを確認することは生徒にとって大切なことだと思います。

この授業を成功させるために最も重要なのは、教員の共通理解です。ワークシート作成は一人、もしくは複数で順番に担当することになりますが、作成者の意図を理解し、授業でつけさせたい力を確認し、生徒の取り組みを予想します。ただ実際の授業では、様々な化学反応が起こったり、予測不可能なことがらが多く生じます。生徒の反応、理解度などについて良い点、悪い点を含め、情報を教員同士で共有し、授業内容やワークシートに少しずつ修正を加えながら授業を進めていけるかどうかが、この授業の成功の大きな鍵となります。

 

2.   評価

4技能の力をつけるための授業をするのであれば、それぞれについて評価する必要があります。従来の定期テストだけでの評価ではなく、授業で取り組んだことが反映される評価が必要でしょう。新しい授業での評価をどのようにしていくかは、おそらく多くの高校が直面している大きな課題であると思われます。 具体的には、ライティングとスピーキングについてです。ライティングについては、ポスト・リーディングとして書いた作文や、「英語表現」でのライティング作品を評価の対象にします。またスピーキングについては、インタビュー形式の会話をペアワークで発表するものや、一人ずつのスピーチを評価します。評価基準(クライテリア)を作成し、教員が共通理解し、共有する必要があります。

 

3.   新しい取り組み

これから取り入れたい活動は、「多読」です。英語を読むことの面白さを、ぜひ生徒に体験させたいと考えています。高校1年生での多読の導入として、マクミランリーダーズの「Sara Says No!」を43冊そろえました。クラスで全員がその本を持ち、CDの英語音声で生徒を引っ張りながら、一緒に読んでいきます。初めて経験する生徒も安心感を持って読んでいけると思います。それから、とても易しいレベルの読んでみたい本を自分で選び、読み進めていきます。読んだものについては、記録をつけさせます。生徒同士で読んだ本を紹介しあうグループワークなども面白そうです。最大の難問は資金調達です。授業として継続していくためには、少なくとも学年全員分の冊数が必要ですが、全く足りていないのが現状です。公立高校の抱える問題です。

 

4.   教員のチームワーク力

生徒のコミュニケーション能力をのばすための授業を実現させるためには、まず教員間での共通理解が必要です。教員がコミュニケーション力を持ち、情報を共有し、協働して授業に臨むことが求められます。もしかしたら、新しい英語授業でコミュニケーション力をつけることができるようになっているのは、教員なのかもしれません。   高校の教室現場では、設備面、資金面で多くの問題を抱えています。限られた、制約のある環境の中で、生徒に英語の力をつけるために何ができるか毎日が試行錯誤です。「これさえやればよい。」という正解のような方法がないなか、よりよい英語授業をめざして前に進むしかありません。自らが外国語学習者であり、生涯学習者であり続けながら、これからも英語授業にジタバタと取り組み続けるでしょう。

Questionnaire on CEFR and CEFR-J, News Focus and more[Macmillan LanguageHouse] No.20140423

 
LLP
New Open!!
mlh

News letter 2014.04.23

Everything you might expect, and more

CEFRとCEFR-Jに関する意識調査、学会情報他【マクミラン ランゲージハウス】No.20140423

 
LLP
New Open!!
mlh

News letter 2014.04.23

Everything you might expect, and more

Mysteries in English teaching in Japan

By 木村 正和 (加藤学園暁秀高等学校/日本大学国際関係学部)

More than 30 years have passed since I started teaching English at senior high schools in Japan. I have come across some mysteries in the ways English is taught in this country.

#1: What is the purpose of English learning in this country?

 私は、英国のPolytechnic of Central London(現Westminster University)で外国人のための英語コース(Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English/ Cambridge Diploma in English Studies)を受講し、英語を学び直しました。日本の大学での専攻は法学部であったために、イギリスでの英語学習体験は実に「新鮮」な体験でした。英語のテキストを読み、自分の英語語彙力でその内容を要約し(本文テキストで使用されている単語、文を使用することは、テキストの剽窃であり、内容要約は自分の語彙力で表現してこそ、読者としての内容理解の表現が可能であることを学んだことは、大きな収穫でした。なぜなら、読解は、自己の表現行為と結び付くときに初めて完成することを体験したからです)、小説を読んで、そのテーマにそってエッセイを書き、他の学生の考えと比較し、批評しあい、議論する。英語はコミュニケーションの手段として機能することを体験できたことが「新鮮」な体験だったのです。

一方、日本の英語の教育現場では、英語はあたかも「死体解剖」の材料です。英語は、文法的に日本語で解析され、英文テキストは、日本語で構文的に解釈され、日本語でその内容が、英語の「写像」として処理されています。的確な和訳を完成させれば、それで学習は「完成」してしまいます。そのテキストに対して自分がどう思うか、他の人の考え、感想はどうなのか、比較し、意見交換し、課題の英文情報を自分のものとして消化する英語による作業はほとんど見られません。そこで一番幅を利かせているのが大学受験英語なのですが、入試問題の英語には、エッセイを書かせる場合はほとんどありません。受験者の考えを英語で表現させるという視点が極めて不十分なのです。英語学習の目的が未消化であるという印象を持たざるをえません。

#2: Why are Japanese English teachers not good enough at teaching communication?

 日本人英語教師の英語能力のレベルの低さをもたらしているものは、英語による表現活動の圧倒的な少なさにあると思います。ALTやネイティヴ・イングリッシュ・スピーカーを前にして、その方々が日本語に堪能な場合、頻繁に日本語で授業方法に関する打ち合わせがなされている教育現場を体験しました。日本語が通じない社会で、英語による情報交換をしなければならない経験をしたことがない日本人英語教師には、ありがちなことなのかもしれません。しかし、英語教師であるという確固とした自覚を持ち、英語を使う機会を増やさなくてはならないと思います。

 ベストセラーとなった海外の小説を、ペーパーバックで安価に購入できる時代になりました。しかし、ベストセラーになる作品(例えば、ダン・ブラウン)を、翻訳でしか読まないことをなんとも思わない日本人英語教師がいるとすれば大問題だと思います。もっと言うと、果たしてペーパーバックスを日常的に読んでいる英語教師はどれほどいるのでしょうか。日常的に情報処理する英語情報が、教科書と教師用マニュアル、そして受験用英文法参考書だとしたら教師の英語力レベルが低いのは当たり前です。

#3: Why are the problems in the exam papers written in Japanese rather than in English?

 試験の問題文が、日本語で書かれていることも不思議です。英語の力を試したいのであれば、問題文は英語で書かれていて当然だと思います。しかも、「下線部を和訳せよ」という問題ほど低レベルの問題はないと思います。意味内容を問う英語構文表現を問題としたいのならば、英語による言い換えや、例示、cloze test 等を使用すればよい事です。日本人英語教師は英語を使って英語のテキスト理解をテストできるような工夫がまだまだ足りません。

#4: Why are the English classes mostly given in Japanese?

 英語学習の一番の目標が大学入試であるのなら、現状では確かに英語による教室内の情報伝達は必要がありません。入試では、高々基本的な会話レベルのリスニングがセンターテストで課せられているにすぎないからです。中学校、高等学校で外国語学習を課す必要性がどこにあるのか、根本から考え直さなければならないのではないでしょうか。英語は、何も英文学だけを扱うのではありません。時事的話題、科学的題材、商業的(広告等)情報、政治的、社会的題材、等、英語による情報処理全般を扱うことが可能な教科です。教室英語から、抽象的な概念操作まで、英語で処理するという根幹こそが、外国語学習の基本だと思っています。

#5: Why don’t Japanese English teachers have their own point of view about the texts they use in classes?

 日本人英語教師自身が、教師用マニュアル及び解答と生徒をつなぐチャンネルと化してしまい、自分自身を透明化してしまう傾向が見られます。“According to this text, X is Y, but in my opinion …… ” のように原テキストを「料理」し「加工」し、生徒にも同様の「参加」を求めてゆく活動があっても良いと思います。さらにテキストは、「教育的」である必要はなく、そうでない場合の方が批判したり、面白がったりすることが可能です。そこにはユーモアをテキストに取り込む余地も生まれます。Lewis Carroll の洒落などを扱えば、翻訳不可能な言葉遊びを楽しむこともできます。英語による意図的な脱線が授業にもっともっとあってしかるべきだと思います。

#6: Why don’t Japanese teachers study English grammar through English grammar books?

 日本人教師間で使用されている文法参考書が、『フォレスト』に類した参考書だとすると、なんとも情けなくなります。A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language とまではいかなくともPractical English Usage, Grammar in Use, English Grammar Today, English Grammar in Context あたりを日々参照することが当たり前ではなくなっているとすれば、悲しい限りです。以前、Practical English Usageを使って勉強会をもったことがあります。その翻訳版を持って現れた教員には驚かされました。

 

#7: Why are composition course books used in classes not good enough for students to learn writing?

 日本人英語教員の大半は、Writingの授業をまともに受けたこともなく、自分でエッセイを書いた経験もなく、実際の授業は、簡約英文法の授業になってしまっています。教科書のタイトルは、English Composition となっているのは、明らかに誤表記です。ボトムアップ的ライティング指導(英文法が、十分理解できて初めて英作文ができるようになるという指導法)は、コンポジションを経験したことのない英語教師の言い訳でしかないと思っています。外国からの葉書の文章、日誌、苦情の手紙、簡単な物語、遠足の目的地に関する提案、等身近な文章をまず書いてみることから始めて、そのあと段落構成、文法訂正、文体調整、等の編集作業を行うトップダウン的指導法を導入する必要があるのではないでしょうか。

#8: Why don’t all Japanese English teachers have good enough TOEFL grades/ IELTS grades/ Eiken high level certificates?

 英語能力検定は英検以外にも、アメリカ留学を前提としたTOEFL試験、英国文化圏(英国、オーストラリア、ニュージランド)留学を前提としたIELTSのようにグローバルな資格試験を受けられるようになりました。そこでこれらの試験を日本人英語教師がこぞって受験するかというとそうではありません。「厳しい現実を突きつけられるくらいならいっそのこと受験しない方が安心だ」「そのような資格は、別に英語教師ななるためには必須ではない」。そのような声が聞こえてきそうです。英国で、Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English という資格を取るためのコースを履修していた時、ヨーロッパ国々から英語教師になろうとしている多くの学生と同じクラスになりました。この資格が英語教師になるためには「必須」だという話でした。一般的な英語の試験問題以外にも、2つの英文エッセイ、リスニング、面接試験を課せられるこの試験は実用性以外に、クリティカルな思考法、創造性をも問われているという印象を持ちました。日本の大学入試試験ではまず経験できない英語運用力を問われるこのような試験の合格を英語教師に対して必須条件とすれば、英語教師の英語力は必ず向上する筈です。

#9: Why does MEXT require English teachers to take some useless courses at universities to renew their teaching certificate?

 ここ数年来、英語教師が教員資格を更新しなくてはならないようになりました。更新するための条件は、大学で既定の単位を履修することです。この単位の内容が、実に無意味な場合が多いのです。例えば、

1.英語教育の関連分野―本講習のねらい

・言語学と英語教育の接点

・教育言語学の目標と適用

・言語習得研究からの示唆

2. 学習英文法と教育言語学

・学習英文法の役割を考える

・英語の文法・語法現象―その多様性と規則性

3. 認知言語学と教育言語学

・文法は暗記ものではない。

・なぜそのように表現形式を選んだのか。

4. 学習者と教育言語学

・学習者の英文法―本質を探る

・何が容易で、何がむずかしいのか?―実証的な検証方法

教員資質の向上を目的とするのであるならば、コミュニケーション能力育成のための授業方法、英語表現力向上のための実習、プレゼンティションの指導法、デベイト指導法、等、今一番必要とされている授業内容改善に役立つ講習を履修するのが急務であると考える方が自然です。ここで「講義」されていることは、あまりに理論に偏っており、「授業実践」内容、技術の向上とは、かけ離れているという印象を強く持ちます。ちなみに、この「講義」が英語でなされるという情報もありません。試験は、英語によるエッセイを書かせるぐらいのことを念頭に置くべきだと思われますが、このシラバスでは心もとない印象です。

#10: Why can’t Japanese English teachers who have taken some courses in the US/ UK/ Australia/ Canada etc. do anything to work together so as to improve the English teaching methods in Japan?

毎年、各県から選抜された英語教員が、英語を母語とする国々へ派遣され、研修を受けます。そこで実習経験した英語授業法がどれほど現場で生かされているのかが、見えにくいのです。そのような「選ばれた」教員達が、自分の教育現場で、新たな教育法を実践しようとすれば、当然のことながら様々な問題に直面します。英語での質問に対する生徒の反応、同僚との連携の困難さ加減、父母会の視野の狭い反応(「受験に役に立つのか?」)等、それは数多くの問題に遭遇するはずです。それを教師個人が、それぞれ対処するだけではなく、グループとして、そういった問題に対する英語教師サイドからの主張をしていかねばならないと思います。それが聞こえてこない。

 確かに法律上の制約もあります。教科書は検定教科書を使用することが前提です。教科書を採用すれば、その教科書に対するワークブック、同じ出版社から出版されている「教科書準拠」の様々の問題集がセットとして採用され、そして「文法訳読」方式の授業が相変わらず「強行」されます。そして、その授業方法は、圧倒的に、教師が「楽」のできる教育方法なのです。生徒は、教科書会社、もしくはそのグループの会社の出版した「教科書ガイド」を「活用」し、テキストの「和訳」を暗記することを、英語学習だと「誤解」します。このような英語教育の現状が、もはや「古臭い」ものであればと願っているのですが、案外、どっこい生きている「訳(薬)中毒」患者が、教師、生徒に残っているのではないかと危惧しています。

 副教材としてでも、アメリカ、イギリスの出版社から出版されている教材の使用が広げられるべきです。和訳をそもそも媒介とせず、コミュニケイション、発話を必須とする教材を使えば、教師自らの授業の運用方法が変わってくるはずだからです。様々のアクティヴィティをみれば、語学学習に必要な、言葉を使うという活動の重要性が確認できます。

Last but not least, where do we start to bring about a great change to English education in Japan?

鍵は、やはり、英語教師であると思います。Independent Learners としての英語教師と、それを支えるSystem の構築が切実に望まれます。まずは、そこで What are we to do to become independent English learners and also independent English teachers? と質問をさせて下さい。英語という言語情報媒体を、和訳作業を介在させずに楽しむことのできる、正しい生活習慣を身につける工夫をしてみませんか。思えば、「和訳」は生活習慣病と似ています。メタボ症候群から解放されるために有酸素運動で大いに発汗することが有効なように、現代の英語学習には、コミュニケーション活動に汗する日本人英語教師の連帯がぜひとも必要なのではないでしょうか。

How to improve your Lesson Plan

Jim senseiBy Jim Mansfield

 

To improve your lesson plan and help teachers use effectively the different tentative objectives, courses of study, manuals, basic textbooks, circulars memoranda, bulletins, and other printed suggestions issued to the field the following points are suggested:

 

 

(1)  Definite aim or aims stated in terms of objective skills, habits, knowledge, attitudes,etc.

(2)  Sources of subject matter with the page or pages of the manual, courses of study, objectives, textbook, and other references, if any and the list of key expressions to be used in development lessons in such subjects as Language, Elementary Science, Social Science, Health and Conduct etc.

(3)  Method or procedure embodying the names of devices to be used, list of suggested steps, and a few guiding questions covering the substance of the lesson or unit or an outline of the subject matter specially in the Intermediate grades.

(4)  Assignment containing the page or pages of the next lesson, vocabulary for home study and dictionary work, a series of well organized questions to clear up a problem, or to direct the pupils to concentrate on the substance of the assigned lesson, or exercises and problems to work out and a list of references, citing pages, designed to enrich the basic materials in connection with the lesson.

(5)  Plans while kept short should contain the necessary essentials.

News Focus: Vanished Plane and more [Macmillan LanguageHouse] No.20140401

Macmillan LanguageHouse Newsletter MLH Newsletter

 

 

LLP

New Open!!

mlh

News letter 2014.04.1

Everything you might expect, and more

ニュースレッスン「マレーシア航空 370便」、多読多聴へのリーダーズ活用方法【マクミラン ランゲージハウス】No.20140401

 
LLP
New Open!!
mlh

News letter 2014.04.1

Everything you might expect, and more

多読多聴にMacmillan Readers/ Catch the Worldで精読

宮下先生By 宮下いづみ (Eunice English Tutorial主宰/実践女子大学非常勤講師/SEG多読コース主任講師)

 

英語多読を小学生から大学生までの全学年の授業に導入し、大人の方とも多読の楽しさを共有しています。

Macmillanのリーダーは、必要不可欠な図書で大活躍してくれています。多読に加えて精読の授業では、Catch the Worldが、新しい話題満載で、生徒の気持ちをぐっととらえてくれています。この2つの活用法をご紹介します。

 

 

1. 英語多読

楽しい多読では「わかる」「理解できる」読み方をすることで、楽しく英語力を伸ばしていきます。ABCから始める小学生は、絵本を中心に多読を開始します。Macmillan Readersは、不思議に思われるかもしれませんが、小学生の目標本でもあり、大学生の多読授業のはじめの一歩でもあります。(2で紹介)

英語多読は、英語に慣れていない人はCDを聴いて多読するのがおすすめで、音なしの自力読みとともに進めます。どのステージの生徒も必ず行っているのが、記録を多読手帳に取ることです。多読手帳には、月日、タイトル、シリーズ名、読みやすさレベル、語数、評価、そして感想を入れてもらっています。感想を書くと、読み手が自分で意見を述べる練習になるのと、複数の教員が多読指導する場合でも参考になり進めやすくなります。

 

「事件が起きるよりも、古典は安心感があるので好きです。読書語数が7万語を超えたくらいから、これなら自分もできるかもと思い始めました。日本語の本すら読まなかった私が、本を持っているだけでも画期的でした。精神的にがんばれるようになったので、今は10,000語程度の本を抵抗なく読めるようになり、原作本を読みたいとまで思えるようになりました。(実践女子大、Kanaさん 1年で100万語達成)」

小学生多読手帳画像  /   高校生多読手帳画像 参照のこと

 

2. Macmillan Readersの活用法

マクミランのリーダーは、3つの大きな特色があります。

①A Note About This StoryとThe People in This Storyが掲載されている。(レベル2以上)

②一章ごとの長さがほどよく、読んでいてあきない。

③Glossaryがある。(レベル4より)

 

物語を理解する上で必要な時代背景や著者について、A Note About This Storyを事前に読んで知る事ができます。またThe People in This Storyで登場人物の人間関係を、イラストとともに確認しておくと、お話しをすらすら読む助けになります。途中で人間関係がわからなくなったときも活用できます。

レベル2と3には練習問題がついています。レベル4のGlossary(用語集)には、文の中の意味がページ数とともに掲載されているので、意味を知りたいときには参照できるようになっています。

 

◇Macmillan ReadersのCDのおもしろ活用法◇

マクミランリーダーズは、一章が読者があきないほどよい長さになっています。他者のリーダーと比較すると少し短めなので、おすすめのおもしろい学習法があります。レベル2以上が読めるようになったらためしてください。

①最初の章は、本を開いてCDを聞きながら読みます。

②第2章は、本を閉じてCDを聞きます。

③第3章は、本を開いてCDは聞かずに読みます。

④第4章は②同様聞くだけ、第5章は③同様読むだけといように、交互に進めていきます。

これは、第一章で名前を文字と音で確認したあとに、聞くことに集中する章と読むことに集中する章にわけて読み進めることで、英語多読に変化をもたせて楽しく行うことができるとっておきの方法です。

 

3.Catch the World

Catch the World はその名の通り、今の世の中のことがわかるトピックがたくさん詰まっています。Orbiter  では、アン・ハサウェイ、レディー・ガガ、石川遼、ビートルズなど各界の著名人の記事から、ビジネスの事までを、それぞれ400語の中で紹介。Voyagerになると600語に増え、TPPなども扱っています。世界の様々な地域の、多岐にわたるテーマは、英語を使って世界で活躍していくのに必要な情報をたくさん与えてくれます。

授業ではスキミングとスキャニングの演習に最適です。ノンフィクションは内容の楽しさが継続へと通じます。段落ごとにポイントをとらえながら読んでいくと、すらすら問題も解けるのです。大学入試の対策を楽しい文章で行いたいときなどにも利用できます。

各テーマをはじめる前に、まず写真やイラストとキャプションを読みます。次に文章の長さを瞬間的に確認して読みはじめます。ある程度英語が読めて理解できる生徒に対しては、写真とイラストを見た後に読むのではなくCDをかけて、集中して聞く練習をすることもできます。聞いたらどのくらい理解できたか、わかったことを英語で言い合うなどします。

英語多読でたくさんの英語に触れながら、どのようにポイントをとらえていくかをCatch the Worldで行うことでバランスのとれた英語学習ができ、飛躍的に英語力を伸ばしていけるでしょう。

Teachers Reading Graded Readers

By KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAGregory Strong (Aoyama Gakuin University)

 

I’ve assigned graded readers to my EFL students for many years now. But I only began reading them when I started writing graded readers a few years ago. It’s something that I’d now recommend to every teacher. The practice has helped me to choose the best ones for our graded reader program. I’ve learned more about writing, too. I’ve also come to appreciate graded readers as stories and articles in their own right.

To start with, working with the librarians at my university, we’ve established a section of the library where all the readers are stored, some three thousand of them. They act as a central component of the Integrated English Program for 640 freshmen and sophomores in the English Department. To counter plagiarism from the many online sites that offer summaries of books, we ask students questions like “If you were a character in the story, what would you have done differently?” or “How does the character’s life compare to your own?” The library lends the readers to students for two-week periods and of course takes care of cataloguing the books, and of tracking them.

Writing a non-fiction graded reader, Japanese Communities Abroad, got me to explore Japanese emigration, why it occurred so late (emigration was forbidden during the Tokugawa era) and the contributions made by Japanese emigrants all over the world. The graded reader wasn’t just cribbed from the Internet, either. I was able to incorporate some original research. In 2012, my old alma mater, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada finally recognized 76 Japanese-Canadian students who had been unable to finish their degrees because they had been interned in W.W.II. The university held a special ceremony granting them honorary degrees. It was a very moving event and you can watch it on YouTube. That the ceremony happened at all was due to the efforts of a retired Vancouver school teacher, Mary Keiko Kitagawa, and Mits Sumiya, a former student, now in his eighties, both of whom I interviewed. I’ve since heard from several people who read the book and found it a revelation. It was a history they never knew.

As for my reading, in a busy school term, I don’t get nearly enough time to read recreationally. However, I can get through some readers in a single 45-min train commute. Recently, I picked up a graded reader of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. Although not a fan of crime novels, I could appreciate Highsmith’s complex plot and her fascinating character, the highly manipulative sociopath, Mr. Ripley. Another of my discoveries was a reader based on Bette Greene’s Summer of My German Soldier. Ethics, crime and punishment, a star-crossed love, and racism in the Deep South all figure in that slim 45-page book about the romance of a young Jewish girl and a German POW.

I’m not arguing that a graded reader can be nearly as good as the original. But a good one gets me thinking, and helps me to appreciate the writer’s skill, and I can read the original over the summer. A good graded reader is like reading a short story, and certainly better than a watching film based on a book. For these reasons, if you go to the library on our campus, you might just find me perusing the shelves of our graded readers.

 

Macmillan Graded Readers

———————-

A professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Gregory Strong coordinates a language program for freshmen and sophomores. His books include these Macmillan Language House graded readers: Ice Station at the End of the World, and Japanese Communities Abroad, and for other publishers, the biography, Flying Colours: The Toni Onley Story, and the edited collection, Adult Language Learners: Context and Innovation.

Learning English through football

Damian Fitzpatrick - PhotoBy Damian Fitzpatrick and Damon Brewster

As educators, we all love those ‘teaching moments’ in a class, when an unplanned event provides occasions for engaging and motivating our students in the learning process. Wouldn’t it be great if these unplanned moments could be extended and somehow made to occur regularly? While not exactly a teaching moment in the classic sense, the genesis for the site I and my colleague, Damian Fitzpatrick run, languagecaster.com, came about in 2006 because of the convergence of an opportune moment that dovetailed with two things we shared: a wish to help language learners and a love of football. That ‘moment’ was the feast of football that was the month long World Cup in Germany.

 

Football seemed to be an ideal way to encourage learners who have an interest in the sport to practice their English. We decided to set up a website and provide content in the form of written posts and audio podcasts, and we have been doing this weekly ever since.

 

Damon Brewster - Photo

The rationale behind the site is simply that football can scaffold learning in two ways: first, if the learner is already interested in football, then they have that background knowledge to support them as they encounter the second language – they know the teams, the players, the tournaments, the rules, and so on; secondly, football is a natural narrative and its story develops each week, building on what has gone before. This last point provides added structure for the learner as they can use what they know about the ’story’ to support their learning. In football, there is a beginning, a middle and an end to the story (the season) that is full of twists and turns along the way. There are larger-than-life characters, heroes and villains, as well as lots of tension, drama, violence, sadness and joy!

 

The site is not aimed at a specific class, or school, but for anybody with internet access and the inclination. Of course, the digital landscape has changed since 2006, and we have tried, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, to take advantage of various RSS feed aggregators, Facebook, and most recently Twitter.

Languagecaster.com is comprised of three main elements: podcasts and posts, static pages, and a forum.

 

1. Podcasts and posts

a. A listening report, complete with vocabulary support, that lasts between three and five minutes, which is published as a post and a separate podcast. The language is ungraded, but the transcript and the help with more idiomatic language should mean an intermediate learner will be able to understand most of the content.

 

b. A weekly football phrase: This is a one to two minute audio, again accompanied by a post, explaining an English phrase, cliche or lexical item that is used in football.

 

c. Predictions: Each week Damian and I try to predict the results of five or six of the big games around the world. A guest is also sometimes invited and points are awarded and recorded each week.

 

d. Languagecaster podcast: This is a combination of the above three posts with an introduction and becomes a 10-15 minute podcast.

 

e. There are worksheets available for many of the listening reports and teachers are free to download the audio files, copy the transcripts and adapt the content in any way.

 

2. Static pages

The site has built up a large collection of cliches and football phrases, which have been sorted into separate pages to make them easier to access. We have found that our football glossary page and cliche page are the most commonly accessed.  We also have an archive page that includes posts and podcasts that date back to 2006.

 

3. Forum

We recently opened a forum page as a place learners can ask questions about football language, or English in general. Visitors to the forum can also share their favourite cliches and phrases and talk about the teams they support.

 

2014 is another World Cup year, this time in Brazil, and we’re hoping that our site and content will provide those who want to improve their English and who love the game of football with ‘learnable’ moments and a chance to engage with English.

 

Damian Fitzpatrick
I was born in London but grew up in Ireland and I am a Tottenham and Ireland fan. I have been playing, watching and talking about football since I was 5 years old. When I am not thinking about football I teach English and have been doing this for the past 15 years or so. Currently I work at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

 

Damon Brewster
I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have
always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football and am a Liverpool fan. I moved to Japan in 1993 and have taught English since then. Currently I work for J. F. Oberlin University, Tokyo.

Find lots of football related ELT material at http://languagecaster.com/.

『ローマの休日』で学ぶ日常で使える英語表現 Macmillan Cinema English Classic ‘Roman Holiday’

roman holidayBy  濱田真由美(流通科学大学)、穐本浩美(明石工業高等専門学校)

本書はクラシック映画を取り上げたMacMillan Cinema English Classicシリーズの第2弾として刊行されました。日本人に人気のあるクラシック映画の名作『ローマの休日』を利用した総合教材で、英語能力に自信のない学生、あるいは英語に興味が持てない学生にも英語学習の動機づけを与え、映画を楽しみながら英語能力の向上を目指すことを主な目的としています。

 

また、本書の内容に対応したCALLシステムの動画学習ツールである「ムービーテレコ」教材、Roman HolidayがCHIeru社から発売されているので、本書と組み合わせることで、バラエティー豊かなエクササイズやアクテビティーが可能になり、さらに効果的で充実した授業を提供することができます。

 

 

本書の特徴:

1)教科書には全てDVDが貼付され、学生の自宅学習が可能。

2)英語字幕、日本語字幕あり、字幕なしと3パターンの使い分けができるので、学生の能力に応じてエクササイズの難度を調整することが可能。

3)映画の画像をふんだんに取り込み、視覚的アピールを利用したエクササイズを提供。

4)語彙の導入から始まり4技能全てを網羅する多様なエクササイズを用意。

5)ユニットの最初に導入された語彙が繰り返し復習できるエクササイズ構成。

6)映画に関連した文化的側面の情報を提供。

7)Teacher’s Manualには、訳例、文化情報コーナー、コピー可能な小テストなどの情報を提供。

8)付属されたDVDをもう一度視聴して行う自習用の練習問題を用意。

 

各ユニットの構成:

1ページ目: Words & Phrases             語彙問題

2ページ目:  Comprehension 1, 2          内容把握問題 1, 2

3-4ページ目:Listening Focus            リスニング問題

5ページ目:  Interaction                 スピーキング練習

6ページ目:   Scanning                   リーディング問題

Culture in Motion           トピックについての日本語情報

 

BOOK INFORMATION

理工系大学でのグローバル英語教育について

山崎先生By 山崎敦子(芝浦工業大学)

 

理工学分野では研究領域のみならず、ものづくり系企業のグローバル化が加速しています。グローバル環境で求められる人材には、広い視野に立った教養と専門性、異なる言語・文化と価値の中で適切なコミュニケーションができる能力が求められています。

グローバル環境下での理工系lingua francaは英語ですので、専門知識を基礎とした英語でのコミュニケーション能力養成が、理工系大学では重要な教育目標となっています。グローバル人材輩出に向けて、理工系大学では専門科目の英語化が進んでいます。

また、英語力の高い専門分野の教員が専門授業だけでなく英語授業を担当することも増えています。理工系専門家とグローバル・コミュニケーション教育専門家の一層のコラボレーションが重要であり、理工系大学での英語教育には学生の将来を見据えた目標設定とPDCAサイクルをともなった教育スキームが必要であると言えるでしょう。

芝浦工業大学では、文部科学省に採択されたグローバル人材育成推進事業にこの視点を入れて多くの取り組みを行っています。この事業における英語力養成の取り組みとして、工学専門科目の英語化、英語授業と専門科目の連携、専門分野別の英語教材作成を行っているほか、海外の提携工学系大学とともに開発した工学系英語研修やグローバルPBLへ多くの学生を派遣しています。また、工学コンテクストでの外国語コミュニケーション力評価のためのCan-doリスト設計も行っています。

グローバル化は英語化ではありませんが、グローバル・コミュニケーション力を発揮するには、あるレベル以上の英語力が必要です。理工系の日本人大学生の多くはそのレベルに達していないのが現状であり、学生の将来ニーズを意識した英語教育カリキュラム構築が不可欠です。小学校からの英語教育強化にともない、学生の一般的な英語力が高まることが予想されています。しかし、その後も言語教育の専門家に求められるのは、コンテクストを意識した言語教育や言語力アセスメントへの知識や実践であると考えています。

Get your students ready for the Olympics!

藤田先生By 藤田玲子 (東海大学)

東京オリンピックの開催を2020年に控え、日本のツーリズムはますます熱くなっていきます。外国人と関わるツーリズムの現場である旅行業やホテル業に興味を持つ学生さんも増加していくのではないでしょうか。

 

私の担当する東海大学の観光学部2年生の必修授業「英語・観光学」の授業では、マクミラン社のTravel English for Tourism Industry Professionals を使用して、ツーリズム産業で使用される英語の特徴を織り交ぜながら、いろいろな観光シチュエーションの英語の学習を行っています。

ツーリズムの英語の特徴は、(1) 接客の英語、(2) 異文化コミュニケーションの英語、(3)一定量の専門用語を含む特殊英語、という3点を大まかにあげることができます。

 

(1)の接客英語とは、丁寧な表現や婉曲表現を学び、相手への敬意を示すことです。しかし、接客というのは相手の様子や状況で変わってきます。場合によっては丁寧すぎることが場違いなこともありますから、状況に応じて英語の使い分けができるようになることが目標です。

(2)の異文化コミュニケーションですが、観光の現場にいるお客様は必ずしもネイティブスピーカーではありません。逆にそうでない方が多いと考えたほうがよいでしょう。先方が日本語を話さず、こちらも先方の言語を知らなければ、多くの場合「英語」が共通語となります。向こうも英語が母語でなければ発音は訛りますし、ブロークンであることもしばしばです。

そのような状況ではゆっくりとシンプルな英語でコミュニケーションをはかることが大切です。また文化の違いにより、お互いの意図することに相違があったり、誤解を生じることも珍しくありません。相互の理解をよく確かめながらの会話の重要性を伝えています。

(3)の特徴語や表現には様々ありますが、語彙研究からは観光業の特徴語のほとんどは、語彙レベルでいえば大学生が一般に知っているべき単語リストに包括されていることがわかっています。ですから、業界の特殊語を教えるというよりは、日常に必要な単語を確認しながら教えていくということになります。

特徴語の例はreservation, fare, accommodation, departure など、おなじみのものが多いです。授業はテキストの中のロールプレイや様々なアクティビティーを使うことで、活発に楽しく展開します。将来観光の現場で活躍する学生さんに役立つよう、これからも現場に即した授業を展開させていきたいと思っています。

 

BOOK INFORMATION

Biz英単600:国際ビジネスでのプレゼン、語彙、通訳を実践的に学ぶテキスト

Biz英単By 辻和成、辻勢都

著者は大学院で日英間の通訳・翻訳を学び、大手企業の専属通訳者として社内役員会議での同時通訳を主業務に様々な国際ビジネス会議における逐次通訳に携わりました。その専門と経験を活かして作成したのが本テキストです。

 

 

同通メソッドでモノにするBiz英単600』は、以下の目的で使用できるテキストです。

 

プレゼンテーション:ビジネス会議における英語プレゼンテーション・スキルを伸ばす

ビジネス用語:国際ビジネスに携わる際に、基礎知識として知っておくべき英語と日本語の語彙力をつける

通訳:国際ビジネスにおける日英通訳スキルを養成する

 

具体的には、大学などでのプレゼンテーションクラスビジネス英語クラス、通訳クラスなどの補助教材に適しています。また、自学自習用の教材、そして、英語ビジネス文書を作成する際の参考書としても使用していただけます。

 

 

CONTENTS

◆  通訳訓練法を活用した学習方法

(1)  クイック・レスポンス

(2)  リテンション

(3)  オーラル・トランスレーション

(4)  練習フロー・チャート、プレゼンテーションの流れ、付属CD活用方法

◆  英語プレゼンテーション:「英語プレゼンの流れ」に沿った必須英語表現のまとめ

◆  ビジネス用語の説明

◆  日本語と英語表現の索引

 

企業活動がボーダレス化する現在、実践的な英語力がますます求められています。本テキストが、国際ビジネス会議で有効なプレゼン力、語彙力、通訳力を身につけたい学習者の皆様の一助になれば幸いです。

 

BOOK INFORMATION

Using Golden Age of Hollywood to Supplement Course Content

Kevin senseiBy Kevin Miller (Tsurumi University)

A commercial textbook is typically chosen by a teacher to form the core of the course, and the units of the text often set the syllabus. This was not, however, the approach I took when designing my 28-week movie appreciation class (called ‘Screen English’) at Tsurumi University. My plan was to have a movie genre focus in the first semester and a movie director focus in the second semester, and each week I planned to show DVD or YouTube clips that tied in with the syllabus topics and to devise original activities to expand them.

However, I noticed, while leafing through a copy of Golden Age of Hollywood (by Mayumi Hamada and Hiromi Akimoto) at a JALT Conference display, that each of the 12 units of the textbook could be linked to either a genre or director that I had already planned to introduce. Seeing how well the text and its accompanying film clips fit in with my syllabus, I decided to have students buy it as supplemental material. I was able to use all 12 units of the book, while maintaining variety in the course and not using the textbook every class. Access to the text reduced the amount of original material I had to create by about a third, and it allowed me some flexibility in course planning, as I always had the text to fall back on in the event of extra time, a technical issue, or unavailability of a desired clip.

Here’s how my Screen English syllabus aligns with the Macmillan text, Golden Age of Hollywood:

Week Genre Golden Age of Hollywood unit &   clip
1 Action Adventure
2 Romance Unit 1 Roman Holiday
3 Science Fiction
4 Historical Unit 2 Gone With the   Wind
5 Fantasy
6 Animation Unit 4 Snow White and   the Seven Dwarfs
7 Documentary
8 Musical Unit 8 Singin’ in the   Rain
9 Sports
10 Comedy Unit 7 How to Marry a   Millionaire
11 Horror
12 Western Unit 11 Stagecoach
13 Drama
14 War Unit 12 A Farewell to   Arms
Week Director Golden Age of   Hollywood unit & clip
15 Christopher Nolan
16 Alfred Hitchcock Unit 3 Rebecca
17 Stanley Kubrick
18 Steven Spielberg (Unit 5 King Kong –   to compare with Jurassic Park)
19 Quentin Tarantino
20 Martin Scorsese
21 Woody Allen (Unit 9 It Happened   One Night – to compare with Annie Hall)
22 Kathryn Bigelow
23 The Coen Brothers
24 Clint Eastwood
25 Francis Ford Coppola   / Orson Welles (Unit 10 Citizen Kane   – to compare with The Godfather)
26 Hayao Miyazaki /   Peter Jackson
27 Tim Burton (Unit 6 Holiday Inn –   to tie in with the Christmas season)
28 Ridley Scott / James   Cameron

The text units in the second semester do not match up exactly with the directors I want to introduce, but there is always a connection that can be made, and other teachers may choose to make different pairings. Unit 5 King Kong, for example, can easily be placed with Peter Jackson instead, as he directed a remake of the King Kong movie in 2005. This could set up a comparison activity of the original and remade versions.

My Screen English course is held in a PC/media classroom. When I want to show film clips to the class as a whole, I project the clips on a screen at the front of the class. When the students use the Golden Age of Hollywood textbook, on the other hand, they each have their own DVD that comes with the text, which they use in a PC (with headphones) at their desk to listen to the clips and answer in the textbook at their own pace. I usually devote 30-40 minutes (of a 90-minute class) to the textbook, at a pace of about one unit every two or three weeks, as shown in the table above. The textbook activities that I use consist mainly of the film clip ordering activities and the cloze listening exercises. Short English reading passages with true-false exercises in the text are sometimes used as part of homework assignments. There are also some Japanese-English translation activities in the text which I do not use, as I have an all-English focus in the class.

After completing the first year of Screen English, and despite having plenty of original materials, I have decided to continue including the Golden Age of Hollywood text and related activities as an integral part of the course. The textbook cloze activities are quite well made, and with no errors that I can find. While the clips from the text are older ones, the language introduced is still in common use and not terribly outdated. I like how having these self-paced materials adds a different dimension to the class, and students seemed generally happy to work with the text and DVDs. In general, I am not a fan of many published materials, but I find Macmillan’s Golden Age of Hollywood to be a text that I can stand behind.

Pro Tip:
At the end of the school year, offer to buy some copies of the book with DVD at 100 yen each from students who have completed the course, as many students dispose of their materials after the school year ends. Buy only copies that have the answers written in pencil so you can erase the answers later. The following year, when students fail to bring their textbook to class, or if course enrollment exceeds the supply of books, you have some extra copies to lend on a temporary basis.

 

BOOK INFORMATION

Let’s Get Down to Business:ビジネス英語テキスト2

クイーンズランド大学 辻和成先生By  辻和成 (武庫川女子大学)

最近は大企業だけではなく中小企業も経営のグローバル化を進めており、国際ビジネスの共通語である英語のニーズが確実に高まっています。実践的な英語力をつければキャリアの選択肢を広げることができる時代だとも言えるでしょう。本テキストは、将来、グローバル企業に勤めたい、あるいは海外と関わりのある仕事がしたい学生のみなさんのために作成しました。

 

Let’s Get Down to Business:ビジネスコミュニケーション英語入門』では、大学生の主人公が就職活動を経て東京に本社のあるElec International Corporationに就職し、米国のEco Motorsとの電気自動車開発の国際プロジェクトに携るというストーリー展開になっています。国際的な職場環境で必要とされる英語コミュニケーション力を養うと同時に、会社を構成する部門や各業務に関する基礎知識を身につけることができる内容になっています。

 

全部で12章からなり、各章のトッピックに関連したPart 1(オフィスでのやりとり)とPart 2(電話でのやりとり)から構成されています。また、各章にあるBusiness Topic(英文)では、国際ビジネスに関する実用的知識をさらに深めることができます。

 

Unit 1  就職活動、The Increasing Demand for English Proficiency at Work

Unit 2 面接、Tips for Successful Job Interviews

Unit 3 会社プロフィール、M&A, The Renault-Nissan Case

Unit 4 仕事の内容、The Structure of a Manufacturer

Unit 5 会議開催の通知、Modern International Business Communication

Unit 6 空港で出迎える、Intercultural Communication in Business Environments

Unit 7 受付での対応、The Importance of Hospitality in Business Dealings

Unit 8 自己紹介と名刺交換、Overseas Travel

Unit 9 会議冒頭のあいさつ、Departure and Arrival Procedures

Unit 10 プレゼンテーション、Giving Presentation

Unit 11 ビジネス交渉、The Art of Negotiation

Unit 12 接待、Features of Japanese Companies

 

Let’s Get Down to Business:ビジネスコミュニケーション英語入門』を見る

 

 

 

多聴多読を取り入れて

pic2

By 中西貴行(常磐大学 人間科学部)

私の担当する上級英語では、前期にCubic Listening: Check In, Check Out. 後期にCubic Listening: Closing the Culture Gap.の2冊を使用しています。今回は、その上級英語で実践している教科書の使用方法や多聴多読の取り組みを紹介いたします。

まず、初回の授業で各学期に教科書を1冊すべて終わることを説明し、授業の流れに入ります。この教科書を選択した大きな理由の一つに「学生が教科書の音声にインターネットで自由にアクセスができる」ということがあります。その利点を十分に活用するため、学生をCALL教室に連れて行き、インターネットからどのように教科書の音声にアクセスするのかを丁寧に説明します。マクミランのホームページに「マイスクール」という欄があるので、そこに該当教科書を設定してもらうとより簡単にアクセスできます。

音声へのアクセスが理解できたあと、第2回の授業に向けて宿題(units 1 & 2)を出します。授業では時間節約のため、できるだけ音声を聞かず、学生は必ず授業に向けてしっかり音声を聞き宿題箇所を終えてから授業に臨む必要があります。授業では、わからないところや間違えたところのみをCDで再生し、再度確認。どのように聞き間違えていたのかがわかるまで何度か再生します。この流れの良い点は、学生は自分で予習をする際にもわからないところがあれば何度も自身で聞き直すことができ、授業後にも復習として取り組むことも可能な点です。授業で教員の持っている音声を流すだけのリスニング授業ではこれができず、聞く回数も減り、学生がわからないことがわかるようになるのは少々難しくなります。CD-ROMがついている教科書なども多々ありますが、パソコンでその出し入れがないというひと手間が省けただけでも学生には大きいものです。

 

この上級英語では、教科書の使用の他に行っていることがあります。それは多読図書の使用です。多読図書を使用することで多聴と組み合わせ、相互の力を相乗的に向上することが期待できます(Nakanishi & Ueda, 2011)。写真にあるように常磐大学では、多読の図書を1つの場所にまとめ、すべての本の裏に語数を示すシールが張られています。そして、graded readerなども出版社ごとにわかりやすいようにポップが出ており、どこに何があるのか一目瞭然です。

このように私の授業では教材を1つだけ使用することはなく、英語のインプットをできるだけ増やすように心がけ使用教材を組み合わせています。

Cubic Listening Seriesページを見る

マクミラン・リーダーズページを見る

 

英語ティーチングティップス「リエゾンの仕組みと練習方法」ほか【マクミラン ランゲージハウス】No.20140310

Macmillan LanguageHouse Newsletter MLH Newsletter

 

 

LLP

New Open!!

mlh

News letter 2014.03.10

Everything you might expect, and more

News Focus : Are You a Lark or a Night Owl? and more [Macmillan LanguageHouse] No.20140310

Macmillan LanguageHouse Newsletter MLH Newsletter

 

 

LLP

New Open!!

mlh

News letter 2014.03.10

Everything you might expect, and more

Using Technology in the Classroom

Matt Caldwell senseiBy Matt Caldwell

 

I teach as a part-time English language instructor in a number of universities and up until this past academic year, have generally tended to approach anything that required the use of technology in class with some trepidation. Why? Well, I suppose the fear of the unknown and looking like a fool in front of my students has contributed, but more importantly, I was concerned that for the amount of effort required, the students might not benefit very much from it. Thankfully, neither of these things happened during my attempts at introducing some technology into my classes during this last semester, and I received mostly positive feedback from students. As a “non-techie teacher”, I would like to share some insights that I have gained through these efforts.

 

First of all, I should point out that I taught some classes in rooms where each student had a computer connected to the Internet, and others where I had just one computer connected to the Internet and hooked up to a large TV screen. In both cases, I used an application called VoiceThread. This is a web-based tool that allows students to create a sort of digital story. Users can upload documents or pictures and create text, audio (or video) comments to go along with them. These digital stories can then be shared with other users via email or by embedding them within a blog or homepage. What is even more impressive is the fact that other users can then attach their own comments on what they have just seen, thus giving feedback to the author of the VoiceThread and making any exercise a much more collaborative one. I suppose what was most appealing to me about this application is that students can produce some original material in English and then have their classmates watch or listen and comment on it. All of this is retained in the VoiceThread and is as such, a sort of digital record of the students’ work. VoiceThread also has an app for mobile devices and indeed, one of the more interesting things I noticed when learning to use VoiceThread was the fact that the app on the smart phone seemed easier to use and more intuitive than the computer-based version.

 

This brings me to some important issues that teachers need to remember if they decide to use some web-based applications in the classroom. First is Internet connectivity and broadband speeds. If you are in a computer room, for the most part, Internet connectivity and speeds are not usually an issue. However, if you are relying on a Wi-Fi connection or perhaps even the connection to the Internet that each student has via their cell phone, there can be problems. The type of mobile OS can also be a concern; VoiceThread is available on both Apple’s App Store and Google Play for Android but not all apps are available across all the mobile OS platforms. You should also pay attention to the memory space on the students’ mobile devices. Students with smart phones that are already short of memory may be less than keen to download an app that will take up even more of their precious bytes! Another point to bear in mind is how familiar or confident you yourself are when it comes to using the program or app involved. I use both an iPhone and an iPad so am reasonably confident with any iOS app but I am much less familiar with Android based devices. My wife has a smart phone that utilizes the Android OS, so if possible, I do try to download the app on her device in advance to see how it works on a different mobile OS.

 

When introducing students to some new technology, I usually try to make a presentation (with either PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote) containing some suitable screenshots outlining the procedures involved. This allows me to pause the presentation and walk around the classroom to see how well students are managing. For example, they may run into problems when downloading or registering new accounts for an app. I was rather surprised to see that quite a few students had failed to make a note of the password they used when creating new accounts. When the class met a week later, some students could not even remember which email address they had used when setting up the accounts!

 

I hope this article has left you less anxious about using technology in your classroom and helped to point out some potential banana skins if you do decide to use some form of technology in your classrooms.

 

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Matt Caldwell. I have been teaching English in Japan for 20 years and teach as a part-time instructor at a number of universities in the Kansai region.

Applying simple yet effective action research principles to the language classroom

Brent CotsworthBy Brent Cotsworth

When I first started teaching ESL, my image of action research was very time intensive and laborious. However, not all action research has to be long or arduous in order for it to be effective. I have found in the last few years that using simple action research based principles in my classroom can help assess student needs and enable better understanding of students both on an individual and group level, therefore influencing my class preparation. Additionally, it has helped me accumulate a wealth of data that I can use for further research.

For those unfamiliar with the term, action research is ‘simply a form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by participants in social situations in order to improve the rationality and justice of their own practices, their understanding of these practices and the situations in which the practices are carried out ‘ (Carr and Kemmis, 1986, p.162). The four steps involved are Plan, Act, Observe and Reflect.

Using these principles on a small scale in the classroom can help the educator understand what type of students the teacher is dealing with and accordingly tailor the class or certain activities in a way so the students can get the most out of the class. I like to find out about my students by using a simple questionnaire ( 1 – Questionnaire examples ) on the first class, mid semester and then on the final class.

However, at times I use questionnaires more than three times in a semester. I like to have my questionnaires prepared both in Japanese and English. The use of these questionnaires help me understand factors including student attitudes towards English and the class, what motivates them in order to maximise student output in class, what type of personalities I am dealing with, and potential problems or things I should be aware of. For example, knowing some information about the students can help with understanding their study habits in class and with regards to homework and attendance (such as students who live alone and work to support themselves or students who are in clubs or circles where their time and energy is devoted to that club).

In addition to these questionnaires, I also have my students write in a learning journal every week on the class discussing in simple English what they learned while encouraging them to expand on what they thought of the class ( 2 – Journal example ). This helps them reflect on their own progress while also being a valuable source of data as I can follow their progress and read their attitudes and thoughts on the lesson they have just completed.

 

Edwards and Willis (2005) suggest ten tips for simple research.

  • Keep it small and simple
  • Relevance
  • Make sure there is a clear aim
  • Discuss with others (teachers and students)
  • Read
  • Write and keep notes
  • Listen and learn (from your students and others)
  • Realise that the unexpected is valuable
  • Also realise that there is no correct answer
  • Share your findings

These two examples I have provided of obtaining information are only a guide and I have changed the questions over the years. I have found that expanding on these and thinking about what I would like to know about my classes and students has helped me with teaching. That is why I believe using simple action research can be very beneficial for professional growth as a teacher.

 

Here is some recommended reading.

  • Nunan, D. 1989 Understanding classrooms: a guide for teacher initiated action Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall.
  • Kemmis, S. and R. McTaggert (eds) 1998 (3rd edn) The action research planner Victoria: Deakin University
  • Allwright, D. and K. Bailey 1991 Focus on the language classroom Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Wallace, M. 1998 Action research for language teachers Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

 

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Brent Cotsworth, originally from Australia, has been living in Japan since 1998 and teaching at the tertiary level since 2004. He holds a Masters in Applied Linguistics (Second Language Acquisition) and is interested in task based learning teaching methodology (TBL). Brent currently teaches at Kansai University in Osaka.

 

My Impressions of the Breakthrough Series

BTPBy Jonathan Kay

My name is Jonathan and I am a thirteen year EFL veteran teaching at a Kousen in Japan.

 

When first teaching large groups of learners I was lucky to have the Get Real series by Miles Craven available. It was simple enough to use and lent itself to large groups of learners better than other textbooks. As a foreigner teaching thirty to fifty young people with varied language proficiency and motivation levels, finding the right material, (for both my own classes and those of the part-time instructors at the school), is quite a challenge. Get Real was good, but the Breakthrough Plus series is even better.

 

I would recommend the Breakthrough Plus series for mid and large-sized classes for six main reasons.

 

1.)   There is a very good progression of activities in each unit built around the target grammar.

2.)   All four skills are covered although the book leans more toward improving student listening and speaking ability.

3.)   There is a lot of material to recycle the target language without the recycling getting boring boring.

4.)   There are pair practice opportunities in every unit and there are also extension activities, which are great to have just in case your students finish up the main activities quicker than expected.

5.)   There is a comprehensive grammar reference section with writing activities.

6.)   Most of all, the books are user friendly.

 

Typically I use the book from the start of each unit to the end, and finish with a unit quiz from the Teachers` Manual. When teaching one should introduce the target language, give an example in a cloze conversation, practice grammar and pronunciation, introduce new vocabulary, and finish with extension or personalization activities. This is exactly how one can use the Breakthrough Plus books.

 

Breakthrough is basically an “all in one” textbook that virtually teaches itself – perfect for the novice or busy teacher!

 

Breakthrough Series Page

Activities that have worked for me

Spike Shimodaira - Profile Photo (2)By Spike Shimodaira

As teachers, we all have certain knowledge about teaching. It can be things we learned in a TESOL course, read books on, heard from our fellow teachers, or of course through the Macmillan web site!

 

Acquiring knowledge is not that difficult in this information age. More than enough information can be found on the Net, and exchanging information and networking have never been easier thanks to technologies such as SNS (Facebook, etc.) and email.

 

However, putting that information to practice is the hard part. You know something is a good idea but for some reason, be it a matter of willpower, being too lazy to do something new, or lacking the know how to tailor an activity to suit your students; you never seem to implement the idea.

 

I’d like to introduce some activities that are based on what I learned in a TESOL course, which seem to work with my university students.

 

Autonomy

 

Students should be responsible for their own learning;

Incorporate autonomy into the classroom.

 

Many teachers, myself included, use a text book in our classes. I like to split the class into groups of three to four students. I then ask them to choose expressions from the text book we are using that they feel are useful and important to them. Let’s say we are covering unit one to five of the book in the coming semester. I will ask for two expressions for each unit, in total 10 expressions. Students will look through the units together and discuss which expressions would be useful. I will tell them that they will be tested on those expressions and that that they will be practicing them throughout the semester.

 

The students usually take part in the activity and the necessary communication. In the end, they come up with expressions such as

 

“How much water do we have?”

“What are you going to do this weekend?”

“Where were you on New Year’s Eve?”

 

In addition to a sense of autonomy the following are some added bonuses:

1. Students get to know their classmates.

2. Students find out what they are studying in the course.

3. Students realize there are targets in the textbook.

4. Students think about practical use of the language as they have to choose useful expressions.

 

Peer Evaluation

 

Though there are multiple benefits to peer evaluation, I employ it to show the students that our class is not all teacher-centered.

 

I run a town guide project in which students write an introduction to their favorite shop, restaurant, hair salon, etc. in their town. Each introduction is A5 size and will be a page in a booklet. A typical page will have the business’s name, location, business hours, and a listing of goods or services on offer. Students are encouraged to include visuals such as maps and illustrations.

 

After the students complete the booklet, they are asked to choose the best works. They are also asked to vote for the most valuable student (MVS), in other words, the student who most actively engaged in the making of the booklet: cutting, pasting, binding, and editing. The results of the voting are reflected in the project grades.

 

This should be a very refreshing change to the students, who are used to the teacher-centered education that is a feature of most junior and senior high schools in Japan. Most students look excited when they realize they have received high scores in the peer assessments. In addition, there are always some students who think the teacher is not evaluating them fairly. Hopefully, this will help in alleviating such feelings.

 

Knowing is not enough

 

Even though I have introduced some things that have worked, there were many that didn’t. As teachers we all know how much energy designing and preparing a new activity can take. However, if teachers do not take the time and effort to put into practice what we think may be good ideas, we will never develop as teachers no matter how knowledgeable and qualified we may be.

 

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Spike Shimodaira teaches in universities and private language schools in the Kansai area. He has taught a wide variety of subjects within English Language Teaching; grammar, reading, listening, pronunciation, TOEFL, TOEIC, STEP, IELTS, oral communication, travel English, etc. However, he enjoys teaching speaking classes most as he believes that’s what languages are for. In his free time he likes to jog and listen to AC/DC.

 

Breakthrough Plus: The Right Mix of Everything

By Matthew Hauca (Jinai University)

The selection of a four-skills textbook for a general English course is no easy task. There are many textbooks and countless supplemental materials to choose from. A textbook that is flexible in its design and syllabus, includes an ample amount of material and is easily adaptable across a range of student levels is most ideal.

 

I chose the Breakthrough Plus series for these exact reasons. Breakthrough Plus has a straightforward design with content that meets the needs of a multi-level classroom. The layout of the series is simple in its presentation, yet robust in its material and resources for both learners and instructors.

 

The Teacher’s Resource Book provides instructors with a comprehensive layout of each unit plus there are optional activities and ideas for each section. The answers for each exercise are provided and instructors are given notes on language and culture specific to each unit. Among the other features are feeder questions for warm-up activities, extra support to aid students requiring more help and advice for fast finishers. Additionally, there are pronunciation and grammar exercises for each unit. The units are divided into seven sections with each section focusing on a particular skill set. The vocabulary and grammar is recycled amongst the seven sections, which gives the learner multiple exposures to the core content of each unit.

1 – Warm-up

Conversational ability has become increasingly important for today’s learners. Breakthrough Plus addresses this by providing numerous opportunities for both structured and free conversations in each unit. The Warm-up allows the instructor, if necessary, to modify the level of language right from the very beginning of the unit to ensure the students start smoothly. The questions and statements in the Warm-up section can be simplified if the students are struggling. Conversely, the content can be altered to provide students more of a challenge and offer them a chance to engage in a deeper discussion.

2 – Conversation

Realistic dialogue is provided for the students to practice. The conversations are long enough to avoid being perceived by the students as canned or stilted, yet the conversations are not so lengthy that they prove too daunting for lower level students. The suitable length of the conversations permit instructors to ask questions that go beyond simple cut and paste answers. Instructors are, of course, able to check for basic comprehension, but they are also able to ask more open-ended and thought provoking questions, too.

3 – Vocabulary

The main words and phrases for the unit are introduced. The vocabulary is presented in context, allowing the learners to get a feel for how the new vocabulary is used. Students are given common word pairings and collocations. They are then given activities to help them develop their own sentences and conversations.

4 – Exchange

Students are given four opportunities to practice the newly encountered vocabulary in which the form and usage of the vocabulary is varied, but controlled. These examples give the students a realistic view of how the new material can be used in common everyday conversations. Learners also get the opportunity to see the language in a semi-structured form. This allows for more advanced students to experiment on their own. For lower-level students they will not feel much anxiety as the vocabulary for each conversation is provided for them. Additionally, the instructor, too, may wish to modify the vocabulary used in the exercises accommodate learners of differing levels. An additional Communication activity is provided in the form an information gap exercise. This allows the students further practice and segues nicely into the next section.

5 – Language in action

This section tests the students’ competency to use the language in a more fluid and meaning focused exercise. What is helpful about this section is that example sentences are provided for students to follow while at the same time students have a lot of other possibilities to choose to talk about. Higher level students are not provided with all the options present in the exercise and the lower level students have reliable high frequency examples with which they can get started and successfully complete the exercises.

6 – Listening

The dialogues are realistic and challenging. It is a pleasure to see more resources being put into providing listening material with better quality and authenticity. Learners are always provided with at least two exercises within the listening section. The listening exercises focus on real life issues, so extending the activity into a self referential exercise for students is very easy to do.

7 – Speaking

The activities summarize the content of each unit into a motivating speaking exercise. Students begin by providing information about themselves or their own personal preferences. What typically follows is a pair or group comparison of each student’s information or preferences. Review using these activities and exercises is easy as there is always a chart, survey or some other information that is completed each time. Students can quickly go back and practice the material again.

Expansion

This is the section I find most useful for multi-level classes. Students that finish early do not have to sit idly waiting for others to finish. In the classroom, students can do the vocabulary, reading and writing exercises. Students can also do the listening exercise either on their own or the instructor can save it for review practice.

The Extras

Students and instructors have access to the Digibook, which is an online version of the Student Book. Students can use the Digibook to practice all of the listening activities from the Class CD. There are 120 extra practice activities for students to do for review or extra help. Videos and video worksheets are provided for each unit. Instructors have access to unit tests, progress tests for every 3 units and an end of the course test. All of the answer keys for tests, extra resources, practice activities and videos are provided, too. There is also an online Markbook to keep track of each student’s progress. This is all managed from one account. Setup of the account is quick and easy to do even for the most novice computer user.

A Quality Product

The Breakthrough Plus series provides an extensive amount of content per unit, ample online content and comprehensive unit videos and quizzes. The instructor has a great degree of flexibility with the added benefit of not having to worry about running out of material for her or his quicker or higher level students. The learner, too, has a lot material that she or he can practice independently either in or out of the classroom. Lots of content, a flexible syllabus for multi-level students and plenty of support for the instructor with supplementary exercises and an easy to follow teacher’s resource book. These are the reasons why I chose the Breakthrough Plus series for my classroom.

 

The Breakthrough Plus series BOOK PAGE

Media and Motivation

Maek Post sensei photoBy Maek Post (Kinki University)

Media. We all use it. We all love it. And are all consumed by it. However, what is the role of media in the classroom? We know what the role of media is in our lives -entertainment, information, communication-but what is the best way for it to be harnessed within the classroom as a tool to aid students in learning English?

 

It is my opinion that examples of media and media devices should be used to help motivate the student to communicate in English whenever possible to form better friendships in the classroom. With this in mind, using media to better establish friendships through English, I will talk about three different ways that media can be incorporated into the classroom in fun ways that will encourage students to want to communicate with their friends.

 

Because “media” is such a broad term, it umbrellas over many types of media; movies, TV, music, technology, social networking, news, advertising, to name a few. The beauty of incorporating media is that students often already have formed clear opinions on what they like and what they don’t like in media, making it easier for them to engage in conversations or discussions on the different types of media they enjoy. Because of this it is to both the student’s advantage and the teacher’s advantage to somehow incorporate media into the English-speaking classroom curriculum. Media can be engaged not only for tasks and activities, but also for projects and presentations, as we will look at in just a moment.

 

One of the simplest ways to incorporate media is by getting the students to use their smartphone to access a website. It is very easy to for teachers to generate a QR code that the students must scan to begin their task. Most students probably have a QR code reader on their cell phone or smartphone, if they don’t, they can very easily and quickly download one for free. Teachers can generate codes that will take students to specific websites or offer up specific questions created by the teacher for them to discuss in pairs or groups. The students enjoy not knowing what they will find once they scan the code and they of course also get the thrill of being able to use their gadgets in class. If a teacher didn’t have access to a projector, they could also easily print the QR code onto a piece of paper. A simple QR code generator is available here: http://goqr.me. The beauty of this is that each student can use their own smartphone to access the content, just as they would if they were using their own textbook. Everyone likes playing with their smart phone these days and this gives the students a guided opportunity to use it in class as a valuable tool.

 

Another useful way to incorporate media is by using Language Cloud at Languagecloud.co. This is a free service that allows teachers to generate curriculum, store media and also produce quizzes and tests. Grading can also be done online. Language Cloud offers online resources that can be accessed on the computer, tablet or smartphone-in class or outside of class. The QR codes mentioned earlier could lead directly to this site or you could even have a QR code on the website for the students to access as part of a homework assignment. For example, you could show a TV clip in class to demonstrate specific examples of a verb. Students then access Language Cloud on their smart phone to take a quiz about the media clip in or after class. Additionally, Language Cloud is now in the process of building a marketplace for teachers to buy and sell teacher generated content.

 

Finally, one of the most exciting uses of media I use in my own classroom is at the end of the semester in the form of a presentation connected to advertising. Instead of having a test, the students have a final assessment in the form of a poster presentation. Before the presentation, students spend time looking at different advertisements and even creating their own product and an advertisement for it. Students can easily search online for ads, but there is also a nice advertisement database at: coloribus.com/adsarchive/prints. For the presentation though, students choose one product that is manufactured by three different companies and they then analyze the techniques used in the advertising of each product. So, for example, if a student chooses sports shoes, they would then look at three different advertisements by companies such as Nike, Puma and Adidas to see what techniques they use to sell shoes and also how the language is used in the advertisement. This is the final presentation of the semester and so throughout the semester they have had practice asking and sharing opinions about different forms of media as well as giving presentations. This type of presentation is very effective as it allows students to not only engage media content, but also create media content for the classroom, if you will.

 

So, what is the role of media in the classroom? Well, because media plays a strong role in our life, I believe it can play a strong role in the classroom as well. It’s a role that should be a tool though. Media should give students the opportunity to discuss what media they enjoy and why as a means to build and strengthen friendships in the classroom, because who better to talk about media with than your friends?

 

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Maek Post teaches part-time at Kinki University, Momoyama University and Osaka Fudai University. He has a Masters in Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham, UK with interests in media and Critical Discourse Analysis. He is also the editor of Beer Zen: Journal for Craft Beer, a quarterly publication that discusses the craft beer scene in Japan and helps promote the availability of domestic and import craft beer (beerzenjournal.com).

Student-Centered Instructional Strategies for EFL Public Speaking Courses

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy Eriko Katsumata  (Aoyama Gakuin University)

Public speaking is considered an important skill for Japanese university students. From my experience teaching EFL public speaking courses at a university in Japan, I know that many Japanese university students get nervous when giving a speech in front of people. They do not want to talk in front of people because they say they do not have enough confidence. However, I found that after taking one semester of a public speaking course, students reported increased confidence levels in their speaking skills.

Many Japanese students are new to public speaking; therefore, it can be very stressful for them even if they are speaking in their mother tongue. It is then understandable for EFL learners to have a high level of anxiety when they must not only talk in front of people but also deliver the speech in English. A common desire amongst students is to know how to reduce their anxiety when speaking in public. Many experts point out that:

l  having a lot of experience of giving speeches will help to reduce anxiety,

l  good preparation will reduce students’ anxiety about giving a speech,

l  practicing a presentation will reduce anxiety, and

l  video recording a speech and reviewing it for practicing a presentation will further help.

Therefore, I think that it is difficult for students to give a speech in front of people in English, if they do not have multiple speaking experiences and give themselves enough preparation time.

 

Description of the Course

 

The goal of the 15-week public speaking course in English was to develop students’ confidence in giving speeches in English. To achieve this goal, students were taught how to give various kinds of speeches in an effective and constructive way and in a variety of situations, so that their audiences could understand them.

The students were given a topic for each speech. The length of the speech was one to five minutes, and students were required to give five speeches. Students previously gave only two speeches, a mid-term and a final speech. However, the number of speeches was increased to five, because it helped students improve their skills. Each speech had requirements, such as the number of reasons they have to include in a speech. The topics and purposes of the five speeches were as follows:

(1) “Self-Introduction” – Introduce oneself.

(2) “My Favorite Thing” – Introduce a topic the student likes.

(3) “My Opinion” – Read a news/magazine article, express one’s own opinions on the article.

(4) “Compare & Contrast Two Cultures” – Focus on giving clear information and

 thoughtful opinions.

(5) “Impromptu” – Give a quick speech.  Draw 5 cards (a topic is written on each),

 choose a topic, and quickly give a speech.

 

After each speech, students received comments from the instructor and classmates. The instructor gave comments individually after each speech. The instructor gave only praise for the first and second speeches because students are usually very nervous giving a speech in English. By the third, fourth, and fifth speeches, the instructor gave both praise and constructive criticism. By the third speech, students got a little more accustomed to giving a speech. Classmates listened to and evaluated each other’s speeches in class. Their evaluation also included praise and constructive advice.

 

Each student’s whole speech was recorded on an IC recorder or a cell phone and then uploaded to the university class website. After students’ speeches were uploaded, they had to submit a written report within one week. In the report, students self-assessed the verbal communication levels of their own speeches. They analyzed their own speech by writing down what they said, and by considering comments from the instructor and from their peers. Students also evaluated the nonverbal communication of their speeches by watching their speech video on the class website. Students became aware of their own speech patterns by listening to and watching their speeches, analyzing them, and correcting their habits of speech so they could improve their public speaking skills. In conclusion, I found this student centered approach resulted in greater student independence, reduced anxiety of speaking in public and an improved ability in public speaking.

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Eriko Katsumata is a teacher currently working at Aoyama Gakuin University, Obirin University, and Meiji University, specializing in English public speaking courses and intercultural communication. Her research is focused in the fields of public speaking, intercultural communication, intercultural education, and teacher training.

Developing Student Motivation

KBy Gregory Strong (Aoyama Gakuin University)

Teachers recognize the value of student motivation, but sometimes wonder how to promote it. Dörnyei and Csizér (1998) surveyed 200 language teachers about the effectiveness of 51 different motivational strategies. All their strategies are worth exploring, but for economy, I’ll deal with ten “macro-strategies” drawing on my teaching experiences over the past 33 years.

 

  1. Set a personal example with your behaviour. I prepare classes well. Even on a bad day, I’m enthusiastic, smile, and even make jokes.
  2. Create a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere. Where appropriate, I use personal anecdotes and photos so that students get to know me. If I ask them to do something hard or even embarrassing, they practice first in small groups. I never get angry at a student. If necessary, for classroom management, I speak to the student privately, in the hall.
  3. Present the tasks properly. When I began teaching in public schools, we had to keep day books of lesson plans. Today, I keep a small B4 size notebook with points that I can easily review. When class starts, I put the plan on the board to explain the lesson sequence to my students. I also use the book to record notes for next week and to put down what went well, to do the lesson better next time.
  4. Develop a good relationship with the learners. Learning your students’ names and using them shows interest. Collect their photos or take your own and prepare a seating plan quickly. Come early to class to talk with students and stay afterward, too, developing rapport.
  5.  Increase the learners’ linguistic self-confidence. In groups, I have each student present a talk about a book or a newspaper article. The student changes groups several times, repeating the same information. Each time, the student’s explanation gets better and he or she acquires more confidence. The students listening are different each time, too, so they don’t get bored, either.
  6. Make the language classes interesting. I plan four or five varied activities, even in writing classes — with brainstorming, a short grammar lesson, some peer tutorial, and even a game where student groups compete to correct sentences.
  7. Promote learner autonomy. I include student project work with class time for me to assist and encourage; also, individual student vocabulary books or vocabulary flashcards apps for their cellphones.
  8. Personalize the learning process. Whenever possible, I relate lessons to student interests, or current events, and let students choose topics, readings, or projects that interest them, and give them some control over the learning process.
  9. Increase the learners’ goal-orientedness. On the first day, I get students to create personal learning goals for our class and we review them over the term.
  10. Familiarize learners with the target language culture. Wherever possible, I bring realia to class – postcards, photos, newspapers, DVDs, even toys that show aspects of culture.

Dörnyei, Z. and Csizér, K. (1998). Ten commandments for motivating language learners:

results of an empirical study. Language Teaching Research 2 (3), 203-229.

 

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A professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Gregory Strong coordinates a language program for freshmen and sophomores. His books include these Macmillan Language House graded readers: Ice Station at the End of the World, and Japanese Communities Abroad, the biography, Flying Colours: The Toni Onley Story, and the edited collection, Adult Language Learners: Context and Innovation.

LEXICAL PLAY: The Alphabet Poem & the I RO HA Song

Taylor Mignon - Profile PhotoBy Taylor Mignon (Nihon University)

Introduction

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

I read an alphabet poem by Ray Craig published side by side with the いろは歌 (I Ro Ha song) in the bilingual journal Ko-e. Both works were published in English and Japanese. This gave me the idea of using both for writing activities. The Alphabet Poem is the ideal primer for writers before composing their own version of the 11th century I Ro Ha, using each character in the syllabary exactly once for both activities. These exercises encourage the discovery of new vocabulary through hunting words in references, as well as language-acquisition in new contexts. They both stretch the writer’s imagination by attempting to link the words into distinct narratives. I Ro Ha involves literary translation from Japanese to English. The translation of the I Ro Ha below is by Minato Keiji.

Flowers flourish

but to dissipate;

my life or any other’s

will not last.

Over Mt. Phenomena

today I go

dreaming empty dreams

not inebriated

     Further investigation revealed that the I Ro Ha song (and possibly the Alphabet Poem, though it might be divided into sentences), is an example of the pangram, or holoalphabetic sentence, which is a sentence using every syllable of the alphabet at least once. The quote heading this introduction is exemplary. It repeats the letter “o” three times and the letter “u” twice.

Alphabet Poem

Procedure

Step One: Write your own impromptu Alphabet Poem on the blackboard without explanation, or have it prepared beforehand.

Step Two: Have students discover what the method or technique of the composition is.

Step Three: Show examples of the types of words that can be used: place names, such as the Japanglish of “Abakuro,” and exotic place names “Ypsilanti;” people, “X-men” or things; how port manteau and creative misspelling should be encouraged ― “umbilicalism” ― and how since there are so few X-words that words beginning with the letter “E,” preceding the “X” should be dropped, as in “xfoliate.” One example of port manteau is how proper names could be turned into verbs, for example from Zoolander to Zoolandalize. Show how by adding a suffix to a word, you essentially are inventing a new word: “xenophile-less.”

Step Four: Show examples of how punctuation can be manipulated, for example for “N” “nostrils’re,” so the writer takes advantage of the disguised be-verb.

Step Five: Writers begin to prepare their dictionaries and writing materials to begin composing the Alphabet Poem.

Step Six: Encourage writers to affix an original title instead of the generic “Alphabet Poem.”

Step Seven: Make sure the alphabeteers check their spelling and make sure that every word of the alphabet is included, without oversight.

Step Eight: Successful writers then translate theirs into Japanese.

Student-generated Writings: Alphabet Poems

Momoyo

Nihon University

Angelic bear catch dead eagles.

Foxes get hamster in jungles.

Kangaroos & lonely monkeys need oranges.

Pretty queen-ants run.

Strong tigers usually venture.

Wrong X-men yawn @ zoos.

可愛らしいクマはワシを捕まえた。

キツネはハムスターをジャングルで手に入れた。

カンガルーと孤独なサルはオレンジが必要だ。

可愛い女王アリは走る。

強いトラはいつも危険を冒して立ち向かう。

悪いX-menは動物園であくびをした。

*

Tatsumaru

Nihon University

Aardvarks Braai Chickens,

Dogs & Eagles. Finally,

Galileo Hacks Information.

Jobless Kevin Loaches

Makeup, Nags Oasis.

Philip Quails Running

Symbols. Tactfully Umbrellas

Vacantly Waddle. Xylitol

Yeary Zings.

ツチブタはニワトリと犬と鷲をバーベキューにする。

最終的にガリレオは、失業中のケビンの情報を引き出した。

ドジョウは口うるさいオアシスを作る。

フィリップはシンボルに怖気づく。

気のきく傘は、ぼんやり、よたよた歩く。

キシリトールは毎年急速に動く。

*

Tomoaki

Nihon University

Abracadabra Balances Calculators.

Dabblers Eager for Fables.

Gabblers Habituate Idealism.

Jabberwocky Kills Laboring Macroeconomics.

Narrators Obscure Pageants.

Quaffs Radicalize Sahara.

Taboos Uglify Vagabonds.

Wacky Xanadu Yields Zombis.

*

IROHA SONG

Procedure

Step One: Students write their own original I Ro Ha poem, or explain it as a short story.

Step Two: The writers translate their works into English.

Step Three: Three parts of the work comprise the whole: the English translation, the katakana-only version and the standard Japanese version including Chinese ideograms.

Step Four: Each scrivener/translator adds an original title.

Notes: if writers prefer to use the two Classical Japanese katakana characters, they may. Those characters are “we” and “wi.”

Another option is rather than students create a narrative, they may choose to write a more humorous list instead, as Akane does below.

Student-generated Writings: I Ro Ha Song

Haruka

Daito Bunka University

LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES ON THE SEA

The sky and night and thickening fog,

And roofs, canals, her house and boots,

The sun and shoal and sand are there.

But there is nobody else in the town.

So little girl, who lives on the sea feels lonely.

Please give her sweet eyelid a butterfly’s kiss.

空 夜 濃霧

屋根 堀 我家

靴 陽 瀬 砂はあれど

街に誰も居ぬ故

沖小女童 寂し

花瞼へ 蝶を

そら よる のうむ

やね ほり わいえ

くつ ひ せ すなはあれと

まちにたもゐぬゆゑ

おきこめろ さみし

かけんへ てふを

*

Kaori

Nihon University

Stay indoors and fool around, like tatters.

The weather will hold clear forever, the dark red sky.

Shed tears and moisten the hands.

I have only the ability to watch the world collapse

on the day of “performing a Buddhist rite”

and pray peace to one’s ashes

部屋よ籠ふる無為ウエス

永遠に醒ゑぬ茜空

涙落ちれば手の湿り

滅びゆく世を待つ忌景

*

Shinsuke

Daito Bunka University

You are Gone

Your return looks sad

Now I don’t go with you

My mind in deep grief

I will sleep after all

Go to dream, like silence

あなた は かえる そのせ さみしく

いま とんで ゐけぬ われ

きもち ひつう

やはり ねむろほ

こゑ を おすように ゆめ へ

貴方 は 帰る その背 寂しく

今 飛んで 行けぬ 我

気持ち 悲痛

やはり 眠ろう

声 を 押すように 夢 へ

*

Akane

Daito Bunka University

Ogre & Reo

The madder color of the sky, Minuma rice fields, Hanadome, ukiyo-e, dew, a ruby, Suwa, a rice cake, a room, a flute, an orge, Reo, closing one’s country to outsiders, an insect, a cicely, the weather.

茜色の空、見沼田んぼ、花留め、浮世絵、露、ルビー、諏訪、餅、部屋、笛、鬼、レオ、鎖国、虫、セリ、天気(てけ)

あかねいろのそら、みぬまたんぼ、はなどめ、うきよえ、つゆ、るびー、すわ、もち、へや、ふえ、おに、れお、さこく、むし、せり、てけ

 

Taylor Mignon is a poet and creative writing teacher. His newest book is a collection of translations from the Japanese.  http://highmoonoon.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=H&Product_Code=BCPB&Category_Code=B

He’s currently completing a textbook on creative writing for university students.

「CLIL」授業とは、リーダーズキャンペーン他【マクミラン ランゲージハウス】No.20140225

 
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News letter 2014.02.25

Everything you might expect, and more

Breakthrough Plus: The Right Mix of Everything

Matthew sensei
By Matthew Hauca (Jinai University)

The selection of a four-skills textbook for a general English course is no easy task. There are many textbooks and countless supplemental materials to choose from. A textbook that is flexible in its design and syllabus, includes an ample amount of material and is easily adaptable across a range of student levels is most ideal.

 

I chose the Breakthrough Plus series for these exact reasons. Breakthrough Plus has a straightforward design with content that meets the needs of a multi-level classroom. The layout of the series is simple in its presentation, yet robust in its material and resources for both learners and instructors.

 

The Teacher’s Resource Book provides instructors with a comprehensive layout of each unit plus there are optional activities and ideas for each section. The answers for each exercise are provided and instructors are given notes on language and culture specific to each unit. Among the other features are feeder questions for warm-up activities, extra support to aid students requiring more help and advice for fast finishers. Additionally, there are pronunciation and grammar exercises for each unit. The units are divided into seven sections with each section focusing on a particular skill set. The vocabulary and grammar is recycled amongst the seven sections, which gives the learner multiple exposures to the core content of each unit.

 

1 – Warm-up

Conversational ability has become increasingly important for today’s learners. Breakthrough Plus addresses this by providing numerous opportunities for both structured and free conversations in each unit. The Warm-up allows the instructor, if necessary, to modify the level of language right from the very beginning of the unit to ensure the students start smoothly. The questions and statements in the Warm-up section can be simplified if the students are struggling. Conversely, the content can be altered to provide students more of a challenge and offer them a chance to engage in a deeper discussion.

 

2 – Conversation

Realistic dialogue is provided for the students to practice. The conversations are long enough to avoid being perceived by the students as canned or stilted, yet the conversations are not so lengthy that they prove too daunting for lower level students. The suitable length of the conversations permit instructors to ask questions that go beyond simple cut and paste answers. Instructors are, of course, able to check for basic comprehension, but they are also able to ask more open-ended and thought provoking questions, too.

 

3 – Vocabulary

The main words and phrases for the unit are introduced. The vocabulary is presented in context, allowing the learners to get a feel for how the new vocabulary is used. Students are given common word pairings and collocations. They are then given activities to help them develop their own sentences and conversations.

 

 

4 – Exchange

Students are given four opportunities to practice the newly encountered vocabulary in which the form and usage of the vocabulary is varied, but controlled. These examples give the students a realistic view of how the new material can be used in common everyday conversations. Learners also get the opportunity to see the language in a semi-structured form. This allows for more advanced students to experiment on their own. For lower-level students they will not feel much anxiety as the vocabulary for each conversation is provided for them. Additionally, the instructor, too, may wish to modify the vocabulary used in the exercises accommodate learners of differing levels. An additional Communication activity is provided in the form an information gap exercise. This allows the students further practice and segues nicely into the next section.

 

5 – Language in action

This section tests the students’ competency to use the language in a more fluid and meaning focused exercise. What is helpful about this section is that example sentences are provided for students to follow while at the same time students have a lot of other possibilities to choose to talk about. Higher level students are not provided with all the options present in the exercise and the lower level students have reliable high frequency examples with which they can get started and successfully complete the exercises.

 

6 – Listening

The dialogues are realistic and challenging. It is a pleasure to see more resources being put into providing listening material with better quality and authenticity. Learners are always provided with at least two exercises within the listening section. The listening exercises focus on real life issues, so extending the activity into a self referential exercise for students is very easy to do.

 

7 – Speaking

The activities summarize the content of each unit into a motivating speaking exercise. Students begin by providing information about themselves or their own personal preferences. What typically follows is a pair or group comparison of each student’s information or preferences. Review using these activities and exercises is easy as there is always a chart, survey or some other information that is completed each time. Students can quickly go back and practice the material again.

 

Expansion

This is the section I find most useful for multi-level classes. Students that finish early do not have to sit idly waiting for others to finish. In the classroom, students can do the vocabulary, reading and writing exercises. Students can also do the listening exercise either on their own or the instructor can save it for review practice.

 

The Extras

Students and instructors have access to the Digibook, which is an online version of the Student Book. Students can use the Digibook to practice all of the listening activities from the Class CD. There are 120 extra practice activities for students to do for review or extra help. Videos and video worksheets are provided for each unit. Instructors have access to unit tests, progress tests for every 3 units and an end of the course test. All of the answer keys for tests, extra resources, practice activities and videos are provided, too. There is also an online Markbook to keep track of each student’s progress. This is all managed from one account. Setup of the account is quick and easy to do even for the most novice computer user.

 

A Quality Product

The Breakthrough Plus series provides an extensive amount of content per unit, ample online content and comprehensive unit videos and quizzes. The instructor has a great degree of flexibility with the added benefit of not having to worry about running out of material for her or his quicker or higher level students. The learner, too, has a lot material that she or he can practice independently either in or out of the classroom. Lots of content, a flexible syllabus for multi-level students and plenty of support for the instructor with supplementary exercises and an easy to follow teacher’s resource book. These are the reasons why I chose the Breakthrough Plus series for my classroom.

 

The Breakthrough Plus series BOOK PAGE

Life skills, Macmillan Online Conference and more [Macmillan LanguageHouse] No.20140225

 
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News letter 2014.02.25

Everything you might expect, and more

コミュニケーション活動を活性化するCLIL

笹島先生 笹島茂(埼玉医科大学)

写真は、ヘルシンキ大学のHeini-Marja Järvinen先生とのツーショットである。先生はフィンランドでCLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning)を推進している一人である。私は、日本でもフィンランドをモデルとしてCLILを推進すればよいと考えている。CLILは、英語教育に限らず、日本の今後の教育全般に影響を与える可能性がある。

 

私が勤務する埼玉医科大学医学部では、同僚のChad, Mike, Martin, Frances, Steven, Riu各先生と協同でCLILを展開している。もちろん、日本的にアレンジしたCLILだ。その一環として、『New Airwaves』を使ってコミュニケーションの授業もしている。英語による基本的なコミュニケーション、特に双方向性のある やり取りを中心とした(dialogic)授業は、受験勉強を中心に英語に接してきた医学生にはとりわけ必要だと感じているからだ。これがCLILの基礎を作っていると言ってよい。

 

New Airwaves』を使ったコミュニケーション活動のおかげで、健康科学を扱うCLILの授業がより活性化する。逆に、CLILがコミュニケーション活動の内容をおもしろくさせているとも言える。英語カリキュラム全体は総じて学生からの評判はよい。「英語で健康科学を学ぶ」というと堅苦しくなってしまうが、コミュニケーションを重視することで、「考える」「他の人とのかかわり」などを大切にするCLILの特徴が活かされ、相乗効果として、英語によるコミュニケーションが円滑に自然に行われるようになっていると考えられる。

 

CLILを知らない人もいるので、CLILについて簡単に説明しよう。「内容言語統合型学習」と訳されることが多いが、CLIL(クリル)と呼ぶほうが分かりやすい。要するに、「理科、数学、地理、音楽などの科目内容と言語(英語)の両方を統合して学ぶこと」である。「それならば私も実践している」という人もたくさんいるだろう。それほど特別な指導技術が必要ではない。しかし、「やはり英語は文法をきちんと教えるべきだ。学習者が混乱する」などの反応もあるだろう。それも一理あるが、実際にやってみると意外に楽しいという印象を持っている。  CLILの特徴は次の4つのキーワードで表されることが多い。この4つの原理を理解して指導すれば、それだけでCLILと言えるだろう。

  • 内容(Content) ・・・学ぶ内容に焦点を当てる
  • コミュニケーション(Communication) ・・・言語(英語)を使う
  • 認知・思考(Cognition)・・・言語(英語)に関連して考える
  • 文化(Culture)・・・様々な状況に柔軟に対応する

 

実際の授業展開には型はないので、上記の4つの原理を基本に、教師が学習者とともに学ぶ場を演出する。うまく展開できると実におもしろいし、さらには、学習者の自律を促す可能性が高い。ぜひ、始めてみてはどうだろうか?

 

BOOK INFO

「英5ポンド紙幣の肖像画変更」英語ニュース教材、「思い切った転身」インタビュー他【マクミラン ランゲージハウス】No.20140210

 
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News letter 2014.02.10

Everything you might expect, and more

Macmillan Webinars, Teacher Training Events for Kids [Macmillan LanguageHouse] No.20140210

 
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News letter 2014.02.10

Everything you might expect, and more

映画で学ぶアメリカ社会

4.Chieru雑誌写真

By 明石工業高等専門学校 穐本浩美

流通科学大学 濱田真由美

今回ご紹介する拙著 “American Society in Focus” は、マクミランシネマイングリッシュシリーズの第一弾として2004年に刊行されました。本書では英語学習のみならず、アメリカの社会問題や文化的特徴の導入も目的の一つとしています。12ユニットで構成される本書は異なる12本の映画を使用し、それぞれの映画がアメリカの社会問題や文化的事象などを捉えています。以下は各ユニットで扱っている映画のタイトルとそのユニットでのテーマです。

Unit 1   Major League 2(アメリカのスポーツ)

Unit 2   You’ve Got M@il(サイバーラブ)

Unit 3   John Q.(臓器移植問題と医療保健制度)

Unit 4   Mrs. Doubtfire(アメリカ人の家庭と離婚問題)

Unit 5   Stepmom(ステップファミリー)

Unit 6   Air Force One(テロ対策とアメリカ合衆国大統領)

Unit 7   Working Girl(女性の社会進出)

Unit 8   Philadelphia(エイズに対する偏見)

  Unit 9   Music of the Heart(教育問題)

  Unit 10  The Rainmaker(訴訟社会と悪徳弁護士)

  Unit 11  Space Cowboys(宇宙開発)

  Unit 12  A Few Good Men(アメリカの軍隊)

 

言語面に関して本書は次のような構成になっています。そのユニットのテーマとなっている社会問題について英語で問いかけを行う設問から始まり、語彙導入のあと映画の内容についての理解度を問う設問、映画のセリフのディクテーション、テーマに沿ったリーディング問題、最後に学習者の意見を問うスピーキング問題を用意しています。

 

BOOK INFORMATION

Key English for Science: Writing Skills Level 1 and 2

 

Key EnglishBy Michael Schulman and Hiroyo Yoshida

The ability to produce well-structured and effective academic writing is a must for any university student. The formal structure demanded by this type of writing can be an especially daunting task for a student writing in a second language.

Key English for Science: Writing Skills Level 1 and 2 provide the instructor with real tools to help students write effectively. Each unit starts with a lengthy dialogue which introduces the topic and main points to be covered during that class session, including the theme of the writing assignment at the end of the unit. The use of dialogues as a starting point for the material in these two books has numerous advantages. The dialogues are:

Authentic

They are adapted from and based on actual lectures delivered in university classrooms, and authentic conversations related to science that students studying abroad have had with their lab partners and classmates. This is important, because the dialogues therefore provide a realistic context for the target language and writing tasks that follow. Academic writing is not performed in a vacuum; it’s based on both research and various forms of communication. A student who cannot understand a classroom lecture is going to have a hard time writing an academic paper related to it, regardless of his or her writing ability. After having used these books, a student attending a science class conducted in English and completing writing assignments will find the experience to be easier and less intimidating.

Challenging -

It can be difficult for university instructors to find material which is appropriate for large classes in which the English levels of students may vary widely. These dialogues are written with vocabulary (such as scientific and technical jargon) and grammatical structures that will challenge more advanced students, yet the gist and main points will be understandable and usable for lower-level students.

Flexible -

ESL/EFL classes, regardless of their primary focus, can be made more effective and engaging when they utilize an integrated-skills approach in which the four primary language skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening) are practiced and improved, as well as closely related skills such as vocabulary development, spelling, and grammar. These dialogues are both comprehensive and versatile, and may be used in many different ways, depending on the objectives of the class and the specific skills the teacher wants the students to most improve.

The “Quick Survey” section introduces the dialogue by having students discuss and debate five questions related to the topic of the unit. This warm up activity helps to provide scaffolding by activating the students’ previous knowledge related to the subject.

Comprehension questions follow the dialogues, and these questions are supplemented by dictation activities. Many units then include sections in which students must summarize and paraphrase the information contained in the lecture or dialogue – essential skills for academic writing. This is followed by a grammar practice section, in which students will study and practice grammatical points essential to academic writing, and the TOEFL and TOEIC examinations. Finally, students brainstorm different ideas related to the topic of the lesson with their partners, and complete the unit’s central writing assignment on their own. Over the course of the two books, these assignments require different types of writing, such as:

- Descriptive paragraphs – Narrative paragraphs – Definition paragraphs – Process analysis paragraphs – Comparison and contrast paragraphs – Opinion paragraphs – Illustration paragraphs – Cause and effect paragraphs – Summary paragraphs – Writing an effective resume – Writing an effective cover letter – Writing an abstract

Good luck with your classes, and thank you very much for taking the time to read about Key English for Science: Writing Skills Level 1 and 2.

BOOK INFORMATION

「Can-Do Listを活用する」、児童英語ティーチャートレーニングイベントのお知らせ他【マクミラン ランゲージハウス】No.20140124

 
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News letter 2014.01.24

Everything you might expect, and more

Teacher Training Event for Kids, Newslesson etc.[Macmillan LanguageHouse] No.20140124

 
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News letter 2014.01.24

Everything you might expect, and more

「子ども目線」のフォニックス指導

#8 中村先生

by  中村 麻里

幼児・児童への英語教育がますます注目を浴びる中、フォニックス(音声と文字の関連)指導も徐々に浸透してきました。子ども向けのフォニックスの教材も多くみられ、指導者にとっても選択肢が増えてきています。しかし、母語である日本語の読み書きをやっと覚え始めた幼児にフォニックス指導をするのは意外と難しいものです。

「楽しく繰り返し練習をさせるアイディアが思い浮かばない」 「鉛筆を持ち慣れていない子に合う教材がない」 「アメリカ人向けの歌は難しすぎて・・・」 など、これまで多くの先生方からご相談を受けてきました。
幼児から小学低学年向けのフォニックス教材『Phonics Farm』の執筆にあたり一番大切にしたのは「日本の子どもにとって使いやすいものに」ということです。子どもにとって使いやすい教材は指導者や保護者にとってもサポートのしやすい教材。そこから「楽しい→集中できる→上達する→楽しい」という好循環が生まれます。

「子ども目線」のフォニックス教材Phonics Farmには次のような特徴があります。

 

1.小文字だけを教える
みなさんの身の回りの洋書やウエッブサイトをみてください。ほとんどが小文字で書かれていますね。子ども英語教材の多くは大文字と小文字を同時に導入していますが、Phonics Farmでは小文字だけを導入し、英語にはじめて触れる子どもたちに身近な英語を「発見する」楽しさを与えます。
2.アルファベットの「音」だけをあつかう
アルファベットには「名前読み」と「音読み」があります。たとえば”a”の名前は/ei/ですが”a”の音は/æ/ですね。英語に触れる機会が少ない日本の子どもにとって、その両方を覚えることは容易ではありません。Phonics Farmでは音のみを繰り返し練習し、たとえばc-a-tという3文字を見たときにそれぞれの音をつなげてcatと読めるように導いていきます。
3.チャンツで音と意味をつなげる
こどもたちはリズムと動きを通してことばを覚えることが得意です。Phonics Farmの付属CDには60曲のチャンツが収録されています。子どもたちは、リズムにのって”alligator, a, a, alligator”と発音しながらワニが大きな口をパクパクさせているジェスチャーをすることで”a,” “alligator”の音とワニという意味を関連付けて練習します。
4.「ひとりでできるよ」を大切に
「宿題のページを見ても何をすればいいのかわからない。」これは子どもにとっても保護者にとってもストレスのたまることです。Phonics Farmは子どもたちを混乱させることはありません。課題はぬり絵、線むすび、なぞりなど家庭で楽しめるものばかり。取り組み方は子どもが直感的に理解できるアイコンで示してあります。また、保護者向けの「使い方の説明」(日本語)もテキストに含まれています。
5.フォニックスと会話を融合する
「フォニックスの練習はどうもドライになりがち」という声をよく耳にします。会話活動や絵本の読み聞かせで触れている表現をフォニックス活動にも取り入れることでよりダイナミックな活動ができるようになるでしょう。Phonics Farmには「動物」「ピクニック」「牧場」などの子どもたちが大好きなテーマの見開きシーンSpot the Pictures!があります。単語を楽しいコンテクストで提示しているこのページを使うと簡単にフォニックスと会話学習を結びつけることができます。
6.教室での発展学習を可能に
教室では子どもたちの興味やニーズに応じて、いろいろなタイプのアクティビティにチャレンジしたいものです。Phonics Farmのテキストにはカラフルで整理しやすい生徒用の絵カード、アルファベットカードが付属しており、ウェブサイト(https://www.mlh.co.jp/phonics/)には無料でダウンロードできる活動案集、ワークシート、教師用大型カードが用意してあります。(※専用ウェブサイトは教材をご購入いただいた方向けのサイト(要登録)です。)
このように子ども目線でフォニックス指導をとらえると、どのようなアクティビティを通して子どもたちがフォニックスを身につけていくか自然に見えてきますね。みなさんの教室でも、ぜひ「子ども目線」のフォニックス指導にチャレンジしてみてください。

Newslesson about Caroline Kennedy, Event Information and more [Macmillan LanguageHouse] No.20140108

 
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News letter 2014.01.7

Everything you might expect, and more