On Tuesday I teach two classes in the morning and one at night from 8:10 to 9:40. The two classes in the morning are "conversation" classes.
Today's classes were the first excursion into the textbook. I spent the first gatherings talking about individual information, like birthdays, zodiac signs and blood types. It was good to have them talk about themselves in an introductory way. Some of the students did not know their zodiac signs in either English or Japanese.
The first unit in the textbook that we are using, "J-Talk," by Yoshida and Ziolkowski, is on names. That is convenient, because I had worked up and used over the years a unit on names that is very similar to the material in the text. There is some information that it does not cover that I will supliment with my own material, but it is a nice introduction. The students get an opportunity to think about their names, what they mean and where they come from, in addition to names from around the world. One nice feature of most of the classes here is that there are international students. That makes the conversation much more global.