Thursday, February 01, 2007

High school presentation on intercultural topics

Went to the high school where I have been working with a special group of students on presentation skills. Today they made their final presentations. They started planning this particular presentations in October last year. I was really surprised by the level of the topics that they chose. Very interesting, sophisticated ideas, but they didn't flesh them out very well. Just not enough planning time, I think. Most read their stuff rather than read it, a problem with presenters in Japan at any age or venue. I was also disappoointed when it was obvious that some had plagerized the whole thing from the Internet. They didn't need to do that. It was obvious when they had some text on the screen, and there were several kanji that they couldn't read.

Overall the experience, which beggan last year in April was positive. I ahve been to high schools before for short periods, but not ever to do a whole course. The students were more lively and involved than those at other schools that I have visited. I have seen some surprising behavior in schools here, and I mean that in a negative sense, but this class was very promising. It also gave me a chance to compare my students at this university with those at a high school. I guess the biggest difference was attendance. If the high school students were absent, it was significant. For my class of repeaters here, attendance is significant.

Here is a list of some of the topics that the students chose:
Sesame Street
World Snowball Fight Championship
World after Death
Christmas
World Flags
Brands and their History
Cars
Childrens' Dreams of the Future
Dogs

4 comments:

Patrick Jackson said...

Hi There! Just stumbled on your blog...looks interesting. Just up the road in Nagoya...here are some speeches our 3rd yr JH Students made a while ago.
http://potatopals.podOmatic.com/entry/2006-12-08T04_44_40-08_00
Pip pip,
PJ

Anonymous said...

Hello Daniel,
I just stumbled across your blog today, I was searching the web for teaching materials and ideas.
Im starting my own Eikaiwa school in Fukuoka and was wondering what kind of advice or any book reccomendations you might have for developing a curriculum for various levels of English for a new Teacher.
-Dan

Daniel said...

Patrick,
listened to the corny jokes. Wow, they were really bad but good. They must have practiced those for a long time. Thanks for the link.

Daniel said...

Anonymous,
I don't have much advice, really. I taught at a conversation school in Kitakyushu for a couple of years. It is great fun most of the time, but I'm surprised sometimes at how little progress learners make, even though they are paying for the classes. They also come and go without so much as a farewell, so if people end up not coming back, don't take it personally. They fail to return for millions of reasons, very few of the having to do with you or your teaching ability. I was just thinking of an example today of a woman who asked me to come to her class and do some activities with her class. I haven't heard from her for months now. I didn't ask for pay, but did it as a professional consideration. In our line of work, people come and go, and we may or may not ever know why.

As for texts, My feeling is that texts, regardless of the one that you choose, are starting off points. There is no text that will do it all for you. I also suspect that the greatest text of all time has already been published. Find one/ones that you like and build your program from there.

I posted about texts a while ago. You can read the post here.
http://yokkaichi1.blogspot.com/2005/11/nature-of-efl-textbooks.html