Teaching Eikaiwa

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Transcript Teaching Eikaiwa

Teaching Eikaiwa
What do I do?
Uniqueness of Eikaiwa
Why Eikaiwa Rocks!
• This is YOUR class.
• You make the lessons and are the only one in
front of the class.
• You can do things that aren’t possible at
regular schools.
• You are teaching adults, these people are your
friends and neighbours.
• Create your own environment.
• Be creative with the space and seating.
• Get out of the classroom!
Hanami in the park, bon’enkai at a local restaurant
or izukaya
Cooking classes: most community centers have
kitchens you can book
Go shopping at the local grocery store.
1. Use a textbook
• Lots of grammar points and activities to choose
• Can be useful for students who want to study
more on their own.
• Easy to plan ahead.
• Strict and structured can be confining
• Complicated names, impractical situations used
as examples.
2. Using a set curriculum
o Sit down and write out a lesson plan for each
• Everyone knows what’s going to happen each
• You have to plan for the whole year in advance.
• Some students won’t come every week, making it
hard to follow a curriculum.
3. Off-the-cuff
o Create a lesson each week as you go.
o Can have little to no connection between lessons.
• Very flexible and you can fit your lessons to your
individual students.
• Useful if you don’t have a the same students every
• Sporadic and not clearly defined. Students tend to
like more structure.
Time Management
• Do you start and finish a lesson every week or do
you extend lessons over several weeks?
• You don’t have to jam every minute with a new
activity if students are really communicating.
• Be careful of tangents, but if students are
enjoying it, don’t worry. Eikaiwa is conversation.
• Break Time! Take some time every class to relax
with the students. Bring some snacks and you
may be surprised with what your students bring
next class.
Teaching Grammar
• Figure out at the beginning if you and your
students want to concentrate on this.
• You can do this without using a textbook or
concentrating on it.
• If you’re not using a textbook, you can borrow
what you’ve been teaching in JHS or SHS.
• Or just mention it as you teach them phrases.
Student Levels
• Can vary a lot!
• You need to be careful that lower level
students aren’t intimidated.
• But you don’t want higher level students to be
• Try having different rules for games and
What do your students want?
Survey the students
• Ask what they are interested in learning,
grammar, topics, etc.
• Find out why they want to learn English
• Survey them again at the end of the term to
find out what they felt was good or bad and
what they still want to learn more of.
Common issues in class
Students want to write down everything.
• Sometimes this helps them remember what
they are learning so you need to let them
write some things.
• Try to write one or two examples on the
whiteboard, but don’t let them use time to
copy down everything.
Too much Japanese in class
• Students want more info on what a classmate
has said. Set time limit if it can’t be explained
in English and don’t let the conversation go
longer. Encourage them to try asking in
English first
• When discussing difficult topics, be careful not
to use too much Japanese yourself. If you do
find yourself using too much, try to get back
to an easier subject, or call break time.
Make sure you…
• Don’t have too much writing, students can
become bored and they are there to
communicate, not practice writing.
• Have enough structure with all your activities.
Most don’t have the English ability to work on
their own.
• Don’t speak too fast or use difficult language.
Ideas and Activities
• Try to have an activity that you do every week.
Students have something to look forward to
and you can judge their improvement.
Ex. Every week ask what the students did over the
Writing Activities
• Writing a journal/diary: good for them to practice
at home.
• Skit-Making: Great for nailing down any grammar
point. Have students get into groups and
depending on the level, either have them fill out
a pre-made skit, or for advanced students, have
them create one all on their own. Practice and
perform in front of the class.
• Creative Writing: Short stories, poems/haikus.
Bring in pictures or photos and have students
describe them for ideas.
• Pictionary: Students love this. Choose any
category, the drawings are amazing. Try a
special event like Halloween pictionary. Extra
• Charades: Good for reviewing verbs.
• Scrabble and Hangman: Good for reviewing
• Scattergories: Good for reviewing vocabulary.
Board games
• Sugoroku game: Board game with dice and
questions, where players move forward or
back according to a correct or incorrect
answer. Good for reviewing.
• Monopoly, LIFE, etc: adults still enjoy these
games and you can add penalties for using
Card Games
• Use regular cards or even vocab cards from
your elementary classes.
• Go Fish is awesome for practicing any type of
yes/no question.
• UNO is also very popular and you can find the
cards at many convenience stores.
• Mystery Box: Choose item/card from a box. Have
students guess what it is using the 5 W’s, or have
chooser describe it and have students guess from the
• “My Treasure”: Students bring in an item to class and
describe what it is and why it is special to them.
• Magazine/Newspaper Scavenger Hunts
• Write a Postcard: Get someone from back home who’d
be keen to replying to some postcards and get your
students to write and decorate some. Choose any
writing topic.
• Crossword Puzzles: Get them into groups and make it
a competition to see which team finds the words the
fastest. Can make your own at puzzlemaker.com
• Single Topic Ideas: Good for random topics like
‘chocolate’ or holidays like Thanksgiving, Valentine’s
• International Versions of an Occasion: Look at all the
different ways to say “I love you.” For Valentine’s Day.
• Weddings: Have your students describe a Japanese
wedding in English. Compare Japanese wedding
culture to your home country’s wedding culture.
• Use the TV: Bring in a video or a popular TV sitcom
like Friends, or TV commercials. Great way to
introduce slang, real culture, speed of which someone
speaks, accents, etc.
• Recycling: Bring in your ridiculous recycling guide and
go over it in English. Introduces a lot of new
vocabulary. Bring in some of your own trash and have
your students separate it in English!
• Japanese Culture Lessons in English: Any
Japanese holiday can be taught in English. Ask
your students to explain to you what it is, why it
happens, and what are some common practices
during the holiday.
• Craft Lessons: Used mostly during holiday
lessons. For Christmas, we make Christmas cards.
For Halloween, we carve pumpkins. For Easter,
we color eggs.
• Dates and the Calendar: Learning the days of the
week, months of the year, seasons.
• Time: Not only learning the numbers, but also
specific sayings like, ¼ past, ½ past, o’clock,
nani nani till, nani nani past…
• Making a Reservation: Can be stretched out to
multiple classes. Reservation at a restaurant,
at a hotel, on a train, on a plane.
• Canceling or changing a Reservation: Always
good to provide examples and have students
learn through skit-making.
• At the Airport: Most students want to travel, so
any lesson with traveling will be most
• At a Restaurant: Explain tipping and certain
restaurant etiquette. Always very interesting.
• Directions: Make a map of somewhere that is
familiar for your students. Teach common
directions using the map. Have students create
their own map and instruct other students
where to go.
• At a Grocery Store: See if you can go to a
local grocery store and give a tour in English.
• Making your own schedule: Have your
students fill out what they do during the week
using a schedule. You can then take turns
presenting your weekly schedules or have
everyone ask each other what they do.
• Cooking in English: What better way to spend
your time than cooking with students!
Wonderful opportunity to share with them a
dish from your home country, and have the
students share a dish from theirs.
• Thanksgiving Potluck: Have all the students
bring one plate of food. Spend the class time
eating and describing their food dish.
Pick a topic:
• Have the students write down topics they want
to discuss during class.
• Each week draw a new topic and discuss.
• Good idea to also create an activity or game
using the topic.
Ex. Favorite café: what is it, where is it, what
do you order there, why is it your favorite?
Students can ask each other questions and
Have Fun!
Your students are there for all different
reasons. But they all want to have fun and
practice English. Make it fun for them and for