Over the past few years I’ve been piddling about working on an English Language grammar that covers the language in a comprehensive way that is also useful as a single go-to reference for teaching. I have a few goals with this project: Continue reading
Tag Archives: teaching
There’s a pattern used in businesses for product development. First a product is conceived of. Then it is designed and prototyped. Once the working prototype is ready it is tested. Testing reveals problems with the design and suboptimal performance. Observations made during testing are then considered, the product is redesigned, the redesign is prototyped and tested, and the test results are considered again for the next iteration.
Teaching is easy. You just tell people stuff. Teaching all of your students effectively on the other hand can be a monumentally difficult task. As a relatively uneducated, unseasoned teacher I find teaching people that learn fast to be the most satisfying, but that’s because it’s easy. Teaching the slower learners and those that aren’t as adept at taking on new ideas is very challenging and sometimes frustrating.
So, I’m an assistant English teacher. That’s my job. In fact, more specifically my job is to be a native speaker of English to provide my students with exposure and the chance to interact with a real L1 (First Language) English speaker. It also means I occasionally run into difficulties that the Japanese teachers don’t anticipate. When you learn a 2nd language in school, at least in Japan, it’s mostly done by teaching a series of grammatical rules and drilling vocabulary which you can use to fill in the spaces of those rules. Unfortunately the basis for those rules is often suspect or at least not really firmly rule-like. Grammar should really be considered a set of guidelines, since people are always mangling them into newly invented monsters. The monsters lose their hanging chads and polish off their rough edges over the course of time and use, but they’ll eventually change again anyway. Continue reading
Work is fun, I love it when a light turns on in the kids heads and they understand something I teach them. Glorious moments. So far the annoyances aren’t a big detractor, though I am finding myself expending a lot of energy doin this. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that so far my Lessons are are mostly self-introduction so I’m the center of attention as well as the only one talking for most of the class. Things should get easier when I can start planning normal lessons with student activities.