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help - Japanese high school students 
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Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:56 am
Posts: 4
Post help - Japanese high school students
I'm looking for some advice as to what to teach a small group of high school students. I teach them after school and they seem to know so much grammar that they know everything but just can't use it.

I'm looking for some good theme lessons to do over 2-3 lessons but any help would be greatly appreciated.


Wed May 10, 2006 7:01 am
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
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I've done some lessons on reported speech
- He said that he...
- She ask if he ...
- They heard that she ...
- We thought that they ...
- I read that Sara ...

Each one in a separate lesson. So spanning 5 weeks.

You can also try some of the projects in the v-key pals section. The Perfect Park, Mt. Diamonte Adventure and Super Hero projects are pretty good for this age group. Those can be used over several lessons.

I'd be interested to hear what others are doing as well.

I hope that helps.
- Mark

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Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!


Fri May 12, 2006 7:16 am
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:03 am
Posts: 71
Location: Athens, Greece
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Why don't you choose a good topic like: Mysteries (the Bermuda triangle, UFOs, etc), or Sports, orBody Language , Palm reading or Healthy diets or Personality tests or any other subject that might interest your students, (you may want to brainstorm them ) and than bring to class texts on that specific subject and work on some of the vocabulary in those texts and get them to express their oppinions. There are so many interesting things on the net when one starts searching


Fri May 12, 2006 11:56 pm
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:36 pm
Posts: 386
Location: Tohoku Japan
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I like flashcards, I use them all the time

what about having a pile of cards eg places and a pile of famous people cards
then something like "Why did ***** go to *****?" and try to get long answers (as quick as possible)

or give each student about 5 to 10 cards and get them to make a story around it and get the other students to ask questions

or get the students to talk about a subject for 2 mins ... ask Qs (make up some subject cards)

or get a picture/scene with a few people and get them to be bad bosses and give the person orders (please shave or please buy a new shirt, buy me a hamburger! etc) then get them to be a good boss


Tue May 30, 2006 9:08 am
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 3:59 pm
Posts: 42
Post TPR-S
Great suggestions above -- I think all generate useful practice. Just thinking about Manuela's suggestion about topics, I've begun using the TPR-S method. Are you familiar with it? If not here's some info, that might help...
TPR-S originally was derived from TPR, the "S" stand for stories. At one time, lexis was introduced with motions, or TPR, to make the vocabulary memorable. The TPR words, once familiar or mastered, are used in stories for further practice. Some teachers stray from this model now, and TPR-S has come to mean "Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Stories."
Basically, the new TPR-S is sort of like scaffolding -- the same idea of introducing vocabulary first, as mentioned above, but the vocabulary includes translation into the native language. The main vocabulary that is first presented and practice consists of question words (Who, What, Where, When, How many). The idea is that after translating the words, use the question words to make inquiries using the 'new' lexis.
The first round of questions are "yes" and "no" so that the students are comforable.
To keep this brief, I'll just say that next, a series of questions are asked, but these build toward a pre-pared story ...
Oops! Gotta go...sorry. I'll post more later if you're interested!


Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:54 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:27 pm
Posts: 29
Location: japan
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Give the students a challenge like speak English for 3min non stop. Tell them that they can't use there native language even hesitation noise and they can't pause for longer then 5 seconds. I find in these situations they start to apply some of that grammar knowledge and they also realize there real communication ability.

This helps when I'm teaching students that have a kind of "I already learned that before attitude" and or very grammar focused students. They start to realize how to use what they have learned and that thinking of grammar and how to conjugate a verb isn't the most important thing in using English in a conversation.

I also don't correct there mistakes during this time just take note and build lessons around most common mistakes. I try not to single out any students for making mistakes.

I make them start over if they speak their native language or pause for two long. So it is best to start at maybe one min and build your way up.

Some problems too watch for.
One student asks a question and the other student can't answer.
I still count to five and they fail. Then explain that its not like tennis they have to help each other or say excuse me, I’m sorry I can't understand, what do you mean? for example, ect...

Hopefully the stronger students realize it’s ok to continue the conversation as well and that these kinds of situations are common in spoken English.

Hope everyone can understand what im trying to explain. Let me know if I was ramble ling


Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:28 am
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Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:51 pm
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Discussion activities can be good to loosen them up and try and make the dialogue more natural.
One idea is to get pieces of text - short biography of a famous person; something that describes an event etc... and chop it into, say 5, manageable chunks of one or two sentences. Designate each student either A B C D or E and give the A's one chunk, the B's one chunk etc so each student has some text but all the A's have the same text as each other, the B's the same.... The students should then read their sentences and remember them as best they can as they aren't allowed to refer back to the text. Next, they need to organise themselves into complete groups of A-E and within the group relate what was on their paper and reconstruct the original order of the story or text.
I think I have made this sound really convoluted, but it does work as a discussion activity as they have to decide what is the start, middle and end of the text and if the text is a bit ambiguous get them to explain their reasons.
Obviously you can adapt it depending on the level, they can keep their texts for reference etc. A fun variation is to provide 5 different biographies, give each group the name of their person and let them try and figure out whose text belongs in that group.


Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:58 am
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