Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Student Feedback 2

The next installment of feedback from students.


During the lesson, I introduced students to a number of emotion-related words through the use of rage faces.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Emotions Class 1

Students loved drawing their favourite emoticons. It was great fun trying to decide what emotion each character was showing.

They loved the 'Crater Face' YouTube video too. I don't think they will forget the word bittersweet now!

Student Feedback

This term students were asked to do some 'quick writing' at home which are similar to Murphey's Action Logs.

Students basically have five minutes to write about (reflect on) what they did during the lesson. They are told to write any new words or grammar they encountered too.

The things that students write are also very helpful to me as it shows what worked/didn't work in the class.

Here are a few good examples from last week.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Using Reddit in a university EFL classroom

Hello all!

This is basically a guide for my students, but let me give you a brief introduction to what it is I am teaching here.

What is reddit?

Some of you may be familiar with the website: www.reddit.com and the plethora of comics that appear in the f7u12 or classicrage subreddits...? Maybe not. A lot of these comics are completely inane and pointless, but there is of course the odd gem that makes me laugh. The r/classicrage comics usually strike a chord with me somewhere in my own experiences making me chuckle.

Here is one particularly relevant to students:


Anyway, I thought it might be fun to get my students to create their own comics and share them on reddit. I even created my own subreddit for students to present their work(s of art)!

The good thing about presenting student work on a subreddit is due to the way that reddit as a site works. Posts are voted up or down by users. If you like a post you "upvote" it, if you dislike a post you "downvote" it. With this mechanic in place, students can effectively vote on the comics they think are the best. They also have the ability to post comments, which gives them the opportunity to interact socially with each other in English outside of the classroom (that's the theory at least!)

So, on with the main part of this post: explaining how to register on reddit.

Registering with reddit

Picture 1

The first thing you need to do is press the "register" (登録) button.


Picture 2

Insert a username. Make it your student number. Also, make your password something that you will remember. If you need to, have your password the same as your username.

You don't need to put your mail address in, but if you forget your password, you won't be able to use this website again :(


Picture 3

Search for tduenglish.

Picture 4

Press on the tduenglish link (or press this).

Picture 5

Click the +frontpage button to register to the tduenglish news feed.


You are now registered to use reddit.

Picture 6

If you want to leave a comment (for the caption competition), press the comment (コメント) button and then put in your comment.

That's it!

If you have any problems, email me.

My next post will look at how to make rage comics as well as introducing some of the famous(?) characters.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Implementing Tasks and Projects in Japanese Primary Schools

Good morning! I have just uploaded some slides for a presentation that I gave this weekend at the JALT Ibaraki chpater meeting. It contains a culmination of all the work and research that I did when I worked at the primary school level and while creating the presentation it made me realise that I actually use a lot of the same principals at the university level. Anyway, this is quite a long one with bonus lesson plans for the space project at the end. I hope you enjoy it.


Monday, 3 October 2011

First Group Battle

Today my students had their first experience of battling each other. We did a textbook review battle which meant that:
Students had to choose a page from their textbooks that we had studied before and make five questions on the that page. They then asked their questions to another group. If that group couldn't answer the question, they would lose a life (each team starting with 5 lives).
At the end of a round (once both teams had asked each other their 5 questions), the team with the most lives remaining were declared the winners are were rewarded with 15XP. Losers got 5XP, and if the round was a draw both teams got 10XP.

I will put up the full rules of this game at my project website here: http:///dendaienglish.wikispaces.com

Here are some pictures of the students in the midst of battle:

Sunday, 2 October 2011

The Interactive Forum

I just uploaded the slides from my presentation yesterday at the ETJ Tokyo EXPO.
My goals with the presentation were to make more people aware of this contest so that it may be emulated elsewhere in Japan. It takes a communicative approarch to the traditional speech contest which has many benefits to second language acquisition.

I also wanted to discuss what possible improvements could be made to the tournament and gather ideas regarding whether there might be an alternative to this tournament, such as a task-based groupwork tournament which may promote cooperation among participants.