Adrian told me how he does the routines and I have been using his technique more and more with the students and though they complain a little at first, they also laugh and seem to have a good time. Having to start over from the beginning every time they make a small mistake makes them try even harder to get it right. This is what they really have to do to improve their English speech. The habit of self-correction is essential for the student if they are to make steady progress to master English. The routines are an excellent tool to instill this habit.
For those of you out there who do not know what a routine is, you’ll just have to join Smith’s or buy a franchise or established Smith’s school to find out. It is one of the techniques that I think makes “Smith’s School” a much better place for Japanese students to master English than the other run-of-the-mill English conversation schools in Japan. Smith’s has really considered the problems that Japanese students have to acquire good English speaking habits and the curriculum is really tuned to their needs. At the same time it is open ended enough for teachers to stretch it to address the students particular problems when the need arises.
Well, back to work. Enjoy this fine hot summer day!
Oh, I thought you might get a kick out my “year of the rat” picture. Let me know what you think.
Well said Al. Routines are a huge component of the Smith’s curriculum. Recently we have increased our use of routines at SSE Ohtsu, especially focusing on increasing our students’ confidence using the questions. It’s a nice and easy way to fill the review section of the loop, as it requires no prep and can be done as many times as necessary to get the student stotally comfortable and confident using the questions. Simply ask your student to turn to that page in their notebook, and ask away! Students quickly become very comfortable asking and answering the routine questions, which are very useful in ALL conversation.
Edward, SSE Ohtsu