This week one of my students showed up and showed me her new homework folder. Since she started in April she has been diligently doing the homework, watching the videos and preparing for the lesson. She has saved all the homework sheets in this new folder. She has filled up this folder and will start a new folder soon.
She even makes a list of all new words from the in-class lesson and looks up all in the dictionary before coming to the lessons. On top of all that she translates it to Japanese and often prepares a little discussion about the subject before the lesson. Wow! It is so impressive!
Now if I could get all my students to do this it would be great. You know actually, I see that most of my higher level students are doing this kind of preparation for the lesson. By doing so they get the whole package: listening, reading, writing and speaking practice. They study a fresh new article each week which is taken from recent news. They read the article, and do the homework. They also watch the videos which are available on the Smith’s main site under the Online TOEIC Lesson tab on the right side of every page of the Smith’s Japanese website. (無料ＴＯＥＩＣレッスン）
On that page where the video player opens to play when they choose a lesson the script, questions and answers from the video shows so they can check their answers and find out a word or phrase that was in the conversation that they could not comprehend by just listening.
I have heard from other Smith’s Schools of English teachers that many of their students are using the videos to practice listening to the English of native speakers (British and American). In the near future, the related materials will be made available to all Smith’s teachers to use in the lessons. These materials are the same type of lessons found in the Smith’s curriculum under “News Events”. The lessons can be taught in the same way that those lessons are taught but having the related video for students to watch at home can really help students to get the full range of practice.
In most of the videos John of the Smith’s School of English – Kawanishi School has helped me. But on occasion Chiharu of the Smith’s School of English – Otsu has helped me and I even made one with Mai who works part time for me at Okamoto School and even one of my higher level students helped me to make one of the videos. That was a a great experience for her! She worked on pronunciation, natural phrasing and rhythm.
I am really enjoying teaching these days. What is most important for me is to provide an interesting and challenging lesson for students which is fresh and up to date. Of course not all students can meet the challenge of these lessons in the beginning. But in time mosts students, if they first acquire the basic skills taught through the normal Smith’s curriculum by our teachers, who really care about their progress, can achieve the level needed to meet the challenge of these lessons.
Check out the latest video in the Eikaiwa Blog on the Japanese site.–>Case of the Missing Japanese Centenarians