Name of Teacher: Catherine Burke
Class/Grade/Language Level: ES and JHS adaptable to all ages
Textbook and specific lesson: ALTs generally come at the beginning of the second term, so take this into account when planning your lesson. Your new students have only studied up to Units 3-4 in their respective textbooks.
Goal: While learning about the ALT practice asking questions in English and engage in cultural exchange.
Preparation: A Self-intro quiz, 3-5 basic comprehension questions (can be in Japanese), space at the bottom to brainstorm questions for the ALT.
- You should have time during the students’ summer vacation to prepare your self-introduction and familiarize yourself with the materials that your schools use. Before planning, I looked through all of the textbooks for the key phrases and vocabulary for each grade level. This helped me understand the ideal level of English in each grade. In reality, students forget, so it is important to think about the material that has been introduced to them and how to adjust on the spot if they don’t understand.
- Ask about the technology in your schools. Create a powerpoint for classes that have an electric blackboard and HDMI cables. Print the powerpoint on large pieces of paper and laminate it for low-tech class rooms, you can use magnets to display multiple slides on the blackboard.
Class time: 50 minutes
1. Smile big and greet the students. You can ask your team teacher to pass out the comprehension quizzes while you set up. Present your powerpoint for 25-30 minutes. If students don’t understand something, you can ask your team teacher to help you explain. For example, if the students aren’t sure about a question you asked, ask T1 first, then have the students answer. “My hobby is sewing (mime). Do you like sewing, _____ sensei?” … “What’s your hobby _____ sensei?” “What’s your hobby (to students)?”
2. Give the students 3 minutes to answer and discuss the comprehension questions then go over the answers.
3. 3-5 minutes Have the students write questions for you. (In English for strong JHS students, and Japanese for ES and low level JHS).
4. 10 – 15 minutes Question time!
Powerpoint and Planning Tips: Use images of your hometown, family and friends, likes and dislikes. See the example powerpoint for ideas. Decide what you want the students to know about you and the unique points of your city, state, or country. Your slides should be image heavy, 1-4 per slide for good visibility. Keep the slides simple. Don’t put text on the slides besides a topic word or simple sentence. Younger students can’t read and older students should focus on this rare opportunity for natural listening comprehension.
Potential topics: Country, family members, interesting traditions, hobbies, special skills or talents, likes, dislikes etc. Pick a few topics to guide your pictures and introduction and take notes under the slide to plan what you’ll say when you introduce the pictures. Keep in mind your goals: use only English, and engage the students. Adjust your talking speed according to the grade level, be expressive and use plenty of gestures, encourage interaction by asking questions to the teachers and students. In big classes ask for raised hand to answer questions.