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Japan, Teaching

Valentine’s Day & Printables

February 11, 2014

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and girls in Japan are hurrying to get everything ready! The holiday is quite different here, as February 14th is a day when only the girls do the giving. Stores are packed with a variety of “make your own (insert treat name here)” sets, and adorably designed boxes of chocolate. I have to admit, there are some pretty awesome looking sets, and I love the “dig-up” chocolate, where you get to be a paleontologist and dig up some yummy chocolate dinosaur bones!
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Teaching

What are EFL and ESL?

February 6, 2014

So you’re thinking of becoming an English teacher. More specifically an English teacher to non-native speakers of the language. You may notice two different terms associated with English language teaching that keep popping up from time to time: ESL (English as a Second or Subsequent Language) and EFL (English as a Foreign Language).

For a lot of people EFL is a term that they may have heard of but aren’t overly familiar with, and I know that I’m often asked what exactly it is. It’s also commonly confused with ESL, which is similar, but not the same.

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Teaching

Craft time : Crown of shapes

March 25, 2013

I’ve mentioned in the past that I teach a Mommy & Me class, for mothers and their two and three year old children. Every week we have a different theme, and the theme for the past week was one of my personal favourites; shapes.

There are six different shapes we use: circle, star, heart, square, triangle, and diamond. I’d say they’re pretty standard shapes, and aside from triangle, the kids can usually remember them quite quickly.
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Teaching

Brothers who are trees.

March 6, 2013

Teaching children always lands you in interesting waters. Work is never boring, and I get my fair share of chuckles every day. I can honestly say that the students I teach are all good kids, and even when I’m tired and not feeling my best, they make it easy to do my job.

So here is a little collection of some of the things that my students have said (or written) over the past little while that gave me a laugh.
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Teaching

Craft time: Pumpkin bags

October 29, 2011

For Halloween, Christmas and Easter, we do special events at the school. This also includes special themed lessons for my Mommy and Me classes.

Since the students are so young (two and three), they don’t attend the school’s Halloween event, because let’s face it, the activities are geared towards children that are a bit older, and a lot of the costumes and so forth are just too much for them. So instead, we do a special Halloween event during class time, and the kids are encouraged to dress up.

The first 15 minutes of class are usually a normal routine, with a Halloween story thrown in for good measure. Then for the second half, we do our vocabulary and craft (all Halloween themed) and then a short trick or treating stint, where the kids knock on the classroom door, I open it, they (try to) say “Trick or Treat?”, and get a snack. This year I’ve been giving out two (wrapped) cookies and a sheet of stickers.
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Teaching

Craft time : Body parts bear

October 20, 2011

Three times a week, I teach a Mommy & Me class. Attending the class are mothers (and occasionally a father or grandmother who steps in for the odd lesson) and their children, who are all ages two and three years old.

Initially, I was really nervous to teach the class. The thought of teaching children that little and with the mothers present was not appealing in the least. However, it soon became one of my favourite lessons to teach. Everyone is supportive and honestly just there for the benefit of their child. We follow a similar routine every class, which starts out with a basic warm-up of greetings, counting and colours with a few songs mixed in for good measure. I read a story every week, and using the weekly theme, we learn some new vocabulary and do a craft.
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