Die Zehn Gebote…

…, und zwar nicht die von Moses, sondern ich habe mal versucht, meine Erfahrung und Kritik am japanischen Englischunterricht in die gleiche Form zu bringen. Wer Anmerkungen, Korrekturen und aehnliches hat, der kommentiere bitte.

The ten commandments of teaching your students to become fluent inEnglish

 And I spoke all these words, saying: ‚I am a fluent speaker of English who started to learn the language in Middle School

ONE: You shall have no other objectives as a teacher than to enable your students to COMMUNICATE in English and enjoy the FUN of using and playing with it.

TWO: You shall not make a fool of or get angry at people who put up the courage to point out what is wrong with your teaching but you shall listen to them and try to incorporate their advice to the best possible extent.

THREE: You shall not take for granted or believethat the approach you used so far is good or efficient even if you have done it that way for 10 years or longer. But you shall be open to new and more interesting ways to teach the language and work on improving your teaching methods all your life.

FOUR: Remember the fact that the four parts of a language, e.g. speaking, listening, reading and writing are inseparable and it is simply meaningless if you try to teach them one by one.And remember that grammar is no more than the skeleton of a language so students will never come to see the whole beauty of a person or a language if they only look at X-ray pictures all the time.

FIVE: Honour the fact that Japanese and English are far too different to translate anything one-by-one and acknowledge that even native speakers prefer using different expressions to essentially say the same thing. You shall honour the effort of students who try to express things in other words than the text book does as “getting the meaning across” is the most important thing in communication.

SIX: You shall not murder seeds of beginning self-confidence in or possibly positive feelings towards English by stressing the importance of  perfect grammar and mistake-free sentences. You shall not correct perfectly correct expressions whose only problem is that they only differ from the textbook. But you shall make students use the language as often as they can by having them write shorter and longer essays on fictional and non-fictional topics and start real discussions in class and judge participation and general efforts of students in it rather than the number of (smaller) mistakes they make.

SEVEN: You shall not commit the sin to try to teach 40 or more students at the same time as it always ends up in inefficient frontal teaching. But you shall cut down the number to at least the half of it. And you shall bear in mind that 10 students learn more in 3 lessons that 40 students do in 15 lessons when it comes to language teaching.

EIGHT: You shall not use textbooks that have more words written in Japanese than in English. Nor shall you use books that don’t use an all-comprehensive approach to teach ALL four abilities at the same time. You shall not use Katakana  in your lessons but teach students phonetics and the international pronunciation alphabet, read only texts written in natural English and have them look up unknown words in all-English dictionaries only.

NINE: You shall not bear in mind the false notion that you need to check the level of understanding of texts in Japanese. Nor shall you take Japanese and especially Japanese grammar as a reference for the conception of your teaching approach but you shall make English the centre, the target and the way to get there. You shall use 100% English in your classes and have the students listen to as much and as rich an English as you possibly can.

TEN: You shall not envy your fellow English teacher for his or her knowledge but go abroad yourself and participate in as many English-as-a-second-language lessons as you can and/or at least read non-Japanese material on English teaching to overcome the inefficient and, honestly spoken, quiet boring and demotivating only-grammar, fill-in-the-hole-, rote memorizing of texts and put-words-in-the-right-order approach that is common in Japan.

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3 Kommentare zu “Die Zehn Gebote…

  1. Cooler Eintrag! 😀 Deine Argumente — insbesondere Punkt 4, 5, und 8-10 — würde ich so unterschreiben.
    Zwei Kleinigkeiten, und ich hoffe, es ist okay, wenn ich das sag: „advice“ ist nonplural, und „in vain“ heißt vergeblich (ich hatte den Eindruck, dass du „eitel“ oder „arrogant“ meintest?). Toller Eintrag, würde ich so ausdrucken und unter japanischen Lehramtsstudenten verteilen … wobei die Chancen, dass sich da was ändert, so wie ich’s einschätze eher gering sind. Zumindest solange sich am CENTER-shiken und den damit verbundenen Prüfungen nichts ändert.

  2. Vielen Dank! Ich habe seit Ewigkeiten nichts Groesseres mehr auf Englisch geschrieben und meine Faehigkeiten sind ganz schoen eingerostet, aber trotzdem aergert mich das mit dem advice. Das mit dem „in vain“ war eigentlich ein Versuch, dass „you shall not take your god’s name in vain“ umzumuetzen. Dumm gelaufen! Ich werde es aendern.

    Falls du es benutzen willst, kannst du es gerne machen. Schreibe mir dann bloss noch mal ne kurze Notiz.

    Uebrigens wuerde ich es nicht allein auf das SENTAA-SHIKEN schieben wollen. Warum wird denn an Nicht-SHINGAKU-KOUKOU genau so gemacht? Dazu bestaende doch ueberhaupt nicht die Notwendigkeit? Und was ist mit Mittelschulen? Gerade da haben viele Siebentklaessler grosses Interesse an Englisch, besonders jetzt, wo sie ab Klasse 5 eine Stunde Englisch die Woche haben. Und dann machen sie nur Grammatik, und viele geben Englisch einfach auf.

  3. Ich finde das auch so schade, wie der Englisch-Unterricht in Japan läuft. Kann man echt gar nichts dagegen tun?

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