Saturday, 12 May 2012

Weekend workshops at Luna

Dogme...Does that mean no furniture?
 For a long time I have felt that my returnee students in particular need to get out a bit more. Because of scheduling - club activities being the default roadblock to a sensible lifestyle in Japan - and the unique backgrounds, learning styles, life experiences & language abilities of said learners, we generally have one-to ones.

To this end, we have started to offer "workshops" once a month, with the intention that we have a bit of a mingle, and get stuck into fun, communicative & co-operative tasks. No books, in this case no chairs or even table - change the environment & re-jig the style of interaction. The intention is that these days are as much student lead as possible; sure, we need an idea or theme for the workshops, and a broad plan of action, but we want to students to occupy the speaking ground and get on with stuff in English.

Working it out together
This is important; often the best English-speakers in school become reticent as they get older; quite often being used in class to produce model answers or first answerer can get wearisome. So, teacher's role in these special events is to chivvy and cajole, nudge and shepherd things along gently. Outcome? It will be nice to get somewhere, but for the now, the journey itself is going to be more interesting and having a real reason for making use of English.

I also hope these gigs will show our returnees that there are other very able speakers around, and that they are not abnormal...but neither that they are the best; there is some competition around :)

The next weekend workshops are:
  • For kindergarten ages - May 26: Numbers & animals
  • Primary school ages   - May 26: short vowel sounds
Reservations required: friends (ie non-Luna students welcome - fees apply)

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