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Teaching style complaint 2009/1/23 10:53
I;m a qualilfied teacher and have been teaching English to adult learners in Japan for over 2 years. When my students write a new English expression in their notebooks, I sometimes write the Japanese equivalent in my own notebook. A student complained about this to a Japanese colleague: apparently this is using class time to further my own knowledge of Japanese. I regularly ask students for feedback about my classes and the response is positive but this (anonymous) complaint has me wondering. Any thoughts?
by Philip (guest)  

Teaching complaint 2009/1/23 12:24

That complaint doesn't surprise me particularly, as many of the eikaiwa chain schools charge their students large amounts of money to be entertained by performing monkeys (aka English teachers) who are not supposed to be able to speak or understand Japanese. Every school will have different policies regarding this, so can you not discuss it with your supervisor or manager?
by Dave in Saitama (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/1/23 18:43
If you spend time asking the students "so how do you say that in Japanese?" or something like that, pick up the expression from one of the students, then take time to write it down, then it *could* be seen to be using class time, when students should be talking in English.

Maybe that student wants to spend more time in class actually speaking English, and maybe trying not to get into the habit of "translating" in their mind from Japanese to English as they speak, and that's why they might feel that teaching you Japanese could be a bit of disruption to "thinking in English only."
by AK rate this post as useful

teaching 2009/1/24 00:57
I agree with A.K The only way I was able to master a language quickly was when I had no choice but to be totally immersed in that language only, without any translation into /from my mother tongue. Japanese should barely be used, if at all, in an English class..
by Monkey see (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/1/24 02:26
He isn't teaching the class in Japanese, just writing down an equivalent of it in Japanese. I have students who have no problems at all translating the English into Japanese. It can sometimes be used to make sure they are actually understanding the material as well. Of course there is no one exact way to teach as there are many different teaching methods, total immersion is just one way, and most English chain schools have a policy of no Japanese at all following that policy, but in actual real world practice, that isn't always the case.

It also depends on how you define absolutely no Japanese used at all in class. Some people are strict to include dictionaries, I dont mind dictionaries, in fact I would be a bazillion times lost in learning Japanese if it wasn't for dictionaries, and explanations from English to Japanese if not from the teacher, but from the translations written in my Japanese textbook.
Interestingly I was recently hired for a part time English instruction job based on that I studied Japanese and be able to explain certain elements in Japanese if the situation needed.

But again each company has different procedures, thankfully I don't work as a drone for an Eikaiwa either.

But again the Customer is always right, I was in a position like you once, I had mostly positive reviews, until one student just didn't' like me for some reason (never got clear answer), with me, but it had nothing to do with the use of Japanese as it was a while back and I didn't speak it back then.
by John (guest) rate this post as useful

teaching 2009/1/24 09:35
For Philip to be writing down the equivalent in Japanese, the Japanese word has obviously come up in the class- if Philip just overhears one of the students say it and then quietly writes it down for checking later then it shouldn't cause issues too often, but if he actually asks "How do you say that in Japanese?" then I can see some more picky students being bothered.

If it has only happened once in two years then I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just make sure not to use any Japanese in classes where that student is present.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

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