Welcome to the December newsletter! First of all a huge "Thank you!"
to everyone in Aomori, Yamagata, Gunma, Saitama, CLAIR and everyone at
JALT in Kokura, for making us so welcome and showing us an amazing time
at the conferences last month!!! You guys were great!!
And we're just as excited this month as we have completed our first Genki English Video!!
NEW!! Genki English Teacher Training Video!
If you've seen our seminars you know what's in store, loads of teaching
hints and tips packed full of energy to get your students, and teachers,
motivated to learn more!! We've spent the last few months putting together
a video showing loads of the best Genki English techniques. It's presented
in Japanese (great to show your teachers what this English thing is all
about!), but it's so visual that you'll be able to get most of it! Plus
there are loads of sections that you can use in class, from teaching vocab
to groovy animations! "Fast action, high quality teacher training
at its best!"
English version of the website on your mobile!
We were asked the other week if we had a version of the website that people
can access from mobile phones. Well, we did, but it was Japanese only.
So last week I uploaded the English pages in a special mobile phone section
of the site!! Stuck in a lesson and don't know what to do? On the train
and feeling bored? Check out Genki English wherever you are!
New "Genki Christmas" MP3 song
I love teaching about Christmas, and this is a great song to introduce kids to vocab such as "Santa, snowman, Christmas tree, stocking, present etc." You can download it for free from the website! It's great as a warm up for the "Ladders Game"!! http://genkienglish.net/christmasgenki.htm
Christmas teaching idea:
I always liked to find an excuse to play Christmas tunes in my classroom.
They're great as background music for making Christmas cards, but why not
make them the main activity? One idea is to teach some Christmas words
(for example by using the "Genki Christmas" song). Next, put
the kids in groups and then play a normal Christmas song. Good ones are
"White Christmas" or "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer".
If the kids hear a word they know they put their hand up, you pause the
CD player and ask them what it was. If they got it right their team gets
one point! It's a really great game and gets them really listening to the
words! After a while you might want to exclude certain words, for example
Christmas, as it gets a bit too easy!!
Will's Christmas Card Lesson
Here's how I used real Christmas cards to create a cool lesson. First I
ask the class what they know about Christmas. I explain that although the
origins of the season are religious, in Australia it is widely celebrated
as a secular event. Christmas is a time when people take a holiday, spend
time with their family and make a special effort to be nice to each other.
I also point out that in Australia it is summer in December - so a lot
of people go to the beach!
Then I bring out a whole lot of my old Christmas cards! I tell the class
that instead of New Year cards, in Australia we send out Christmas cards
before December 25th. We send them to family and friends, and especially
people we are unable to meet - like relatives who live overseas. My mother
is English so I have a lot of relatives living in England and I get a lot
of cards from England.
As I pass out the cards for everyone to look at I tell the class who sent
each one. An Australian friend living in Kobe, My aunt and uncle from England,
My grandmother, who also lives in England, Two Australian lawyer friends
working in London, My Mum and Dad in Sydney, My best friend in Sydney,
An old school friend in Sydney, My sister in London, My cousin, her husband
and little girl, in Sunderland, England
Then it's time for the kids to make up their own cards! (tell the school
beforehand so there will be paper, glue etc ) Taking ideas from my cards
each student makes a card to give to someone close to them - mother, father,
best friend. At Elementary School I didn't teach writing, but for this
lesson I taught the kids the phrase "Merry Christmas" and wrote
it on the board. I also showed them how to address a card with "to"
and "from" - or "love" in the case of family members!
For those kids who wanted to I let them copy the phrase into their card,
but the rest of the card was written in Japanese. My kids had a ball making
their cards, and the best part of the lesson was the number of cards I
CDs in Shops!
Just a quick note to let you know that if you live near Tokyo, you can buy the Genki English CDs on the 4th floor of the huge Maruzen store in Nihonbashi (not too far from Tokyo Station). They also have loads of English books up there, if you're in need of a break from Japanese!
And if you live in Shikoku you can get the CDs from Haruya bookstores!
Why so many people?
Recently, lots of people have been asking why we want to get lots of people
to the website. "Is it because you get money per visitor?" they
say. Well, no, we don't get anything for people visiting the site. And
this month although we did four conferences that were sponsored by the
Ministry of Education, they didn't pay us any performance fees (in fact
some boards of Education didn't even pay our travel expenses! But thank
you very much to the ones that did!). The reason we want people to come
to the website is simply to get the best teaching ideas out to as many
people as possible! And we really do appreciate the help that so many people
give us in making this possible! Genki English is entirely funded by our
CDs and now video. So by buying those you are paying for us to keep on
putting out as many cool ideas as we can!!
Well, it's nearly time to leave Japan for the winter and head back to Genki
English in Europe! But Genki English will continue throughout the cold
months, and we'll be back in Japan next year with even bigger and better
things!! The homepage will again be jazzed up so any requests for things
you'd like to see then please email me! All over Asia, kids' English is
kicking into gear with Taiwan and China starting huge programmes, and with
the new curriculum in Japan coming soon, it's sure to be an exciting New
So wherever you are, we wish you all the greetings of the Season and above all we wish you a "Genki Christmas"!!!