Yeah, it's nearly Christmas!! I always look
forward to this time of year, with trees
and lights, mulled wine and Christmas songs!
This year I'll be in Japan again, which doesn't
quite have the same atmosphere as back home.
But it's a great chance to teach the kids
about what has to be one of the biggest festivals
in the Western World! Check out my Christmas Ideas page!
Out of all the Christmas songs, I found this one the easiest to teach! Last year I took my music gear into school and my kids recorded all the instruments, sang and produced their own CD! So this month's new song, in Realaudio, is Kuwa Primary School's "We wish you a merry Christmas"! Have a listen and sing along with your own kids!
2 years ago I found a great site to
some foreign culture into a Christmas
The site contains versions of "Silent
Night" in many different languages.
The best ones are the ones that feature
Showing the kids gives them exposure
of the different alphabets that people
throughout the World. Some of my favourites
Chinese (Japanese people like this one!)
and best of all,
Have you ever seen an Arabic musical score before? It's very interesting!!
Another great Internet site I found
was www.northpole.com. On this site you can go to the Post Office
and send an email to Santa! First of all
the kids answer some easy questions such
as "Are you a boy or a girl?",
"Have you been naughty or nice?"
then you choose your favourite toy and can
write Santa a message (a good way to review
their English!). You then send the message
and a week or so later Santa writes a reply
back!! My Junior High Students tried it individually
last year, and my Elementary School kids
did it as a class! They loved it!
(Note though that the above two sites are not part of GenkiEnglish and you should check them out yourselves before recommending them to students!)
I'll be in Japan again this Christmas, but
for me Christmas in Japan doesn't have the
atmosphere of back home. Sure, there are
Santas and trees in every shop window, but
the idea of everyone being friends and coming
together doesn't seem to exist here. Christmas
Eve is a day for couples to go out on a date,
and most Japanese children have to go to
school on Christmas Day! I went to school
on Christmas Day to find normal lessons,
normal classes and no Turkey lunch!
And although some do, most kids don't get
Christmas presents! I looked forward to being
back home with Christmas tree lights, warm
houses and gorgeous Christmas food!! But
of course Japan makes up for it with all
the other festivals and events they have
throughout the year!
In Japan it will soon be time to start thinking
about next years Curriculum. On our page
we already have my year plan, and also that of ALT Joel Bacha. We are also available to give you help
and advice about making your schedule for
next year. After travelling round the country
and speaking to many, many teachers from
different schools we should be able to help
no matter if you're a school with 5 kids in
the middle of nowhere, or a once-a-term teacher
in a big city! Send us an email!
"Genki English takes Primary Schools
by storm" was the title of the article
in the national Daily Yomiuri newspaper
on November 20th, complete with pictures
of our wonderful yellow T-shirts! We also
hit the national news in the Japan Educational
Newspaper (Nihonkyouikushinbun) as well as
many local TV and newspapers!
Look out after Christmas for a faster, improved
Genki English website thanks to Charles Kelly
of the Internet TESL journal - thank you!!
Well, it's time for me to take a small break.
So to everyone, everywhere, have a wonderful,
happy and very Genki Christmas!!
Richard J. Graham
Primary School English Games, Songs and Activities
November 2000 Newsletter
September/October 2000 Newsletter
August/September 2000 Newsletter
July/August 2000 Newsletter
June/July 2000 Newsletter
May/June 2000 Newsletter
April/May 2000 Newsletter
March/April 2000 Newsletter
February/March 2000 Newsletter
January/February 2000 Newsletter
or Get my top tips, games & hints via email