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Comments of the participants of the IIEEC-OUP Certificate Program 2017

Comments of the participants of the IIEEC-OUP Certificate Program can be seen below.
They write about the discoveries they have made attending the course and the results they have with their students.
They are listed according to the workshops from Workshop 1 to Workshop 6.

【Workshop 1】Fundamentals of teaching: The Model Action Talk (MAT) METHOD
The lecturer said, “Never ever use broken English with your students. Always speak to them using complete sentences.” I had developed the habit of using broken English or even combining Japanese words with English. But after the lecture I stopped it and used proper English with my Junior High students. I was surprised! We were able to communicate better and more effectively! All this time, I had underestimated the English proficiency of my students, so much so that I robbed them of the chance to use Living English in a natural conversational setting. (M.B.)

I have been thinking about how well, easily and simply can I teach English in a short time. The MAT METHOD gave me some good answers. I am sure that the MAT METHOD is definitely creative even if it is simple and easy to apply to a ny level or class. Students learn more quickly when teachers teach more simply. Now I understand that I can use the essence of MAT and I will change my teaching style. (T. S.)

After this workshop, I used actions not only with lower and middle graders but also upper graders. I know the upper graders don’t like a childish play but they liked trying to do it after they had known the reasons. (K. M.)

I’m so impressed on how the MAT METHOD changed the attitude of my students towards English. For me, it is the ideal way of teaching and I believe that if more teachers adapt to this method, Japanese people will be able to speak English just like the others who live in an English speaking country in no time. (E. M.)

【Workshop 2】Activating the right and the left sides of the brain
When I was teaching English to 3rd graders in my high school last year, I often did not have enough time to prepare for the class. As a result, I did not have the confidence to teach students and they were not motivated to learn. They looked bored and some would sleep when I was explaining the grammatical points in the model sentence Lack of confidence prevented me from scolding such students. It is a bitter memory for me. Good preparation makes teachers feel confident to teach, and is the foundation of a successful class. (K. T.)

In my high school, teachers give the students English performance test in every term. Conversations with friends can show them how much their speaking ability has developed. They can talk about themselves, for example, about their hobbies,their favorite things to do at home. They tried to make as long sentences as possible using the words they have learned. Other students asked questions to the performer about the contents.They looked very excited in such classes because of the real fact about themselves. (K. T.)

I appreciate how you maximized lunchbreak to teach more activities. (M. S.)

Before MAT, I used to teach TPR type verbs but, saying the verb at the same time, made the students to be more active and have more fun. At the same time, it lets them remember better and longer. (K. A.)

Actions and using flash cards are usually included in my lessons without knowing how well they work and how they relate to the human brain. This workshop was a good chance for me to get to know more details of the topic. (N. M.)

【WS 1-6】
1. Give more life and action to my lesson 2. I will prepare more exiting and enjoyable games to my class and encourage my students to get on their feet, move and speak more. (J. Y.)

【Workshop 3】Know yourself, know your students
As for making lesson plans, I realized that I had too much focus on the daily plan and not other types regarding longer term plans. Now I try to at least make a unit plan for each of my classes. I also used the TELL activity in my class for five elementary school students with a poster. They found it very enjoyable. (A. T.)

I think the MAT METHOD is very efficient because the MAT lesson plan involves all sorts of activities that have something to do with the eight intelligences. And the best part is that we can teach students with respect in the class based on the MI theory. (K. Y.)

I used the “every day” verb sentence game to older students and this made them formulate questions! I thought it was a great achievement, because until that time they could only make sentences and answer my questions. (K. A.)

I’ve never thought individual practice means wasting time as it is a typical Japanese teaching style. (K. M)

【Workshop 4】Getting maximum results in reading while speaking
I don’t understand why some teachers often say “Muzukashii ne?” to their students when learning English. I don’t know if this is a Japanese way of encouraging students but this doesn’t sound promising to me. Why would you convince your students that learning English is hard when it is actually possible to learn and fun? Or, they just simply close the possibility of the students to learn something because they think it is too hard or too early. I think it is the teacher’s responsibility to use the students’ intelligence and desires to encourage them to learn more and more. (M. B.)

I was very impressed with the way MAT deals with the First Words. In Japan we often regard someone who has a huge knowledge of nouns as an English expert. But we must put more weight on the words that help students understand the meaning of the sentences. (K. Y.)

I now realized that I do not need to purely focus on the textbook and the workbook. I will try to shift the focus to my students. I want them to communicate in their own words. (K. O.)

What was interesting is that the teacher shouldn’t tell the students why but get them to think and say why a/an or plural is used by looking at the picture cards. (M. M.)

The MAT method showed me that the students are capable of learning both reading and speaking at the same time regardless of their age. I observe that the students feel even more interested in English because they can somehow read or recognize the words in the lesson. (E. M.)

MAT Phonics is an innovative idea. It is easy for the students to understand the consonants. (N. M.)

【Workshop 5】Classroom management and lesson planning
I tended to blame my students for their misbehavior, but I realized it was me or the way I teach or how I had never made classroom rules. (A. T.)

The skills was very useful because soon I will have to teach the third person to my students. I had no idea how to teach them in an easy to understand manner but now I think I know how to do it. (A. T.)

Before attending this workshop, I was kind of blaming my students for making mistakes, but after participating in this workshop, I realized that it was due to their lack of practice. By using the MAT METHOD in my class, their speaking time has increased tremendously, and they are able to speak more English now. (A. T.)

I wish I had attended the workshop last year before I started teaching.Every time I attended the workshop, I started teaching with the new technique I learned the following week, and I feel that I have been able to make a difference.I can see that my students are happier and learning more. (A. T.)

My students have always enjoyed playing SSP but after my ten 3rd graders learned to change the words SSP with the language they are studying, they not only had more fun using the key language, but also repeated the key language even more during the activity.Using the language and gestures at the same time was obviously helping my students retain the language they were learning. (P. F.)

I am much happier teaching more difficult language to the students. I find them recalling more and having more fun in their lessons. As they are moving more, I can see the blood pumping. I do not think I will ever return to teaching with the students not moving, even when I am teaching adults. I found the meaningful repetition and teaching key words really reduced the level gaps. They have helped students, who have trouble retaining and understanding new language, enjoy lessons with students who pick up the same language very quickly. (P. F.)

The things that I did in my class after learning the MAT METHOD and finishing this workshop is that I felt so great. I needed to change my way of teaching in more simple way of teaching to have a student centered class. All my students will have a win way of results, as well as the teacher too. (A. T.)

The best part was the end of the lesson when I was talking to their parents about the lesson, the students all ran up to next to me and proceeded to sing the ABC song for their parents without me asking. The wiggle on the G and everyone laughing. (P. F.)

I think the use of the KEY WORDS is excellent. Most of the English class that hire native speakers put a heavy weight on “NO Japanese” policy. But in the circumstance of English education in Japan, it is far more effective for the teachers to use Japanese words like the KEY WORDS in MAT. (K. Y.)

In my opinion, making a lesson plan is a very tough work. But this is very important for teachers to make your lessons active and effectively. And we must also check our lessons after the lesson so that we can think what was not good or what we can do better. (M. Y.)

When teaching the concept of “can” or the concept of “always” or “never”, it would take so much time to remember the word without explanation in Japanese. The important words must have a meaning and using the mother tongue is the best and quickest way to understand it. (K. A.)

I liked the TELL writing point. As soon as I attended the workshop, I applied this TELL writing system, and all students made sentences and were so willing to write them that I was very surprised. Those were their own sentences so they didn’t dislike as usual because they were writing freely in their notebook. (K. A.)

【Workshop 6】Using activities effectively
I found that I tended to avoid music as I felt I was not good at making it fun, but when I thought about it, many of my students enjoy music and especially the lower levels were very quick to learn new songs. So I made sure to practice a new song and think of ways to introduce different intelligences in the teaching of it in my plan. (P. F.)

In this workshop I was able to learn many different kinds of activities, and am very thankful that I got to see how each activity is conducted in a specific manner. I feel more confident after the workshop as a teacher. (A. T.)

I realized how much more there was to consider and learn. I think the most important factor of learning about MI is for the teacher to consider the intelligences they lack or tend to avoid in their class. (P. F.)

When I used to teach the Let’s Read part of Let’s Go 1, I was sometimes very repetitive, but this time rather than just letting my 3rd students make pairs and practice together, I had them look for the key words and mark them in the books before doing the paired reading. (P. F.)

Before the workshop, many of my word cards were quite small, as I guess I considered the key words not as important as the nouns or verbs on the picture cards. Since returning to my job after this workshop, I have been remaking all my word cards to a decent size and making sure I have all the words as individual cards instead of sentence cards so I am able to drill the keywords just like I do with the picture cards. (P. F.)

I find using the larger word cards also means I can help the students remember the sight words and break down words with them phonetically as a group. (P. F.)

I never really used role plays, I knew it was not a good thing for me to do, but I did not know how to introduce them and I guess I did not really trust the students to do it properly. Now I had some students who needed to do a test that others had finished, so I let the other students decide if they wanted to do a language activity or a role play. They chose a role play so I set up a simple situation that they were going to holiday together and had to prepare to leave. They used the “Do you have ?” language and I was shocked at how well they did without my help. (P. F.)

I am really convinced with the MAT METHOD in my teaching because all of my students are talking more in English and I do not scold them anymore. And every time I showed them the word cards, they can read them now. (R. R.)

I would like to thank Ritsuko sensei and the other staff members for giving me this great chance and I will be using what I have learned in my classes. I feel I am a more professional and knowledgeable teacher. I really hope more people will have an opportunity to take this workshop in the future. (A. B.)

Learning Activities may be the most difficult part of making the lesson plan. In my old lessons (ready made lesson plans), most of what the teacher did was to show DVDs to the students. (Native speakers introducing phonics or chants, animation movie for native children, etc.) I found out that most of the students soon got bored with it. Many of my students like Karuta, so we did Karuta for a while. It’s not that bad because we could build up vocabulary. But then we have to move on to making sentences. I introduced verb action and “Be my slave” game. Students liked it very much and of course they learned many verb phrases without knowing that they were practicing. I really liked this idea and want to create my own style of Learning Activities. (Y. Y.)

I attended the workshops because I needed to know many kinds of teaching skills. This Certificate Program encouraged me very much. I was so surprised that many foreign teachers who can speak English very well also attended the same workshops. I felt that the Japanese teachers including myself were too shy when we did activities with other teachers. I will make an effort to give my students more confidence to speak English loudly. (K. O.)

My teaching career as an English conversation teacher is 11 years. MAT METHOD ia based on the theory like activating the right and left sides of the brain. I can imagine activities which are rich in variety when I am conscious about the MI. (K. M.)

I think this method and the ways of teaching will help students pass Eiken, too. (T. E.)