as a Means of Communication
not a collection of grammatical rules and vocabulary words; it’s
a way to communicate. To learn to communicate in English, one
must learn by communicating. However many words one memorizes, if
one can't use them to communicate, they have no meaning. If students
can tell their ideas and say jokes, they’ll enjoy English, so
it will be easier for them to remember what they learn.
Parts of a Good Lesson
The teacher teaches the target (words, grammar point, or phrase).
The students practice the target (pronunciation, construction, and
comprehension). For example, they can practice it through
repetition or games such as fruit basket and karuta. However,
such activities are NOT the main point of the lesson. Except
for fundamental expressions (in first and second grade), they should
The students use the target in communication. This is the most
important part of the lesson. There are some sample
lessons on this homepage (sorry, Japanese only so far).
also good for students to learn to use it or at least hear and
understand it in slightly different contexts or with slightly
different content. For example, once students have learned “I
like ______,” it’s easy for them to learn other
sentences with the same structure: “I play ______,” “I
eat _______,” “I want ________,” “I wrestle
_____,” etc. Later, you can change the subject: “You
like ____,” “You play _____,” etc. Students
can then use these structures to ask questions, too: “I eat
natto. And you?” or “You eat natto?”
Mistakes in grammar or words students haven’t learned yet
aren’t important. “I want dog,” “Keiko
eat gokiburi,” or “Peter like Japan?” don't have
perfect grammar, but they’re perfect communication. If
they can say simple ideas and jokes, they can enjoy using English.
They will be able to use the target (Japanese version reads more
like "get used to the target"), and they will be
enthusiastic about English.
very important. The next lesson should give more practice of
the target. Maybe the activities should use both the new target and
the previous one. Otherwise, make the students use the target
for 5 minutes two or three times a week. For example, the
teacher can ask in (Japanese) “What animal do you like?”
or “What sport do you play?” or “Tell your
neighbor what yakitori you eat.”
From the Fukui City English Activities Guidebook: "It's
not necessary to do all the activities in this book. According to
the situation at your school, some activities should be omitted."
This means that some activities were not intended for most schools.
Such activities were designed for high-level schools. Please choose
lessons from the guidebook carefully, considering the level of your
students, how much English they've learned already, etc.
What should we teach? I think we should teach English that
children can use in communication. Children want to tell about
themselves or their friends and tell jokes. Please think about
whether children will use what you're teaching once today's lesson
is over. If they can use it only in the activity you want to do,
it's useless. For example, if you teach "Where do you live,"
"What time is it," signs of the zodiac, names of shapes,
or names of Christmas ornaments, students aren't going to want to
say these things after the class is over. If it's OK for the kids to
forget something as soon as the class is over, why would you want to
teach it to them in the first place? That's what I mean by "useless