Creating a more English-friendly and multi-cultural or globally-minded school culture is important in encouraging classroom engagement. In this short presentation, I will discuss practical and simple ideas that have worked well for me in Japanese schools (JHS & SHS). Japanese English teachers and administrators helped me implement these to best fit their own unique school’s culture:
- Alternative ESS – Lunch English discussion club OR Lunch English speaking ping-pong club (once or twice a week.);
- Non-verbal communication skills “workshop” classes – simple, fun, humorous, artistic path to improving global communication skills;
- Global discussion topics and opinion expression, negotiation, and debate classes;
- In-school English expressions and greetings in the hallways and on the school grounds to help create a more globally-minded school atmosphere;
- Suggestions for showcasing schools global culture at school festivals, events, and competitions; and
- Super English immersion lunch club idea – each day with a different theme – ping-pong, art, global debates, gardening, world-music drum circle (see 1).
Participant experiences/discussions are encouraged.
Dr. Robert Charles Ames, English Instructor and TOEFL Prep Coordinator
Seifu Nankai Junior and Senior High School
About the presenter:
Robert Charles Ames is currently Native English Instructor Conversation, Listening, Writing and TOEFL Prep at Seifu-Nankai Gakuen (private junior and senior high school ) and English Teacher at Osaka Dance and Actors School (vocational college – 専門学校). He has seven years of experience teaching English to Japanese and Korean students at various public and private schools and companies; fifteen years teaching prep school /college/university law, business and economics classes (part-time) in the United States; twenty five years international law practice. University of Michigan School of Business Administration (BBA), Wayne State University School of Law (Juris Doctor.)
Robert (“Bob”) has presented at and/or participated in conferences and seminars with ETJ – English Teachers in Japan (since 2011), Oxford University Press (since 2013), and National Geographic/Cengage Publishing (since 2016). He has had a life-long interest in Japanese and Asian culture; rock, blues, jazz, and folk music; global pop-art and culture. His hobbies include exercise, bike-riding, and music studio recording and video production (with family and friends) including creating some low-tech educational materials. He lives in Osaka with his wife, Hisayo (also an English teacher and musician) and their elementary school age daughters where they all enjoy learning Japanese and English language; and global culture, citizenship and communication skills.