Monday, December 10, 2007

Teaching/Studying English

I love teaching. I always thought this might be my career. But I thought I'd just stay in Japan for a year and then go back to CA and start working as all my buddies were already doing.
Well, I've now been in Japan for a total of 11 years teaching all across the country. I've taught in a kindergarten in Matsuyama, a jr. high school in Okayama on the JET Programme(,
the North Korean High School and a
senmon gakko (vocational college)
in Tokyo, Keiwa College ( in Niigata, an intensive English camp in Sendai and now here in Odawara.

In between, I did manage to get my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and my TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) Certificates back in California. I also taught there and in Barcelona, Spain. My only non-teaching job was the half a year I spent in Hawaii as a tour guide (oh, how I miss the beach!).

Why do I love teaching? Teaching is a very satisfying job. It brings me joy to see a student read for the first time, learn a new phrase and start to communicate on his/her own. I also learn a lot from my students. They've taught me many things about their cultures and have opened my eyes and my mind to many new things.

I'm going to end this month's BLOG with a list of tips to keep up your English skills.
1. Study a little (30 minutes) every day. Make English a habit and set a goal!
2. SPEAK! Speak English at home - it's OK if no one understands you. :) It's also good
practice speaking English with your Japanese friends too.
3. LISTEN! Have English BGM on all day long. Listen to English music, watch movies in
English, check out some internet sites - one of my favorites:
4. READ! Reading helps you become a better writer and improves your grammar and
vocabulary. It usually takes seeing a word 10 times before we put it to memory.
5. WRITE! Keep a daily journal. For 10 minutes a day, write what you did, how you felt or
anything interesting that happened that day. It's great writing fluency practice.
6. THINK in English! Whatever you see, say the words in English to yourself. For example, as
you're driving your car or riding in the train, say aloud what you are seeing around you.
7. THINK positively! Say, "I can speak English!" and "My English is improving!"
8. Don't be afraid to make mistakes; this is how we learn.
9. Remember, studying English is a life-long study. Have FUN!
10. If you can, come and study with me. If you can't, start your studying by leaving me a message! :)