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Wasabi
June 24th, 2016, 18:07
Hello all, I just got an offer from Interac to teach in Sakai city at 1 junior high school and 1 or 2 elementary schools. Does anyone have any experience in Sakai they could tell me about? Also, how do lesson plans work for elementary school with Interac - do they provide lesson plans, support or materials, or are you expected to plan your own curriculum from the group up? I've been teaching for two years in a different part of Japan with a similar setup, so I have lesson ideas to reference back upon. I just wasn't sure what to expect.

Thanks!

Torinn88
June 25th, 2016, 12:36
Just about Sakai in general, the atmosphere and history of the city is really cool, although your students may not know very much about it. I've met university educated adults in my city that didn't realize there were Edo era ruins in their hometown.

I've never worked for interac BUT I've known a few that have and the general feel is that you'll work with a JTE as a walking tape recorder (depending on your school of course). You might be the one who does all the planning and activities so always bring your previous lesson plans as a backup.

Even if the first few months you get treated like a tape-recorder, if you show initiative and forge good relations with your school you can take on more responsibility...the inverse is also true.

Moirica
July 9th, 2016, 19:58
For elementary it can really be a mixed bag as far as I know. The most likely texts will be the Hi Friends! books, which are pretty straight forward I guess. You will most likely have to plan things yourself and in elementary it is very, very unlikely that you will just be a tape recorder. I can't speak to the specifics of Sakai because I'm in a different city, but that's the kind of stuff I remember from training.

I'd speak more specifics but my BOE has a completely different program so it likely wouldn't be the same.

mrcharisma
July 9th, 2016, 20:30
Just to confirm, it is Sakai, Osaka you're talking about? There's another, much smaller Sakai City on the road to Kanazawa.

Wasabi
July 12th, 2016, 12:25
@mrcharisma - Yes, it's Sakai Osaka.

@Moirica - Do you mean that your BOE doesn't use Hi Friends in ES? Did they create their own material? I was under the impression that all ES in Japan use Hi Friends because it was created by MEXT.

Risingfromashes
July 12th, 2016, 14:59
Sorry I can't comment on Sakai City since I'm based in Ibaraki, but I do teach ES for Interac. There is a VERY large chance that you WILL NOT be a "human tape recorder". I teach only elementary and I am expected to teach the full 45 minute lesson every time. Almost every single ES ALT I have spoken to is the main teacher. The Homeroom teacher helps to varying degrees, but usually you present the lesson plan. Interac will give you access to their Teaching resources website after training. 5th and 6th grade usually use the Hi Friends textbook and there are lesson plans for every lesson posted on the website. Depending on your school and their wishes, you may also teach 1st-4th grade. They do not usually use any textbook, but lesson plans for these grades are on there as well. Honestly, since I lead the class, my teachers give me a lot of flexibility and I think they have no clue if I'm presenting the Interac lesson or one I've made from scratch. I usually just start with the Interac lesson and if there is something that I don't like or doesn't work with my kids I supplement with my own activities.

Jiggit
July 12th, 2016, 15:19
ES ALTs are human climbing frames. It's the JHS ALTs who are human tape recorders.

webstaa
July 13th, 2016, 08:12
Also, there's a decent likelihood of new Hi, Friends! coming out for next school year as English is transitioned to a full ES subject instead of just "Foreign Language Activities." New editions of New Horizion reference three levels of Hi, Friends! Although the content doesn't seem to have been changed that much.

OatsCurrySummer
July 13th, 2016, 08:17
Also, there's a decent likelihood of new Hi, Friends! coming out for next school year as English is transitioned to a full ES subject instead of just "Foreign Language Activities." New editions of New Horizion reference three levels of Hi, Friends! Although the content doesn't seem to have been changed that much.

Does this means theres going to have to be a JET at ES every day? Or is the HRT doing the teaching when the ALT isnt there?

webstaa
July 13th, 2016, 08:21
Does this means theres going to have to be a JET at ES every day? Or is the HRT doing the teaching when the ALT isnt there?

It's going to be more than once a week, and there's supposed to be tests etc just like Math, Science, and Japanese. I'd assume the HRTs are going to have to deal with that.

OatsCurrySummer
July 13th, 2016, 08:25
It's going to be more than once a week, and there's supposed to be tests etc just like Math, Science, and Japanese. I'd assume the HRTs are going to have to deal with that.
Hmm. I'd be thrilled to have another JET on the island but something tells me I'm going to be stuck with this. Not enough kids to warrant another person, even though I'm already at JH 4 days a week.

Ini
July 13th, 2016, 08:41
starting last year and continuing to 2017 schools are slowly starting to receive the "Hi Friends!plus" books. That roll out will be "studied" and new materials will be developed in 2017 and started to be distributed in 2018. Grades 3+4 got the "Hi Friends! Story Books" this year and they will get a new textbook/a modified version of the current "Hi Friends!1" probably around 2018. There will probably be a slight increase in the number of ES ALTs but the plan is for the HRTs to do everything. There will be JTEs assigned to each district and they will float between a number of schools providing training and support but the day to day running of the lessons will be down to the HRTs.

OatsCurrySummer
July 13th, 2016, 09:19
starting last year and continuing to 2017 schools are slowly starting to receive the "Hi Friends!plus" books. That roll out will be "studied" and new materials will be developed in 2017 and started to be distributed in 2018. Grades 3+4 got the "Hi Friends! Story Books" this year and they will get a new textbook/a modified version of the current "Hi Friends!1" probably around 2018. There will probably be a slight increase in the number of ES ALTs but the plan is for the HRTs to do everything. There will be JTEs assigned to each district and they will float between a number of schools providing training and support but the day to day running of the lessons will be down to the HRTs.
Thank you, that was really helpful. Looks like I'll continue my solitary island crusade.

webstaa
July 13th, 2016, 13:33
Had a talk with the head of the kindergarten (former ES principal and head of the BoE.) He said pretty much the same thing as Ini. They're also supposedly starting English as a subject officially (nationwide) in 2020 - 3rd through 6th year. Apparently a lot of this stuff was demoed at the Yokohama conference last year as well, which is in line with what my town has been doing the last two years in ramping up the English department and hiring a "teacher" to do English with the 1st-4th year students every week instead of rotating them through 3x a year.

A lot of HRTs are going to be behind the 8-ball when this stuff comes through and they're used to having an ALT teach the class.