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gobeavs
July 3rd, 2007, 02:48
I just got my final placement today -- it's a commercial high school in Ise.

Does anyone know if the "commercial high school" designation means anything significant?

Feel free to use this thread to describe other types of high schools.


(edited to remove a detail)

Marrissey
July 3rd, 2007, 06:46
Hey gobeavs - I've been placed in a Commercial High School too so I can tell you what my predecessor and school have told me. At my school they teach more vocational courses such as Commercial, Computer and English Business. Some of the kids at these schools don't go on to higher schools and look for jobs straight away, from my pred:

"Many students will go on to college or trade school but only a select few will go on to University. Some jobs the students aspire to include: beauty technicians, bank employees, chefs, caregivers (children/elderly), sales clerks, accountants, and teachers. The students are not strong academically but make up for it with good social skills. They are very shiny, happy students and a pleasure to teach!"

Of course I don't know if your school will be exactly the same.

gobeavs
July 3rd, 2007, 06:48
I see. I'm guessing mine is something like that but it seems to have some kind of special English program in place. Thanks for the info.

Zee
July 3rd, 2007, 06:57
stuff....

"They are very shiny, happy students and a pleasure to teach!"



Do they glow in the dark or glitter like Tinkerbell? :kaosotnpgridstars:

One of the alumni at the LA orientation told us that she was in a vocational type school and that she would end up requesting to sit in on the various vocational classes to keep herself entertained since she didn't have that much to do class-wise.

gobeavs
July 3rd, 2007, 07:00
Hmmm ... In my case I'm told i'll be quite busy compared to other Mie ALTs ... perhaps because of the special English program.

Marrissey
July 3rd, 2007, 07:04
One of the alumni at the LA orientation told us that she was in a vocational type school and that she would end up requesting to sit in on the various vocational classes to keep herself entertained since she didn't have that much to do class-wise.

Really? I've been told I'll have quite a lot of work to do but that could be fun. My other school specialises in nursing/home economics - I'm well up for learning how to cook some tasty Japanese stuff!

I think the glowing in the dark may be the latest in Japanese efforts to save electricity after cool biz - no lighting :-)

Zee
July 3rd, 2007, 07:08
ESID as always then.

:kaosotnpmikkogirl-parapara: New cost-efficient energy source indeed. :kaosotnpyeow:

Or are they learning some more interesting skills over in this school that makes them shiny...:kaos_cactus_beam2:

dombay
July 3rd, 2007, 07:23
The students are not strong academically but make up for it with good social skills. They are very shiny, happy students and a pleasure to teach!"



This would worry me a tad. I work in a public jhs so we run the gambit but the kids that I would say have strong social skills but are academic duds are exactly the kids that everyone wants to kick in the head.

Still, i wouldn't trade in my loud students for quiet zombie students either so you take the good wth the bad. Hopefully being a vocational school the kids may be a little bit more mature and focused on what they weant to do? Or it might be just the kids who fucked around in JHS and have to go to school somewhere.

Marrissey
July 3rd, 2007, 07:48
Hopefully they'll be a nice middleground between the two Dom, but I think I'd probably prefer the type I want to kick in the head but actually say anything to a silent set of 40 faces. Besides, if they don't shoot laserbeams it'll probably be ok (Zee!)

Ini
July 3rd, 2007, 08:25
Special English Education at a technical high school just means they try to teach English compared to the other ones where it isn’t offered at all. Doesn’t mean you will be going over the works of Shakespeare with them. I hate to break it to you but your kids will be tards. They might be lovely people but tards never the less.

gobeavs
July 3rd, 2007, 08:29
Special English Education at a technical high school just means they try to teach English compared to the other ones where it isn’t offered at all. Doesn’t mean you will be going over the works of Shakespeare with them. I hate to break it to you but your kids will be tards. They might be lovely people but tards never the less.

Makes sense, really.

Anyone know what a "SELHi (Super English Langugae High School)" is?

Ini
July 3rd, 2007, 08:32
They are supposed to be best, for super funky sexy english time. Bugger knows if it is true or not.

gobeavs
July 3rd, 2007, 08:35
My school is apparently involved with this sexy program. I'll be sure to post here if after my exhaustive research, I determine it to be the best.

wicket
July 3rd, 2007, 09:33
I used to work at a vocational (commercial) high. I didn't have many classes and the ones I did have were difficult to teach AT FIRST as the kids mostly hated English, having had x number of years of negative experiences with it. Just bear in mind they don't love the subject, keep whatever you are doing simple, bring lots of their interests (e.g. music) and your culture into the classroom and you'll have a great time eventually.
I now teach at a SELHI (base school) and a mid-to-high academic (visit school). My visit school has a "global studies" course where the kids study politics and world history, plus extra English. I don't teach this course (the school has 4 ALTs), but even the students in the regular course are encouraged to communicate verbally in English. There are English signs all over the school, for example.
At the so-called SELHI, I used a projector in class for the first time yesterday to show a powerpoint and it really freaked the JTE out (in a good way). The emphasis for SELHIs is not so much on speaking English but on improving reading skills (speed and comprehension). Also the principal here is keen to have the extra funding but not keen to let the teachers introduce new teaching methods (some of the English teachers are dead keen to bring the place up to the 21st century, but no...)
I teach a lot more classes here - all of the 1st graders (8 classes) once a week plus half of them for a second time; and the marking is intense!
It's good because there are NO behavioural problems and the students are always interested in what I've planned, but the downside is much less freedom in what and how I teach compared to the commercial high.
Short story - pros and cons in both.Provided that the people you teach are always more important to you than the subject you teach, you'll develop a good rapport with most of your students. Once you've got that, it starts being fun.
Marrissey - your school sounds like the one I used to work at in Toyama-ken. It used to have a kick-arse language lab. when I was there (over ten years ago). I visited earlier this year and was surprised to see that it had been effectively turned into a hospital/nursing home ward, complete with resucitation dummies etc. Pretty amazing! Seemed to be much more productive and interesting for those students, too.
BTW, there is a workshop at Tokyo orientation about teaching at a non-academic high school. The people who'll be doing it seemed to be throwing around some useful ideas at the planning meeting, so some of you might like to attend.

gobeavs
July 3rd, 2007, 09:46
Is it possible that a school is in fact both commercial and SELHi? That's what this item says:


This spring the prefectural [something] High School became one of the latest additions to the government's SELHi (Super English Langugae High School) scheme and, according to the article, is the only one of the 31 SELHis this year to have laid out its English program in detail.

-- http://www.eltnews.com/news/archives/2005_05.shtml

slightly edited because somebody got me paranoid about posting too many details on here

Marrissey
July 3rd, 2007, 09:52
BTW, there is a workshop at Tokyo orientation about teaching at a non-academic high school. The people who'll be doing it seemed to be throwing around some useful ideas at the planning meeting, so some of you might like to attend.

Terrific - I have no prior teaching experience so I'll definitely be at that one.

wicket
July 3rd, 2007, 09:53
Sounds like it, my beavery friend.
Like I said, SELHI is designed to improve their reading, primarily and also to introduce teaching methods from the West. It's separate from "global studies" streams within schools.
It seems that your kids will have an interest in English (yay for you!), just not in necessarily going on to university.
Maybe they want to be hairstylists for international, English speaking stars? Who knows?

gobeavs
July 3rd, 2007, 09:56
Maybe they want to be hairstylists for international, English speaking stars? Who knows?

Perfect. I'll scout for talent to funnel straight to Hollywood. And they'll have good hair.

shadowrook
July 3rd, 2007, 11:44
Commerical High Schools can be fun.

I love mine so much! The students are genki and are willing to learn, even though their English isn't perfect. I get more freedom with what I teach, and get to try out games and stuff.

Just make sure you learn about their ability level before you start planning anything too hard.

KateW
July 3rd, 2007, 12:01
The commercial high school I've hleped out before was really cool, actually. It's almost all girls, and they're all incredibly keen to learn English, since most of them want jobs that needs it. In particular, airline hostesses. *laughs* They're genki, if a little cheeky, but at least they try hard.

I dunno what your school will be like, but hopefully it'll be fun!

wattiewatson
July 3rd, 2007, 12:18
SELHi just means that the school has an extra grant from the governmnet. I didnt read the article that was linked above but i understand it is at least US$40k for staff and maybe a little less for other activities. Often these schools have 2 ALT's and do a whole lot of english camps.

SELHi is pretty rank in my opinion. I wouldnt choose to be at a SELHi school. If you are into teaching, its the place to be, but i think there are many reasons why people come to Japan and work would rank quite low.

HellaBAD
July 3rd, 2007, 12:44
Since we are on the topic of high schools, what is an Agricultural High School? One of the high schools I've been assigned to is located in Hanamaki and it's of the aforementioned variety. I live in California, so I've never seen or been to one. I'm assuming it has classes that specialize in farming and the like. How much do they emphasize English learning?

jimbobobb
July 3rd, 2007, 13:18
It's most likely a school with an actual large farm attached to it - lots and lots of hands on training, if it's anything like the agricultural high school around here. And even more so than regular high schools, there will be little to no emphasis put on English learning. It will be approximately elementary school to first year JHS level English. Many of the students may already be aware that English is in no way important to their lives or their future, in which case they will completely zone out. Which means you'll play games with them and try to keep their attention, and give them English in small doses centered around things they are interested in.

Rereading that, it sounds super whingy. Not trying to be bitter or anything here. This is simply the way it is. Your job in this situation will most likely be more about exposing the students to someone from another culture than teaching English.

wicket
July 3rd, 2007, 14:13
I wouldnt choose to be at a SELHi school. If you are into teaching, its the place to be.
Uh, negative. I actually did more teaching at my low-level school, at least as far as I'd define the term. Here, I get to do 15 minutes actual teaching per lesson - and even then it's usually very teacher-centred!

jacqui
July 3rd, 2007, 16:46
vocational schools =

commercial high school
agricultural high school
technical high school
fishery school (not sure what the actual name is)

... i'm sure there are more but i'm blanking. basically, if there's a talk for "non-academic high schools" at tokyo orientation, that's where you go.

i don't know if i'm mean enough to say that they're the places where all the dumb kids end up, but most of the kids don't really have any interests in english, from what i've seen.

i teach at a commercial school, and i have a whoooole bunch of shitty students, and some really really awesome ones. my teachers rock, but they change every couple of years no matter what school you go to, so that's luck of the draw. i don't have much to do, except at those crucial times where people from the outside world come to see our school.

big big BIG ESID area though, as annoying as it is. just depends on the school and the kids. my sannenseis are shitheads, but my ninenseis are pretty clued up.

1492
July 3rd, 2007, 18:29
one of my friends teaches at a combined agricultural/fishery school. the English course is pretty much non-existant, but she is having an awesome time anyway. The kids take her fishing, blow her glass fishing floats for her car, and give her fresh vegetables that they've grown. It's luck of the draw, and your own attitude. She happens to be the friendliest person I know, which has helped her a lot. Her kids may know almost no English, but they're eager to use whatever they've got if it means a chance to talk to her. For a lot of vocational school kids, communicating with the ALT is pretty much their only use for English. So yeah, the ball's in your court.

dombay
July 3rd, 2007, 20:06
I get free fruit and veges from time to time too.

I love that.

Fin
July 4th, 2007, 04:26
One of my schools is an agricultural/forestry school. The other is a ... sogo gakka (spelling?) which, apparently offers a wide range of subjects. This kind of school is apparently pretty rare - there are only two in my prefecture.

bc_death
July 4th, 2007, 05:01
the Japanese education system is really wierd (not to say that the american one isn't just as wierd). students in japan all go to one type of school up through middle school. then at the end of 8th grade all students in japan are subject to take a massive exam that grades their ability in a variety of subjects (read, 8th grade SAT). Depending on their score students are then placed in 1 of 3 gradations of schools, High, medium, and low. The high schools are like the really good public schools and almost everyone from those schools gets a high score on the 8th grade test and goes on to the best universities in Japan (and they are the ones that go to Juku cram schools to study for the subsequent college entrance exam etc). The middle of the road schools still have some fairly high scoring kids at them and they go to mid - lower end uni's/colleges and become salarymen/OL's usually (not to say that graduates from the top schools don't do the exact same thing, just ppl from the middle aren't put in the top management positions in companies as readily). Then we have the low schools at the bottom of the education system where they put kids who have gotten low scores on tests and resign these kids to strive towards working in a gas station, combini, or as it was mentioned, getting a job that doesn't require a college degree. I had a professor in japan who taught english in one of these schools for 10 years or so and out of a graduating class of 500 or something like that 2 went to university. the rest performed the jobs at the bottom of society (waste management, water treatment, etc) that noone else wanted to do who went to college. The whole system is screwed up. B/c the society won't let ppl get foreign work visas in enough quantity, 1/3 of kids in japan are tracked to work in menial labor and don't aspire to anything more since this is the way the system has been for a while. I suspect that at least some commercial high schools are in fact at the low end of this system which results in the poor ethic/poor standards stated above.

dombay
July 4th, 2007, 07:18
Do you think that in western countries this doesn't happen?

Someoen has to collect the garbage in Australia and the US too!

We just don't segregate at much but I don't know if that's such a bad thing.

shadowrook
July 4th, 2007, 07:51
I don't really like how the lower students are segregated. It can create really bad situations in the schools that are "low level." Also, a small portion of the students in my low level school (maybe 10% or so) go there just because they can't afford to travel by bus to the further away (they live in the inaka) academic school. I think that's a fucking crime...that students are denied the chance to enter into University because their parents can't afford the fucking bus fare.

jimbobobb
July 4th, 2007, 12:05
I think that's a fucking crime...that students are denied the chance to enter into University because their parents can't afford the fucking bus fare.

Unfortunately if they can't afford the bus fare, even if they went to the best school in Japan, they couldn't go to university. School loans basically don't exist, and scholarships are beyond rare. If your parents can't afford uni, you're SOL.



edit: spelling > me

Ini
July 4th, 2007, 12:07
I think that's a fucking crime...that students are denied the chance to enter into University because their parents can't afford the fucking bus fare.

Piss off back to russia you commie.

547
July 4th, 2007, 13:14
Erm, my wife (who's Japanese) finished paying her student loan recently. There's a similar kind of system to the UK's - loans with very low interest rates. I'm not sure how much you can borrow, or if you can get them for high school...

jimbobobb
July 4th, 2007, 14:07
Well that's awesome then. I have no idea why people keep telling me they can't go to uni because it's too expensive. I ask them about loans, and they tell me they can't get them. Is the system run by the government? Or is it done by private banks?

547
July 4th, 2007, 14:13
I've told you all wot I know.

I think its government run, but I'm not sure. If you're really interested I'll ask her about it...

Astrix
July 5th, 2007, 18:34
Marrissey, who is your pred?