View Full Version : What's in your English Corner?

September 29th, 2008, 16:31
I'm making my first one right now; I'm planning to put up a new one every month to two months. As planned so far it will include a Words from the ALT/newsletter section (which this time around is just an elaboration on my self-intro targeting things the kids asked about a lot), an exhibit of things the kids wrote/made in English class, and a free-writing corner.

I'd love to include a fourth section on there, but I'm not sure what would interest them the most - anyone have suggestions, or just want to talk about what goes into your own corner? Also would love suggestions for free-writing questions; first ones will be "recommend stuff to do in our prefecture" and "talk about what you like about fall".

September 30th, 2008, 06:36
A mailbox - make one out of a box and paint it red. Put paper and a pen on a string next to it. Encourage kids to ask you questions and display the questions with your answers.

A "What's happening in (ALT's home country) this month" section - lots of pictures and short captions.

A student of the month photo and interview in English.

October 1st, 2008, 08:24
I have the mail box thing on there now but I just did the whole thing yesterday so I hope it turns out well, I am also putting a small piece where every month I ask a ALT from Akita questions and have a picture of them on the newspaper so the students can see the other ALTs in the area.

I actually have a question though, When I ask students how they are, I always get the response "I'm fine thank you, and you" and I don't know about you but I am getting tired of it, so I decided to put on the board different expressions that they can use. My question is though what is the japanese translation for "How are you" I know I learned Ogenki desu ka? but there has to be a less formal way of saying that. Any help?

October 1st, 2008, 08:39
Does this work if you have multiple schools? The mailbox sounds like a fun idea to try.

October 2nd, 2008, 06:33
Gusuke - yes it does. In fact I started the idea in Toyama-ken when I went to a junior high only one day a week and not in winter term (too much snow to be able to get to the village). It was a way for the kids to stay in touch. The JTE there would collect the 'mail' every Monday and send it to me via 'school mail' (costs nothing - ask at your school office). It would arrive on the Wednesday, I'd write my answers on the Thursday and take them with me on the Friday (or, in winter, post them back for the JTE to display). You can also get kids to write questions in English for students at your other schools.

If you have multiple schools, you might like to try "Teddy's diary". This is where you buy a cheap stuffed toy (I actually had my mum send me a stuffed koala) and attach it to a pen and journal, in which you've written the first entry ("My name is Fred Koala. I'm from Melbourne. Now, I am living in Japan. Today I went to Lyn's house. We ate .... We played... It was... - I filled in those blanks but I can't remember what it was). Then you pass it on to a kid at one school. His/her job is to write an entry during your lesson time and give you back the bear. You then take it to your next school. There's always one kid in each class who finishes early, so use them, or use it as a reward. They LOVE reading entries written by kids from other schools.
If your kids are weak, use a folder of photocopied sheets with starter sentences instead - all they have to do is fill in each blank and sign their name and school.

October 2nd, 2008, 13:49
A mailbox - make one out of a box and paint it red. Put paper and a pen on a string next to it. Encourage kids to ask you questions and display the questions with your answers.

A "What's happening in (ALT's home country) this month" section - lots of pictures and short captions.


I finally removed my postbox today. It was on display for one year and only the AFS student wrote me a letter. Part of the problem is that the JTEs would not support it nor encourage the students to try.

My English Board was also torn down because the boards are meant for adverts, even though there is plenty of open space.

I say keep trying, but in my situation I flat give up

October 2nd, 2008, 13:56
whats an English corner? Is that like the naughty step?

October 5th, 2008, 22:25
Wicket, I absolutely love the diary teddy bear idea. Thanks for your input. I ended up going with just the three things I'd planned, but only because I ran out of room for anything else. :^_^: A mailbox is going to be instituted after fall break, though.

October 7th, 2008, 14:42
To the pikachu guy: I am sick of the robotic " I-am-fine, thank-you. And-you?" I asked it today, however and someone actually responded, "I'm sleepy". Oh boy was I happy to hear that, lol. And I was nto coaching her to say it or anything; she did it all on her own! lol Good stuff.

October 7th, 2008, 17:56
お元気ですか is the most common version of this phrase, but in response to the person looking for an alternative...on a grammatical level, at least, "How are you?" translates perhaps most closely to あなたはどうですか -- though of course nobody would say that in real Japanese.

"How are you?" is a good warm-up. I usually teach them "I'm okay", "I'm great", and "I'm not so good", with appropriate smiley faces on the board.

Back when I taught elementary, I'd gradually build up to maybe a dozen smileys, starting with the three above and then tacking on new ones each time -- sleepy, hungry, tired, sick, thirsty, angry, etc. -- but I've backtracked on that in JHS, and not only because of time issues. While it's good for teaching them mood words, it's also somewhat unnatural, isn't it? "How are you?" "I'm hungry!" "Huh?"

I sometimes do tack on an explanation that "I'm fine, thank you." does not really mean "I'm genki!" but is really an English tatemae (you might say) expression, politely indicating that there are no serious problems worth discussing. "I'm okay" is basically the same thing, without the extra politeness. I also sometimes make a point of telling them not to just say, "I'm fine.", because while "I'm fine, thank you" is a reasonably common polite set phrase, "I'm fine." usually makes it sound like the speaker is about to die or burst into tears. (A response to a leading question indicating that the person seems to be in distress.)

Anyway, basic "How are you?" is a good warm-up activity, both because it's easy and because it's an -extremely- common English greeting follow-up.

October 8th, 2008, 12:07
i'm doing a bunch of generic stuff, but for the holiday type displays i'm trying to get my english club to help out and decorate. it gives us another activity and maybe it'll get more kids interested in the board. (i live in hope. my bulletin board lives in a dark corner where no one ever goes, it doesn't get much interest. if any.)