View Full Version : help needed for ess club

January 28th, 2009, 21:22
I need some Ideas for what to do with the english club. Basically I arrived here 2 weeks ago and I've been to only one ess meeting so far. One of the teachers asked me to join and I thought it could be fun, however there is only 2 students, a boy and a girl, and they hate english( they actually said this:() they only joined because they need to be in a club.
At the last meeting( my first) the teacher that was suspose to be in charge of the club, ducked out at the last minute so I ended up winging it and doing a 'introduction' type activity. But getting these 2 to talk is like pulling teeth.

the club meets on thursdays and I'm going to play scrabble with them tomorrow, as the teacher informed me today that he won't be able to attend again. I tried to ask them what they do and all the would say is nothing, or draw pictures. I get the feeling they are use to just shooting the shit for 1hr then going home.

So anyway after that long winded explanation, Ideas? games or??:confused:
there 1st year high school btw.

January 28th, 2009, 21:25
Welcome to Japan!

My club is the same, about 3 students with practically no English ability.

January 28th, 2009, 21:57
I have a 3 girls in mine, but they chose to join and like English! So maybe makes it a bit easier?

The ALT and I are on our own running it and are in charge of the meetings, but our JTE acts as a kind of go-between sometimes (especially in the beginning) and offers advice. We use a "textbook" (JTE's suggestion) about American culture so there's activities in there about holidays, US states, famous people, inventions... So I pick one of those lessons most weeks and then I try to come up with some kind of game to go along with it. Sometimes we watch movies and for Valentine's Day, I plan on having the kids make Valentines.

January 29th, 2009, 12:51
I got 4 girls...lucky with that since they're all 1st years, club would have been dead had they not joined this year.

Anyway, we don't do shit really, just mess around. Maybe speak some English but most of the time we talk about stuff in Japanese, trends and stuff. Once in awhile we'll play an English board game or watch a TV show/movie, or practice for some event the prefecture is doing. The kids enjoy it enough, their English isn't very good but at least they like to try and use it when they can.

Just ask them what they like. You don't have to make an ESS focused completely on English, maybe reference it to other things. The kids must have interests, just build on those. All else fails, just play movies, I'm sure that'll keep them interested.

I always found it strange that the kids who are good at English and want to practice it never join the club. Guess they're too busy with other stuff.

Claire D
January 29th, 2009, 14:02
japanese kids like beavis and butthead way more than you would expect.

run with it.

January 29th, 2009, 14:27
yeah, with my ess, we often just play cards and such.

Claire D
January 29th, 2009, 14:41
if they all have ds`s you can have mario kart classes.

January 29th, 2009, 18:19
Going along with what some people here have said: I advise against any kind of teeth-pulling, especially in a voluntary club.

Just start chatting with them in Japanese. Have fun with them. You can toss in some use of English occasionally, like short phrases said slowly, as it comes up. E.g., you're talking about Johnny Depp, you make some Pirates of the Caribbean reference, you all laugh, and then you add in, "He's funny."

If they start getting interested, and ask you about English stuff, pursue it! If not, just focus on the intercultural understanding aspect of what you're doing. That needn't be a seminar on Western culture; just getting along with and getting to know someone from a different country is valuable. There's one geeky girl at one of my junior high schools -- really shy/agoraphobic type, to the point where she often has separate class in the nurse's room -- and she hardly speaks any English. But she's nice, and we have fun chatting (mostly in Japanese) about stuff. I'm perfectly happy with that.

Another option: a game or challenge of some kind can be a good catalyst.

February 2nd, 2009, 01:24
Super Street Fighter II tournaments work wonders on my vassals.

February 2nd, 2009, 13:25
japanese kids like beavis and butthead way more than you would expect.

run with it.

Really? No one over here even KNEW of Beavis and Butthead when I was last here in 1994.

It took them 14-15 years to catch up, huh?

February 2nd, 2009, 16:05
I'm with AliDimayev, Atalante and Wakatta in just chilling out and enjoying the bond!

It's nice that you'll have a connection with them for when they need it. Like a lawyer on retainer or a city commissions advisor, you'll be someone high up who be invaluable to them for homework or a speech or a project sometime soon!

Also heh heh, for video timekillers or a little giggle, Invader Zim goes over well enough. High voices and inane banter, it's practically Japanese to start with!


Mr. Plainview
February 25th, 2009, 22:48
I'm the only member of the english club :lol:

On tuesday and thursday i just sit alone in the LL room and read.

June 3rd, 2009, 15:02
resurrecting this one from the DEAD, but do you guys use music in your ESS clubs? I want to do something with lyrics, but all my ideas kind of make it seems like kind of dry homework.

also, how long does your ESS club usually run? I have 2 first year girls and by the end of the day, I just wanna go home to be honest, but I'd like for them to enjoy themselves at least a bit.

June 3rd, 2009, 15:06
kingmongkut - how about asking some of their favorite English songs (if they can't give you the names of songs, ask for the artists and pull some of their singles) and then look at the meaning of the lyrics.

Might be fun. I know I got a kick out of explaining to my friend what 'suicidal' means after she sang the song 'beautiful girls' at karaoke.

June 3rd, 2009, 15:45
We used to just play music in the background when the ESS leader girl was really into music - haven't done any music yet though with the new lot - it's a good call - maybe something to do with different musical styles or spotting what instruments are in each song could be fun.

As for the time I spend - it's really up to the students - at my base school, we meet quite frequently and can spend anything from half an hour to two hours just chatting or practicing pronounciation exercises (I have some really enthusiastic students this year) - at my visit it's as long as the game we're playing lasts - so half an hour to an hour usually. At the end of the day I feel knackered too - but if these girls are prepared to ask me for my help and really work hard speaking English with me, then I'm happy to stay as long as they want - it's a pretty great way to learn about the students too.

June 3rd, 2009, 19:53
resurrecting this one from the DEAD, but do you guys use music in your ESS clubs? I want to do something with lyrics, but all my ideas kind of make it seems like kind of dry homework.

also, how long does your ESS club usually run? I have 2 first year girls and by the end of the day, I just wanna go home to be honest, but I'd like for them to enjoy themselves at least a bit.

My one English Club goes for 40 minutes, which is nice. My other one is supposed to be 75 minutes long. It's really hard for me to drag it out sometimes and like you said, you just want to go home sometimes!

Haven't used music yet, but I'm considering doing something with music in the near future so I'm also curious what others have done.

June 6th, 2009, 19:37
My ESS club meets three times a week, on Tuesdays they only go until 5 and on Thursdays and Fridays until 6 (although why they even bother having it on Tuesday as the kids usually don't show up until 4:45 is a mystery). I'm usually there before the JTE and sometimes, she has to bow out. When my JTE is there, we'll do about a ten minute listening lesson from a really horrible textbook and the rest is either games (my students love Hangman for some reason) or just talking in English. With some exceptions, all the ESS members are third grade, so they can all generally hold a conversation with a little bit of extra nudging.

Music is great. I frequently bring in my iPod and hook it up to speakers and play random English songs. One of the lessons, I printed out the lyrics for Let It Be and had them all learn it and they got a kick out of that.

Another thing they really liked, and this was my JTE's idea, was to give them all English names (it sparked a brief trend in my town where everyone wanted an English name at enkais). Usually I just chose one based on the first letter of their names and they all had fun with that (although if you want to go the extra mile, try to find English names that have the same meaning as their Japanese names).

If your students don't like English and are just doing it to be in a club (I have one or two in my ESS who are like that), just try and be cool with them. Especially when the JTE isn't there, that's your chance to just shoot the shit with them and get to know them.