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Thread: 英語ノート is officially ruining elementary school

  1. #21
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    I am mixed about the new Eigo Note series. My BOE doesn't have a clue what is going on, and asking questions doesn't help much. The good thing that has come out of it is that schools that I only went to once a semester or once a year are now having me come a few times a month. But I am not sure what they expect to happen. I heard from a private ALT that my town is going to contract out my job to a private company once I leave, so I have a feeling that for the next year my job is going to be to help my town ES teachers in the transition to the new system.

    My biggest problem is that most of my students know a good amount of English. There is no way that I can force the students to spend a month going over greetings when they know it all already (which may be what the other teachers want from me).

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    Quote Originally Posted by BritishChris View Post
    ha ha i don't have to do Eigo Note.

    I am just doing what I want when I go to schools, I think the teachers are teaching it when I am not there, which is fair enough, it at least gives them a chance to review and I can do cool shit like teaching them to haggle n stuff.
    I'm not the only one that's done this?? In the shopping lesson my 4th graders do... i tack that on... "No, thank you. Can you make it cheaper?"

    hehe
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCaptainLeslie View Post
    I am mixed about the new Eigo Note series. My BOE doesn't have a clue what is going on, and asking questions doesn't help much. The good thing that has come out of it is that schools that I only went to once a semester or once a year are now having me come a few times a month. But I am not sure what they expect to happen. I heard from a private ALT that my town is going to contract out my job to a private company once I leave, so I have a feeling that for the next year my job is going to be to help my town ES teachers in the transition to the new system.

    My biggest problem is that most of my students know a good amount of English. There is no way that I can force the students to spend a month going over greetings when they know it all already (which may be what the other teachers want from me).

    Why don't you try teaching them how to read and write those greetings?
    You see, gentlemen, a pimp's love is very different from a square's...
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  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougTheHakujin View Post
    I'm not the only one that's done this?? In the shopping lesson my 4th graders do... i tack that on... "No, thank you. Can you make it cheaper?"

    hehe
    I take the more fun "no! too expensive!" then the shopkeepers will argue back "no! too cheap!"

    Always fun
    Shut up Hikari / Muffles / uthinkimlost. (delete as appropriate)

    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    minor rant: Waldroon mentioned Maria Ozawa in the japenese movie thread. Me being the fool I am assumed he was being serious and googled her at work.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by UPGRAYEDD View Post
    Why don't you try teaching them how to read and write those greetings?
    Because the govt doesn't want them writing until JHS? Remember they are all about the "lets fun english sing dance HI MY NAME IS KEN".
    Shut up Hikari / Muffles / uthinkimlost. (delete as appropriate)

    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    minor rant: Waldroon mentioned Maria Ozawa in the japenese movie thread. Me being the fool I am assumed he was being serious and googled her at work.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCaptainLeslie View Post
    I am mixed about the new Eigo Note series. My BOE doesn't have a clue what is going on, and asking questions doesn't help much. The good thing that has come out of it is that schools that I only went to once a semester or once a year are now having me come a few times a month. But I am not sure what they expect to happen. I heard from a private ALT that my town is going to contract out my job to a private company once I leave, so I have a feeling that for the next year my job is going to be to help my town ES teachers in the transition to the new system.

    My biggest problem is that most of my students know a good amount of English. There is no way that I can force the students to spend a month going over greetings when they know it all already (which may be what the other teachers want from me).
    I can't stand this either! I have to split up basic greetings for my 5th years that I already taught them in before April. It doesn't take a retard `Hello my name is _____, I am from _____` a whole month to learn how to say this.

    I'm in the same boat as having a shakey position when I leave, fuck this city.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: 英語ノート is officially ruining elementary school

    First, Upgrayedd, your icon is making me happy in the pants.

    The prospect of Eigo Note is decidedly not, but I am curious as to how my elementaries will react (I don't see them until May.) When I first came here, two of them used Super Step, a similarly God-awful textbook, but both did away with it after learning that there are far better ways of teaching English. And the third school eschewed it from the beginning. I know one of the ex-Super Shite schools mentioned Eigo Note last term, but the other had a fair amount of disgust for Super Shite by the time they gave it up, and the third school must have felt similarly about it, so I would not be at all surprised if those two kept letting me use my own plans like before. (And even if they don't, it's only three more months for me, and the kids will apparently be in far more experienced hands than my own after I leave, so I'm not too worried. If my successor is who I'm told it is, I'm sure he'll be able to talk some sense into anyone who falls under the spell of the Book of Crap.)
    Quote Originally Posted by goloons View Post
    My favorite student just tried to BITE MY NIPPLE.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coollead View Post
    Yeah, it's really good stuff. For some reason, they bound it as a book, instead of on a roll. There's 190 pages, which is probably good for at least a few dozen shits.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: 英語ノート is officially ruining elementary school

    Are you being replaced by a transfer?
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."

    Hunter S. Thompson.

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    Default Re: 英語ノート is officially ruining elementary school

    Also: the name makes me think of Death Note. I like to think that whoever named it that did so because when they write English lessons for a certain grade level in it, English education for that grade level dies.
    Quote Originally Posted by goloons View Post
    My favorite student just tried to BITE MY NIPPLE.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coollead View Post
    Yeah, it's really good stuff. For some reason, they bound it as a book, instead of on a roll. There's 190 pages, which is probably good for at least a few dozen shits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lains View Post
    Are you being replaced by a transfer?
    Apparently I'm being replaced by this ex-JET who's been running a juku/language school in my town for years. The BOE are hiring him privately.
    Quote Originally Posted by goloons View Post
    My favorite student just tried to BITE MY NIPPLE.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coollead View Post
    Yeah, it's really good stuff. For some reason, they bound it as a book, instead of on a roll. There's 190 pages, which is probably good for at least a few dozen shits.

  11. #31
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    Dear Monbusho,

    First off, I'm down with ya Monby - I get where you're coming from. You had no choice. English education in Japan is abysmal; worse than any of your Asian neighbors. You have to make it look like you're doing something. You have to make it look like you care. It doesn't matter that you don't have the resources to give teachers more training, or actually bring over trained teachers or put trained teachers in Elementary School. You were backed into a corner, so you did the only thing you could do. You say "We are going to have English now! In Elementary School! For real this time! Cause the teachers will be teaching it!". And there's no helping the fact that they don't speak English, so It's the blind leading the blind. But it's ok because you had no choice. But you know in your heart of hearts it's wrong, like everyone else. So It's ok, I forgive you.

    But seriously, Kuroneko and Mark, do me a favor and pass this on to your superiors please:

    文部科学省から配られた教科書は、基本的に補助的に使っていただきたいと思います。教科書だけを頼りにせず、いままで習ってきた知識を積み重ねる努力をして欲しいです。子供たちにも教科書だけに頼らない知識と努力を期待します。

    教科書はたしかに日本人にとってほぼ完ぺきに作られているとは思います。しかし、英語が出来る人にとっては、時として違和感を感じることもたくさんあります。教科書がすべてではないということです。


    I'm talking about the absolutely ridiculous gestures in the back of the 5th grade book, as well as the "let's enjoy" stuff and much of the stuff that has already been mentioned in this thread. Also I'm pretty sure that cooky is not an acceptable spelling of the word cookie in any English variant, as it states on page 150 of the teachers book for the 5th grade 英語ノート

    I really would like to know why the textbook makers insist on the continued use of phrases that English speakers constantly make fun of Japanese for using, for example "let's enjoy" and "I'm fine thank you and you?".

    I understand that this book is not meant in any way to be a way to learn English. Monbushou clearly states that teaching English is not their goal in Elementary School but that Fostering internationalisation and an interest in English are (I ask why can't you do them all.....?). The book is there to be something to make homeroom teachers feel better, and to give them something to do when there is no ALT. That's fine. But come on, could it please have some age appropriate activities (Find the hidden animals and make a fruit cup for 5th graders?) And could you please at least try to not confuse the children (mixing up countable and uncountable nouns in different sections without explaining it to children)

    On the other hand, I would like to praise the teacher's book aside from some of the innacuracies like stated above. It has some great explanations of grammar for the teacher, and some good teaching points.

    So Monby, my buddy,

    How about we take out the overly kiddy stuff, the English that English speakers make jokes about, the awful voice actors, and the overly stereotypical trype? Let's try to take that whole internationalization thing, that fostering an interest in English thing, and that ACTUALLY TEACHING ENGLISH thing, and try to make a book for that, sound good?

    We cool Monby?
    Yeah, we cool

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by UPGRAYEDD View Post
    Why don't you try teaching them how to read and write those greetings?
    Hear, hear. As for the "they don't want any reading and writing", please. You can get around that, I suspect. For one thing, unlike me when I ran into this at times with Interac, we JETs are government workers with considerable protection against being fired for something that in many cases is not even our primary job. Don't go in combative: go in confident. These teachers generally have plenty to worry about in their own areas; I have not found many to be interested in waging some battle against you for the sake of a government directive. Especially if you don't steamroll them, but be friendly and work with them as partners (which they -are-), I find it goes just great.

    Furthermore, I think the "no reading and writing" thing actually has its roots in a very good idea: a reaction against the yaku-doku(訳読) system that dominated English education in Japan for many years. (This is a big part of the reason why so many JTEs have had godawful pronunciation and bizarre English grammar burned into their brains, and why so many of them have terrible communicative ability.) The idea is: English class should be communicative and active, not copying down rote translations and memorizing them. (That kind of "produce a quick and dirty translation ASAP" skill hasn't been particularly useful since Japan stopped acquiring most of its scientific knowledge by translating random books brought over by the Dutch.)

    It's targeting you writing up sentences in English and Japanese and having the kids copy them down into their notebooks to write again a hundred times until they have memorized them. Generally, flashcards and other things like that (hint: magnetic letters you can stick on the board!) are okay. I also have never had a problem with me writing up letters on the board one at a time to practice the pronunciation: they're all for that!

    So don't give up on the whole enterprise too quickly. (The above contains some optimistic assumptions, but hey, that's how I am sometimes.)

    If you can work in regular pronunciation and the basic phonics idea (letters --> sounds but not always in the same way) and run that through these biweekly or weekly English sessions, I think this new generation of Japanese kids are going to be much better equipped to finally break the "Japanese people can't learn English" curse en masse.

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwimusume View Post
    Also: the name makes me think of Death Note. I like to think that whoever named it that did so because when they write English lessons for a certain grade level in it, English education for that grade level dies.
    AHAHAHAHAHAHA.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: 英語ノート is officially ruining elementary school

    Wakatta: Interac ALT's can be reprimanded or fired for getting their kids to write stuff?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gusuke View Post
    Wakatta: Interac ALT's can be reprimanded or fired for getting their kids to write stuff?
    If you read that other thread, you'll see they can apparently be fired for being an hour late while their wife is in the hospital losing their unborn child.

    But in short: yeah. They probably don't actually fire ALTs that often mid-year, because it might upset the school to have to deal with a new one, but other than that, sure.

    Heck, here's an excerpt from the "your teaching is not at a sufficient level even as a beginner" review I got...it was the first point on a list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Interac jackass
    Please refrain from using Japanese in the classroom or writing words and phrases out on the blackboard.
    During the talk we had about it, he also repeatedly was like, "Do not do it. It is verboten. It is not "try not to write on the blackboard"; it is "you must never, ever, not even once, write on the blackboard or use Japanese. This is your only warning."

    Incidentally, the schools never, ever complained about it. (They seemed genuinely very positive about what I was doing...that may have been politesse, but I heard it so much and from so many people -- including the subsequent ALT -- that I really do think they were pleased.) Actually, it was a teacher (my supervisor-ish type for that school) that first suggested I put up written versions and helped me make them. Once a HRT took the initiative to run most of a class (the result wasn't great, but I salute his effort), and he was writing on the board a ton.

    This was a pattern that repeated many times: teachers would tell me to do something, Interac would not long after issue directives to all ALTs via email (probably not actually in response to what I personally had done) forbidding these things, and reminding us that they were our employer, not the schools. Speaking of, that's one of the least tangible but most meaningful reasons why I like JET: sure, I work for the BoE, but I still feel more like I'm part of the school...rather than someone being dispatched by a company. I'm not sure how to explain the difference succinctly and effectively, but for me at least it made a real difference in my state of mind and anxiety level.
    Last edited by Wakatta; April 16th, 2009 at 17:52.

  15. #35
    Senior Member saritajuanita's Avatar
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    Default Re: 英語ノート is officially ruining elementary school

    yeah i don't mind the eigo no-to too much. the computer software is really useful in class. i pretty much just use that stuff plus to decide on a topic (food, for example) and teach it like normal with games.

    though, the voices on the recordings are ridiculous. there's a part where kids from different countries talk about their breakfasts. the korean, american, and japanese kids all have american accents, but the french kid has a really thick, stupid, stereotypical french accent. why? if they're gonna do that, make the japanese kid talk in katakana or the american kid have a really hickish southern accent or something

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    Hi guys, just found this site searching for eigo note problems

    I think the eigo note is actually a good book. Not all elementary school children in japan are at the same level. In my city the average student has only been getting 7 or 8 hours of English per year...so their level is quite low. Starting the entire country at a lower level is fine if you're trying to standardize everyone's English.

    After reading some of the complaints in this thread I'm just wondering if all of you have read the teachers manual? A month of greetings for grade 5 is not necessary - there are only 3 hours of lessons for Lesson 1 and it's up to the school at what speed they go at.

    Question: Do you guys plan lessons with the HRTs? I know that ALT's are now technically T2 and Monbukagakusho's master plan includes the HRT communicating in English to the ALT (rolf) about the day's lesson. In my case, I am 'guiding' the HRT's and am spending over an hour a day in preparation time. We choose the activities together ie stuff that the HRT can do on their own with the cd they do on their own. I supplement with games etc.

    I've been dealing with the note since last year and have been teaching it for 1 and a half weeks now (every day) so I have a lot of stuff to say but it's such a broad subject that this may seem muddled.

    Obviously, I am not in favour of the whole using non-english certified, non-english speaking, no foreign language teaching experience HRTs to teach english.
    The thing that pisses me off the most is that although the note is due to start in 2011 with 2 years of kenshuu, my city has gone ahead and started it full time. Schools received the textbook on april 1st and started teaching it on the 8th. WTF? If my daughter was elementary school level I would have gone to the papers to bitch. Why would I pay taxes for my kid to be taught English by someone with NO training, No ability, and No English teaching licence??
    Has anyone seen the monbukagakusho video 'You can do it!'???? The message of that movie is that 'anybody who can make some flash cards can teach English'. Wow, must be nice that English is soooo easy.

  17. #37
    Member Jcubed's Avatar
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    Default Re: 英語ノート is officially ruining elementary school

    We just had a meeting yesterday with all the 5th and 6th grade teachers from the local elementary schools I teach at. Around half the teachers think Eigo Noto will be boring for the kids and want me to basically continue with the lessons I did last year (usually vocab or a sentence structure followed by a game that reenforces it) where the kids had fun and learned something as well. The other half of the teachers (most of whom I've never worked with) what to go 100% by the book. This should be interesting.

    In my opinion a book is good because without any standardized system in place the kids need to start all over in JHS which is a waste. However, by the looks of it, Eigo Noto is shit, they'd even be better off just doing New Crown 1 over the final two years of elementary school.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jcubed View Post
    We just had a meeting yesterday with all the 5th and 6th grade teachers from the local elementary schools I teach at. Around half the teachers think Eigo Noto will be boring for the kids and want me to basically continue with the lessons I did last year (usually vocab or a sentence structure followed by a game that reenforces it) where the kids had fun and learned something as well. The other half of the teachers (most of whom I've never worked with) what to go 100% by the book. This should be interesting.

    In my opinion a book is good because without any standardized system in place the kids need to start all over in JHS which is a waste. However, by the looks of it, Eigo Noto is shit, they'd even be better off just doing New Crown 1 over the final two years of elementary school.
    so, why is it shit in your opinion?

    In my opinion, the teachers saying that the note is boring are just trying to get out of teaching it because they have no experience and are nervous about teaching english.
    In my prefecture, the BOE decided that all schools should teach it.
    Alot of ALTs are dismayed that they have officially been relegated to T2. This is ok, as long as you can convince the hrts that it's better to have two T1's working together (as a team?) than an HRT using the ALT as a CD player.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Banana Hammock View Post
    so, why is it shit in your opinion?
    Well, the copy I saw (it might have changed but I have heard it hasn't) starts by teaching them to say "Hi, My name is Tanaka Mai".



    What I heard of the CD etc. was terrible, the concept of getting 5th and 6th grades is akin to getting blood from a stone.
    Also, should they take it up in my town they'll be taking time away from English in grades 1- 4 where it is easier to make progress in areas such as pronounciation etc.
    There was more (teaching months using japanese holidays, hello internationalisation objective? doing the stupid "where is the XX" lesson (Hello kidnapped children) , but seeing as we are not doing it (we have a better designed curriculum here, YAY) I have not focused on it much lately.
    Shut up Hikari / Muffles / uthinkimlost. (delete as appropriate)

    Quote Originally Posted by tenderRondo View Post
    minor rant: Waldroon mentioned Maria Ozawa in the japenese movie thread. Me being the fool I am assumed he was being serious and googled her at work.

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by BritishChris View Post
    Well, the copy I saw (it might have changed but I have heard it hasn't) starts by teaching them to say "Hi, My name is Tanaka Mai".



    What I heard of the CD etc. was terrible, the concept of getting 5th and 6th grades is akin to getting blood from a stone.
    Also, should they take it up in my town they'll be taking time away from English in grades 1- 4 where it is easier to make progress in areas such as pronounciation etc.
    There was more (teaching months using japanese holidays, hello internationalisation objective? doing the stupid "where is the XX" lesson (Hello kidnapped children) , but seeing as we are not doing it (we have a better designed curriculum here, YAY) I have not focused on it much lately.
    By the way, that e-copy of the teachers manual was just a tease. Once we got the hard-copies, they sent the flash drive back to whatever ring of hell it was originally conceived in.

    I'd rather listen to a Backstreet Boys CD than that EN pile of crap. Ugh, how I loathe the "let's chant" sections.
    "In his heart of hearts, he knows that you're on your own at this level..of big nose monkey snooker"

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