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Thread: Elementary curriculum

  1. #21
    Senior Member 3ngrishsensei's Avatar
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    Wakatta, I want to thank you so much for all your help here!

    Good point about going in order. The alphabet does kinda lend itself to having words to work with, even before you're finished with all the letters. And makes it more simple all around
    When do you introduce common alternate sounds for consonants? (ex: g as in gene, and c as in cell)

    yeah, the strong and weak vowel thing is where I'm at right now with my sixth graders. I just call it reading #1 and #2, but I've been searching for an easy phrase to tack onto them (not a fan of "long" and "short" vowels. Maybe strong and weak is better). The homeroom teacher in my 6th grade class explained it to the students as different "readings" of the letter, similar to how Kanji has different readings. Not quite the same, but it helped the students accept the concept.

    A fun way I have them practice making the vowel sounds in context of words is singing the "Apples and Bananas" song and changing the vowels each time (ex: ooples and boonoonoos).

    About the j-go. I am comfortable with kana. I'm just reluctant to try to explain things in a level of j-go exceeding my abilities. If the kids became confused, I couldn't clarify, or I might lead them to believe my j-go is better than it is (which could be really confusing for a little kid when later he asks me a question in j-go and I stare blankly). Help from homeroom teachers is limited (no JTEs in my elem.)
    I'm slowly getting better at j-go; I explain what I can, and the rest I get by with pictures, modeling and examples. But yeah, it's a constant process in the works. がんばります!

    Good idea of giving them alphabet cards and having them spell out words to evaluate. I'll have to start building a stock of cards.
    Sometimes, as a whole group, when I do a fill-in-the-missing-letter on the board - your right - they always uproar when I pronounce mistaken combinations.
    Last edited by 3ngrishsensei; August 30th, 2010 at 10:10. Reason: spelling

  2. #22

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    No problem! Thank you for putting in the effort to generate some real learning in your elementary school classes. I think it also just plain makes sense: if you ask the average person to teach English to a space alien, probably the first thing they might do (after "Me...Wakatta! You ... Florb! Me...Wakatta! You...Florb!") would be to start writing "cat" on a blackboard ... not reading katakana glosses of flashcards for "JAPANESE SLIPPERS". I am deeply dismayed by what can happen without phonics: they start memorizing English word-shapes like kanji, with mental furigana in Japanese syllables.

    I kept it simple to start with: only weak vowel sounds, and only the most common pronunciation of consonants. (I was however sure to explain that I am only teaching them the common pronunciation. I would often refer to the sound as the "基本の音(きほんのおと)". (I'm not even sure if that grammar is correct!) I want them to be aware that there's more to it, but I also would suggest not going out into the special rules until they're really competent with the basics. That said, if someone writes up a "ce" word, I might use the opportunity to explain that before "e", "c" is usually a "sssss" sound.

    Apples and bananas: perfect! Perhaps, even, once they've been singing it for a long time and they've learned some basic phonics, you can teach them how to write/read that lyric. (As a medium-term goal.)

    For explanations: where time allows, you might consider talking with a homeroom teacher, teaching them how to make the sound, and asking them to please help explain it to the children in Japanese.

    I would also emphasize that I had a lot of fun, and success, with the "orchestration" approach: conducting the class like a musical conductor, e.g., "sssssssssssssaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad." (For instance, drawing my hand through the air sideways, bringing it up for a vowel sound and down to baseline for a consonant, perhaps stopping it firmly for a hard consonantal stop.) Ssssssssaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmm. Sssaaaamm. Ssssaaam. Saaaam. Sam. Sam Sam." I would then keep silent and have them do a new word, while using my hand in the same way as a cue.
    Quote Originally Posted by katsudon View Post
    Principal: 'genki no nai shapenaa'
    Me: *giggle*
    Principal (turns to me, says): Very old sharpener. I am not as old as that sharpener.

  3. #23
    Senior Member 3ngrishsensei's Avatar
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    Tried some really simple l / r activities today for 5th grade and they went over really well.

    For my last lesson, I had made flashcards with l and r words (light, red, lice, rice, right, rabbit....ect.) and went over the vocabulary only. That way they would be familiar with the words for the lesson today.

    Then today I taught them the pronunciation difference, emphasizing the tongue out for l, and the lips rounded for r.
    I brought some shiny little stones and gave one to the first kid in each row; each student practiced saying a word and passed the stone back.

    Then I had the class push their desks aside and line up in the middle. I drew an "l" on the left side of the chalk board, and an "r" on the right, with a line down the middle. One by one I help up the picture cards (ex: light) and said the words slowly. Each time the students had to decide which side of the room to run to; and checked by seeing me put the card correct side of the board.

    After that I gave each student a small card with a picture (ex: rabbit) and they had to decide which side of the room without the help of looking at their friends (who had different cards).

    I finished with an easy worksheet with pictures of a set of words (ex: liver and river, rice and lice) and they had to decide which was l and r from listening to my pronunciation.

    For most everything I spoke in simple English and used gestures/modeling, but Japanese words I found helpful were 発音 (hatsuon, pronunciation), 丸 (maru, circle- to describe lips for r), and the usual たとえば (for example).

  4. #24
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    try to visit this site..

    . Homepage_Englipedia

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