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Thread: Genki English....

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    WINNING Fyrey's Avatar
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    Default Genki English....

    Has anyone else seen these guys? Does everyone love them as much as they make out? (www.genkienglish.com) Or is this smarmy we're awesome and you're not attitude the result of a HARD SELL webpage. Am I going to have to compete with these guys? Only until now did I really consider the prospect that I would have to entertain primary or elementary school kids - I knew that some JETS did so, but do all?

    Personally I think I'll find myself at home teaching in japan in the ways taught to me by Galvin (www.kindofcrap.com) or even Yongfook (www.yongfook.com)... I'm not sure if my lethargy and cynicism will allow me to carry off a Genki styled 'show'.

    Is going to Japan as a JET the wrong thing to be doing? Thank you Genki English for upstaging me before I even started. :x

    Thoughts anyone? Everyone?

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    bloody hell! they look entirely too chipper for my liking! something a bit sinister going on there i think

    NOBODY is going to get me singing, i tell you, NOBODY!

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    I think some guy called Richard is involved with that page. He used to post on the yahoo group, with the sig: Be Genki.

    You here Richard?

    Matt :wink:
    Mabushiii!!!

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    Chiara - indeed, frightening isn't it?....

    Dynamis - I was afraid Richard lurked in these forums, so I'm far too polite to voice my real opinion...(obviously backstabbing and slander are more my strengths)

    On a completely different note, in my home town we had something similar in the UK. I'm from a crappy seaside resort on the East Coast and there was this bunch of people who did the same sort of hyped up sugar overdosed singing and dancing stuff, they were called the 'Glory Club' - and it was all pure religious dogma. Theres something very dodgy about this sort of stuff, but I can't put my finger on what it is...

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    Well, to be honest, I think they have the right idea. That kind of stuff is what really works with young kids.

    It's because i cant bring myself to do that kind of thing (sing? *shudder*) that i dont / wont teach elementary kids

    Matt
    Mabushiii!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamis
    Well, to be honest, I think they have the right idea. That kind of stuff is what really works with young kids.

    It's because i cant bring myself to do that kind of thing (sing? *shudder*) that i dont / wont teach elementary kids

    Matt
    If I sang, the children would not learn English. The children would run crying from the room and I would be sacked!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chiara
    If I sang, the children would not learn English. The children would run crying from the room and I would be sacked!
    Thats the other reason I don't sing, but I don't like to talk about it so much... :P
    Mabushiii!!!

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    bad memories huh Matt?

    Yeah, I did take a bit of a sinister view there, but I guess, at heart, all this dancing, singing and... fun nonsense goes against my strict Victorian principals on education. :twisted:

    Learning shouldn't be fun, it should be character building.

    Do you think we get much of a choice on who we teach? Or will we take what we're given and jolly well like it?

    Well, to be honest, I think they have the right idea. That kind of stuff is what really works with young kids.
    I was never really asked about how I would go about teaching very young children in my interview, all those questions about 'how would teach a class if left to take it yourself' I answered as if I would be teaching 11 years+, i.e send them off into groups to discuss etc... template answers I suppose.

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    For most JET positions, singing is part of the job. If not in class, but at karaoke. You don't have to be good. One bad song at the karaoke will result in your co-workers not asking you to sing again for that evening. You may ask, "why sing at all at a Karaoke if I can't sing?" It's the thought that counts, and the thought goes a long long way to help your office relationships.

    As for Genki English, when I first saw it back a year ago (ie. When I wasn't in Japan and waiting on the application process), I thought it was very very lame and cheesy and couldn't see how anyone could use it except for the extra super hyper weird "way out there" people.

    However, now that I'm in Japan, I've learned through my wife that kids LOVE the Genki English songs, as cheesy as they may be. You'll never see the young buggers so happy. Singing overly happy songs to 8 - 12 year olds is like telling 13 - 15 year olds that if they speak a proper english sentence, they'll get a Full Metal Alchemest sticker.

    Also, you aren't really singing. First of all, the CD will be playing. Second of all, the kids will be so loud after the first chorus, you probably won't be heard.

    Don't count Genki English out of your potential lesson plans. It's hard thinking of things to do with young kids, especially if you have the same group 1 or more times a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paper
    For most JET positions, singing is part of the job. If not in class, but at karaoke. You don't have to be good. One bad song at the karaoke will result in your co-workers not asking you to sing again for that evening. You may ask, "why sing at all at a Karaoke if I can't sing?" It's the thought that counts, and the thought goes a long long way to help your office relationships.
    Singing after a (good) few Chu-His in a karoke place is one thing (actually forms many of my best memories from Japan last summer), but being faced with a class of young children and having to do it is quite another!

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    Fortunately, the vast majority of ALTs are in high schools of one form or another. From what i've read, the CIRs are more likely to end up in an elementary school. But the chance of a few one off visits shouldn't be discounted!!

    However, now that I'm in Japan, I've learned through my wife that kids LOVE the Genki English songs, as cheesy as they may be. You'll never see the young buggers so happy. Singing overly happy songs to 8 - 12 year olds is like telling 13 - 15 year olds that if they speak a proper english sentence, they'll get a Full Metal Alchemest sticker.
    Yeah, ill agree with you there again. Sad as it may be for us repressed types, young kids love that kind of thing (although i'd have thought 9-10yrs to be the max before they start feeling embarrassed.)

    Oh yeah, and do 15yr olds really dig FMA stickers?? Does that actually work? Sure, i like to watch it, but i cant see myself with a sticker :?

    Matt
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    I'm not too sure, my Japanese teacher stood at the front of the class playing the recorder while her assistant encouraged us to sing a song about minutes and bees. This was at uni....

    we were all kinda embarassed!

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    As a general rule, Japanese students are far far more immature than students in America. And when it comes to singing, almost any aged Japanese person will sing.

    The kids get excited over the possibilty of winning a sticker with the word "WOW" on it. So, presenting them with a sticker from a series they like, and they go bonkers.
    So, to answer your question, yes, FMA stickers work. They'll scream, yell, and get extremely hyper. The best thing about FMA stickers is that both the girls and guys like FMA. Whereas, something like One Piece may only be good for guys.

    Once you are here, you may feel differently about singing to kids. The kids will probably adore you and be all over you. This will give your ego a boost and let you do things you wouldn't normally do. Sort of like beer, except you are still coherent. :)

    Don't discount the possibility that you will be teaching young kids. My wife is an ALT, and she teaches elementary and junior high. NO High School, even though there's a high school in town, and they have english classes there, they do not have a JET. JETs are teaching younger kids more and more these days (probably because JETs are viewed as 'fun learning', which is okay for young kids, but in High School, they'd rather focus the kids on cramming for those exams)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paper
    Singing overly happy songs to 8 - 12 year olds is like telling 13 - 15 year olds that if they speak a proper english sentence, they'll get a Full Metal Alchemest sticker.
    I'm assuming I'm the thick one here, but what the hell is "Full Metal Alchemist"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyrey
    I'm assuming I'm the thick one here, but what the hell is "Full Metal Alchemist"?
    I'm surpised someone with that icon would ask! But no worries, Full Metal Alchemist is a relatively new anime series.

    Which brings me to another point of advice. Know some popular trends, like current anime, commercials, etc. You don't have to watch the shows if you don't want to, but being able spout of a title of a show, or a characters name will shock the kids (happily shock).

    Here's the most popular FMA stickers for the 13 year olds:

    Armstrong for the guys, Mustang (black haired guy) for the girls. Ask a question to the kids with a reward of one of these stickers and EVERY ONE of their hands will pop up (even the 'cool' kids)

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    Oh, don't be fooled by the avatar - I just had Tenchi Muyo grow on me while working in London and coming home to it on the Cartoon Network a couple of summers ago.

    I'm no manga/anime afficianado - I just liked the icon - thought having something at least vaguely Japanese on here might be an idea.

    I see that bribery then is the order of the day for an ALT..... wherever I go in the world, particularly asia, why is it I always have to resort to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paper
    Armstrong for the guys, Mustang (black haired guy) for the girls. Ask a question to the kids with a reward of one of these stickers and EVERY ONE of their hands will pop up (even the 'cool' kids)
    Uhh. So the bald bodybuilder with a pink/purple background is what you give to GUYS??!!! What happened to the main character anyway? Where's his sticker?

    I guess I'm just going to have to see this in action to believe it. But really, it must be easier to buy these in Japan. What about real western stuff? Do they appreciate it at all? Stickers of <shudder> Beckham, perhaps?

    Lastly, i know Hannah mentioned this on 2004JET, but giving regular rewards tends to have long term negative effects. Eg, students start to expect them, and you have to give progressively bigger rewards. In the end, students work for the rewards themselves, and not their own personal benefit. When learning like this, they dont actually take it in as well as when learning out of interest or for personal satisfaction.

    Matt
    Mabushiii!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamis
    Uhh. So the bald bodybuilder with a pink/purple background is what you give to GUYS??!!! What happened to the main character anyway? Where's his sticker?
    The pack of stickers we got have multiple pictures of every main character (even the granny has one), I only scanned in the popular one. Yes, it is surprising that no one really wants the main character. They are too in awe of the big pink guy. When they get the stickers, they start mimicking him by flexing muscles. They love the stars around him. Go figure. At least the girls are predictable, and pick the cool looking male character to go for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamis
    I guess I'm just going to have to see this in action to believe it. But really, it must be easier to buy these in Japan. What about real western stuff? Do they appreciate it at all? Stickers of <shudder> Beckham, perhaps?
    Now your on the right line of thinking! barf out some Beckman pictures will have the same effect, and probably work for the older students as well. Harry Potter stuff is still popular too. If you get some stuff from the newest movie coming out this summer, they'll be even more in awe because it probably won't have played here yet.
    And don't forget Pooh-san (although you can buy anything Pooh here).
    Also, as I said earlier, if you aren't into character goods, the kids even get mildly excited over stickers with english on them. Just don't expect them to fight over them or all raise their hand to answer the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamis
    Lastly, i know Hannah mentioned this on 2004JET, but giving regular rewards tends to have long term negative effects. Eg, students start to expect them, and you have to give progressively bigger rewards. In the end, students work for the rewards themselves, and not their own personal benefit. When learning like this, they dont actually take it in as well as when learning out of interest or for personal satisfaction.
    All depends on how you use them. Obviously, constantly giving out expensive "cool" stickers is going to have that effect (they'll start to expect them). However, you have to keep in mind that kids don't care about english.. and they will sleep through your class or make rude sounds in the background while you talk. The older grades use it even more as a sleep class, because most of the kids go to cram school after school, and then do homework after that (ie. they get to bed late, and are up really early). So, you can either have them bored and learning nothing, or have them excited and at least learning enough to get a sticker.

    Some other random tips:
    - If you act happy, they'll be happy. If you aren't happy, fake it. Happy students learn better.

    - pitting 1/2 the class against the other 1/2 in a game (preferably non-physical) is great. Just remember to make the game come out so that they are tied or close to being tied. If it's an "individual winner" type game, integrate "Jan Ken Pon" into the ending so that it's random. They feel better if they lose because of Jan Ken Pon as opposed to losing because of an english question. Give the loser a sticker anyway (ie. let the winner chose a sticker of his/her choice, and don't let the loser choose, just give him a 'lesser' or random sticker)

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    Oh god the GenkiEnglish songs are annoying. I don't think I could bear to listen to those songs in class...

    presses button to start song.
    "Hello, How are you? Hello, How are you? Hello..."
    Presses button to stop.
    "Ok, enough of that. Lets sing some south park songs! Shut you f***** face Uncle F***a. Your a..."

    Maybe I wouldn't be such a great elementary school teacher after all. Listening to the Genkienglish songs ran shivers down my spine.

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    Perhaps they need Genki English in the interview process. Play it and make the candidate sing and teach kids with it. If he/she refuses, mark them as a no-go.

    C'mon, your supposed to be teachers of a fun subject. 1/2 of you already seem to be coming into the whole job with the wrong attitude. Unwillingness to try new things, the inability to adapt or force yourself to do things, and the inability to ignore or put up with annoying things, are bad traits when going oversees.

    Picture this:
    20 rugrats at your feet
    1 Genki English song playing
    1 fake microphone (could be your hand)
    repeat the phase the song is saying (doesn't even have to be "singing", just talk it)
    Point the fake microphone to the rugrats
    Listen to the rugrats yell the song at the top of their lungs.
    Repeat until song is over.
    Discover the kids want the song played AGAIN.

    If you can't do that, please seriously consider pulling out of the JET programme and teaching in general.

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