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Thread: genki genki GENKI

  1. #1
    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Default genki genki GENKI

    Quote Originally Posted by frankdux in another thread
    this is my first year and i doubt i'll stay a second. the job is an honest joke. i am treated like a second class employee and given little insight into the curriculum even though i am an american teacher and the JTEs told me straight to my face that they are trying to model their school system after the american school system. and yet they show no interest in my own teacher training or info on the american education system.

    THE JOB OF AN ALT IS NOT TO TEACH ENGLISH. THE JOB OF AN ALT IS TO PROMOTE THE 'FUN' OF ENGLISH BY DOING A GODDAMN SONG AND DANCE FOR THE STUDENTS AND OTHER TEACHERS - AND IF THERE IS TIME LEFT, PLAY PICTIONARY.

    i find it insulting that with the 2-3 classes i am given to actually 'teach' by myself, i am told that i can do anything i want. in other words, it doesnt matter what i do because it wont be incorporated into the curriculum, it wont be tested on, and the JTE wont follow up on it in future lessons.
    I think he brings up some pretty good points here. Given that it I bet it won't be discussed at midyear let's talk about it here.

    My opinion is that the over emphasis on genki at all costs education here is counter effective. I don't do it and my JTEs don't do it but I know that the JET 'training' encourages it to some extent. Does it make the students like English more or does it make them think that English is a big joke that they don't take seriously. Are Japanese maths lessons supergenkitastic or is it a big inside joke about English that you'll never understand in spite of the fact that you are encouraged to implement it? Does genki have a cost in that the Ss just don't take English seriously or something else?

    Another issue that I think is important is the education of male students. I think any kid over about 10 can see through genki like a pane of glass. Is this more the case with boys than girls I wonder ... Most English teachers I've met in this country are women. The text books and the curriculum in general tends to lean toward the sentimental side which arguably appeals to girls more than it does to boys. Is English education in this country more focused on the female students? Does the current structure make English seem like a girly subject? Does it exclude boys in any way? I don't really have a firm opinion on this (apart from my opinions on Sunshine English obviously) but I'd be interested in what you lot have to say.

    In the absence of any of this being discussed elsewhere and certainly not being discussed within JET training like midyear or recontracting conference or Tokyo conference or any other conference let's have a serious discussion here eh?

    Edited for clarity
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  2. #2
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    all languages are a joke. my spanish classes back when I was a youth were just as mindless as the english lessons here.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Yeah, but in which way ini? The content is one thing, but its delivery is probably the biggest gripe for most ALTs.

    I suppose seeing as most ALTs get some input at least into the lesson plan and what style of English is taught then you have some control over the content, but if your JTE tells you it's genki time so they can all see the Gaijin Monkey Show then you're pretty much fucked.

    Though, the other way to look at it is that they have a certain number of English classes a week and only one of them is with the ALT. Why not give it a bit of genk to make them at least pay a bit of attention? You don't have to swing from the fucking rafters. Just be somewhat enthusiastic.

    Then again, I've only been teaching for a few months, so it's likely that I don't know what I'm talking about.

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    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    what do you all mean by genki?
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Well, I don't get asked to do this too often because the teachers at my schools have some respect for the fact that I'm able to adjust my own moods to fit the class. That being said, every now and then before class the JTE will tell me that the students are tired or bored so I'd need to be really genki.

    I don't go over the top, just speak a bit louder and happier than usual and put on a pretty over the top smile. Lots of gesticulating and actions is usually the call for the day as well. I try not to jump around like a complete clown and I sure as shit don't go pulling the guitar out to give them a rousing chorus of Free Love on the Free Love Freeway, but sometimes I get the impression that's what my JTE is hoping for.

    I'm just saying that most languages aren't taught in this way. They have the same inane lessons about nothing applicable, but I agree with dombay that the whole smile and bounce around like a twat thing I've only seen or heard of over here in English class.

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    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Does anyone ever do that shit though? Apart from that twat Richard Graham i have never seen or heard of anyone dancing around in class, not at jhs or above anyway.

    Then again all i ever do is read out the new words from the textbook and offer up a few example sentences. I might start dancing around a bit just to break the monotony
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Fuck knows whether they do it, but I'm sure it's expected.

    Half the problem comes from the way the JET Programme has been since it first came about. They encouraged this type of shit and most of the people that came over here were the type to lap that shit up because they thought it was so "Japanese".

    I reckon over the last 10 years all that has turned on its arse. You've got more and more people coming over here on a lark, or just as a gateway for travel into other parts of Asia. Most of us aren't teachers either, which probably has a lot to do with why we don't get into the genki thing.

    It'd probably work to be honest, if you just started hamming it up a bit and making a cock out of yourself, but you're shit outta luck if you think I'm doing that to SHS students who should be able to motivate their damn selves.

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    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_Kiwis
    Most of us aren't teachers either, which probably has a lot to do with why we don't get into the genki thing.
    Actually, the fact that I am a teacher is exactly WHY I don't get into the genki thing. I know how to plan and implement a curriculum, how to create meaningful assessment and feedback and how to engage the majority of kids.
    Frankdux - you have to give it time. It doesn't matter if you'd been teaching for 10 months or 10 years at your old school - here you are a new staff member and have to prove yourself all over again. If it's any consolation, it might help you to know that even Japanese staff who are new to a school get fuck-all input into textbooks, curriculum or tests in their first year.
    And just for the record, it's the same in Australia.
    "Like anyone with a sliver of honesty in them I believe what I find I believe when I wake up each morning."
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    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    saying frank is a teacher is like saying dombay is fluent in japanese or a gook is competent enough to drive a car.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeCarter
    Does anyone ever do that shit though? Apart from that twat Richard Graham i have never seen or heard of anyone dancing around in class, not at jhs or above anyway.

    Then again all i ever do is read out the new words from the textbook and offer up a few example sentences. I might start dancing around a bit just to break the monotony
    I'm told that a lot of the ALTs in this prefecture had to go to a seminar with Genki Richard to become more genki.

    I just know im going to be told to be more genki at midyear.

    By genki I don't mean being enthusiastic, using a loud voice or even being animated - those things are more about teaching style - what I mean is being expected to play games, make an idiot out of yourself, act out over the top skits perhaps with costumes or props, singing, dancing ... entertaining anything like that that seems t come up a lot.
    Melanie: back!

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  11. #11
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    No.

    No, man.

    Shit, no, man.

    I believe you'd get your ass kicked doin' something like that, man
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    I had this big fuck off elementary class yesterday in which lots of education types came to watch. There was this massive meeting of about twenty people that lasted four hours (I was only there for 90 mins though).

    Anyway, I played games for about 25-30 minutes of the lesson but the guy said it was still "too serious, English should be fun". I was really really really fucked off at all these statements and had to hold back my own thoughts. The most annoying thing was I felt it had the perfect balance of entertainment and they actually understood what I taught them.

    genki my arse

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    Senior Member Narnia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dombay

    By genki I don't mean being enthusiastic, using a loud voice or even being animated - those things are more about teaching style - what I mean is being expected to play games, make an idiot out of yourself, act out over the top skits perhaps with costumes or props, singing, dancing ... entertaining anything like that that seems t come up a lot.
    I refuse to do that. I can't remember in which conference I was told this, but if we make the lesson a joke then the JTEs will think it as such.
    I only play games at my visit school and that is only after we have done 40mins of real work. And the games involve what we just learnt.
    I am a naturally happy person, and those few times a month when i actually teach, the kids are so down in the dumps that I do try to cheer them up a bit but only through encouraging words.
    Dr Peterson: 'I'm a schoolteacher'
    Porter at Empire Hotel: 'Thought so: they always look as if they've lost something' -From "Spellbound"

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    I don't do this kind of stuff, its not my style. I wasn't in on the Okayama genki brainwashing session either.

    I once went to Genki Richards talk at recontracting - and left, because it was crap.

    Shogako is a bit different - I do run games in which the kids get to move around, 'cos I've found that if you don't they go a bit stir crazy. But its not the whole lesson, and I don't use a genki approach.

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    I teach in SHS and there is no genki-ness about it and I am usually doing the lesson plans for my writing classes and a somewhat input for the other classes.

    Most of the English teachers at my school are male and I only work with one female teacher. So as for it being the *for girls* thing, that doesn't quite work at my school.

  16. #16
    Daimyo ***** dombay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom
    I don't do this kind of stuff, its not my style. I wasn't in on the Okayama genki brainwashing session either.

    I once went to Genki Richards talk at recontracting - and left, because it was crap.

    Shogako is a bit different - I do run games in which the kids get to move around, 'cos I've found that if you don't they go a bit stir crazy. But its not the whole lesson, and I don't use a genki approach.
    Neither was I. Some poor noob told me about it on the Fuji bus and I ranted at him a bit. I think he's scared of me now.

    I think it was the Okayama City but I could be wrong. We had our own one in my city but not with Genki Richard - some Japanese lecturer.
    Melanie: back!

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  17. #17
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    You don't want to get shogakkou kids running around, once they start they never stop. Just give them a picture to color in, it normally shuts them up for half an hour
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  18. #18

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    They stop when they fall over ini.

    I've missed all these meetings Dombay - we haven't had any.

    Not that I'm really complaining.

  19. #19
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    well tell ini to stop lying around where the kids are running
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  20. #20

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    Earlier you were watching Dombay, now you're tripping my students up - watch out ini/GC - we just had "perverted intruder drill" the other week.

    Dombay- what is the situation regarding gender and languge learning like in Australia? The sterotype in the UK is that boys are good at maths, and girls like comunication. I don't know if thats true or not - but a few years back the UK government made langages non-compulsory, so lots of students stoped taking them. I think they've changed it back now.

    I hadn't thought about the contents of the text book in gender terms before (apart from how it reinforces sterotypes) in terms of getting the kids interested. I would be interested to see what other people think...

    I think both Frank (in the OP) and FK have made one of the central points: JETs arn't on an equal footing with the teachers, that how the program was set up, and even when they do the hard work and put in the time (as Wicket said) its still very hard / impossible to get there.

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