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Thread: 2nd Year JHS Conversation lessons

  1. #1
    Senior Member SarahJ27's Avatar
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    Apr 2008

    Default 2nd Year JHS Conversation lessons

    My JTE wants me to have conversations for 50 minutes with 5 or 6 kids each lesson. I haven't really done eikaiwa or anything, so so far it's been pretty boring and I'm not really sure what to do. It might be alright except the kids are always pretty well-mixed, so it's hard to really let the conversation flow when, surprise-surprise, the boys don't really care about Akai Ito and Arashi and the girls don't care about video games or baseball.

    Any useful tips?
    Gov'ment came and took my baby!

  2. #2
    Senior Member bigredgoofball's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    In the big, boring middle of my long book of life...

    Default Re: 2nd Year JHS Conversation lessons

    Have a question-and-answer, and open it up to all topics. Get to know them. Let them get to know you even better. *shrugs* Couldn't hurt.
    "Apparently, this is the price I pay for years of screwing with Super-Science."
    -Dr. Venture

  3. #3
    Senior Member reed's Avatar
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    May 2004


    Conversation should be approached as "guided conversation", as in topics on rails. I've met many teachers who continue to go into class concerned about "book work" when really most, if not all, conversation is best led by book topics. Don't be afraid to use a page or two of an introductory conversation book for adults with these kids -- eikaiwa staples for teens to adults are First Hand, Side by Side, Impact Issues or Impact Topics, all published by Pearson Longman Books

    By giving the conversation a structure, everyone can anticipate where it is headed, and you can transition back and forth between leading a discussion and letting them run with it. Don't overdo it with questions -- Do you like pets? What's your favorite pet? What's your first pet? How many pets do you have? What's a good pet? What's a bad pet? What you can do, however, is ask these questions incidentally while leading them through a structured topic, like "the lifespan of animals". Conversation classes also do much better if they can be attached to something the students must know or learn academically as well -- for example, if you can help them sculpt a few sentences that can be useful in written or spoken tests later.

    While boys and girls in high school won't answer a great deal of questions out of embarrassment (adults too!), there are universal topics that can lead to diverse and lively discussions. These include the "do's and don'ts" of age-related teen activities, customs, etc (Japan vs Western), why radio is better than tv (or x is better than y -- be sure to stick with that angle, force them to creatively construct statements before letting them switch y and x, and finally end with personal preferences). 50 minutes is a very long time in theory but if it's broken into small topics that end quickly and everyone is able to contribute either to a small group or to you, you'll see the time fly by.
    Last edited by reed; January 27th, 2009 at 07:34.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    May 2008

    Default Re: 2nd Year JHS Conversation lessons

    You could also do some scenarios. Like you make up cards which give each person a role, in two or three sentences. An example would be, based on phone conversations:

    Person A 'Emi': You have 2 tickets to a movie on Saturday. You want to invite your friend Mike to go with you.
    Person B 'Mike': You have juku after school on Friday. You have a baseball game on Saturday. You're free on Sunday.

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