Category Archives: TEACHING

Quick Tips for Your First Day as an ALT in Japan, Part 2

Source: Gaijin Pot
Quick Tips for Your First Day as an ALT in Japan, Part 2

So, you’ve managed to get through the first half of your day as an assistant language teacher, but you’re not done yet. Time to roll up your sleeves and finish the day strong.

Since Japanese schools can often more particular in their routines than your home country — and because you might not always get clear and simple directions — for part eight of A Little Training for ALTs, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on what you can expect from your break to the final bell on your first as an ALT in Japan

Lunchtime is fun time

For many ALTs, lunch time is considered the best part of the day. Not only is it a chance to sit down and relax with your students, but it is also an opportunity for cultural exchange. If you didn’t have time to make a lunch, school lunches are a great and inexpensive way to experience the cuisine of Japan.

A typical meal might include: agepan (deep-fried bread), natto (fermented soybeans), tonjiru (pork miso soup), and horenso no ohitashi (spinach) are just a few of the many things that you may get to try while at your school.

In general, each school may have its own way of doing things, so pay careful attention to find out what that the particular routines and activities are. A school may have a schedule for what class you will be joining for lunch. At some schools, you may not have to rely on it, because a student or two will most likely lead you up to their classroom.

Make sure before you are led or leave the teacher’s room you bring your ohashi, or chopsticks. When you arrive in the classroom, please make sure to greet the teacher and then the class. They might still …continue reading


Technology in the English Classroom

In most schools, technology in English classrooms in Japan is not employed properly to help students stay engaged and interested in the topic.

Japan is well known for being a kind of technological hub for the world, but when you work as an English teacher in Japan you quickly realise that this hasn’t yet been passed down to the realm of teaching. Many schools and companies still use tape recorders and fax machines for a lot of the day to day work of teaching through audio or connecting with other departments, and you may think of it as a struggle to introduce any kind of technology to the class.

If you are in a position to at least use a laptop or projector, you have a big opportunity to not only teach a fantastic class, but build your skills as a technologically savvy teacher as well.

Technology and ways to use it

Knowing what you can and cannot use in your school is the first step to planning your lessons well. You don’t want to build your whole class around a PowerPoint presentation to then find out that there are no projectors or TVs you can use to display your carefully crafted lesson. Similarly you’ll need to make sure that what you want to do with the technology is approved by the relevant people at your school. You can do this via the Japanese way of gaining consensus with your fellow teachers and then presenting the consensus to your boss, remarking that everyone has agreed that it will be good for the students, then you can begin. Remember that you’re working in Japan and have to try and go by the Japanese working culture.

iPod or phone music player

Music is a wonderful tool for language learning, and one of the primary ways we engage …continue reading


Quick Tips for Your First Day as an ALT in Japan

Source: Gaijin Pot

You’ve got your suit ready, your lunch packed and your route all mapped out: You’re ready to start your new job in Japan as an assistant language teacher (ALT). The first day at your school is a chance to ensure you make a great first impression. In Part 7 of A Little Training for ALTs, let’s prepare for the major parts of your first day so you can can walk through those school gates smiling because you’ll be confident and ready to roll.

The first steps

After planning your route carefully and arriving 10-15 minutes early, you should be at your new school. Nerves are inevitable, but you’re not alone. An entire school of teachers and students are just as anxious to meet you, as well.

Many new ALTs overlook this, but your first steps into a school are of utter importance. Why you may ask? Because in Japan, some places require you to take your shoes off in a designated area. As a new ALT — as well as guest — you must follow suit to make a good first impression.

Before your first day, you should have been introduced to your schools and received a basic layout of where things like your shoe locker, the bathroom and the teachers’ room are located. So please remember to go to the designated areas for teachers, because the students have their own section, and in most cases, they usually stick to their own sides.

During training your company should have told you to bring your own indoor shoes to school. Take off your outdoor shoes before stepping on the indoor carpet or mat. Place them in your designated locker. Then place your indoor shoes on the indoor carpet and put them on.

Navigate the teachers’ office

When you open the door to the …continue reading