Event Reports

 2015.11.10 Updated

Osaka Study Group Meeting September 27th Report

Osaka Study Group Meeting September 27th Report

osg 2.jpgWe had another fruitful workshop on September 27th.
The topic for this workshop was how to teach third person singular.

At the beginning we sang "What Does He Have in His Bag Song" to the music of "The Farmer in the Dell". We changed the verses to suit the target language so that the students will be able to review what they learned as they sing the song over and over.

osg 3.jpg Before going on to Practice Key 1, we explained about one of the important theories of the Model Action Talk (MAT) METHOD. That is "We teach one new thing at a time." In order to put the theory into practice, we need to plan ahead and look what we need to teach before the new language is taught. In this way we can reduce students' level gaps.

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With Practice Key 1, we introduced how to teach the vocabulary of snacks. The point was that there are countable and uncountable nouns in English. This is a very difficult concept for Japanese learners since we do not pay attention whether something is countable or not in the Japanese language. Here again 'using gestures' is very helpful and effective. After introducing the vocabulary, we introduced the sentence pattern. The point here was to have students listen and notice the different words "have" and "has", and under what conditions they are used. Teachers tend to explain grammar first but as it is said, students learn more when they find rules themselves. It is necessary to introduce the target language with a clear contrast.

After the demonstration, we had the 'It's your Turn" time, where the teachers got into smaller groups and practiced the skills. For those who came for the first time, we took some time to practice how to DRILL with the cards. osg1.jpgThose who were quite familiar with the MAT METHOD had the chance to take turns being the teacher and brush up their skills by giving advice to each other. We believe that this time to actually "Do" what was presented is a very important process.

With Practice Key 2, we introduced how to teach the question form. Giving an impact is another key word here. As we teach only once a week, we need to think of how to prevent students from forgetting what they have learned. We showed an example of how to introduce the reason we do not need the /s/ after the verb when we use 'does' as we ask the question.

After the second 'It's your turn' corner, we had the Halloween Activity time.
osg 5.jpgWe enjoyed the story, "Trick or Treat'. A lot of snacks are given to the boy as he goes trick or treating. But Marlin waves his magic wand at him and now everything is "Wackbards!" Jelly beans becomes Belly Jeans!! By using gestures as a cue, the audience can get involved to tell the punch lines of the story. We enjoyed the pictures of the strange "Wackbarded" things as well as sharing the thrilling feeling of trick or treating.
The song "Halloween Night" has become one of the popular conventional songs for our Halloween meetings. Getting in a circle and move around like the characters, we shared the excitement of Halloween. When the song stopped we got into pairs and did Halloween Janken. This activity is very good to play with a big group and to make a friendly atmosphere at the parties.

We hope that the workshop was useful for those who came to the meeting. Also we hope to see those who we haven't met yet and will be able to share and learn together about the MAT METHOD.


IIEEC Teacher Training Center OSAKA

(IIEEC OSAKA Blog

 2015.06.08 Updated

Osaka Study Group Meeting 2015 March 1st Report

Osaka Study Group Meeting 2015 March 1st Report

Desktop8.jpgWe had another wonderful meeting on March 1st.
The theme for this meeting was "Where is ~?" and how to give directions.

Desktop3.jpgAt the beginning we sang a song. We changed the verse and put the target sentence pattern into the verse so that the students can review as they sing the song.

With practice Key 1, how to introduce in, on, under, by was demonstrated. The idea of using a chair of a doll house was unique and we all enjoyed it.
Where's the ball? It's on the chair. Oops! There's a hole! Now it's under the chair!!
DRILL with a good rhythm and tempo! That was the point!!

Desktop6.jpgGiving directions seems to be a popular topic that appears in most junior high school textbooks as well as in elementary school English activities. With the Model, Action, Talk (MAT) METHOD, students will get a lot of chance to practice before they are told to USE the language. Thus they will be able to use English naturally with confidence.

We enjoyed Activities where we found where the eggs are, gave directions and got some candy, sang a Bunny Hokey-Pokey and made some paper butterflies which flew to the flowers. We all had fun.

Desktop7.jpgOur next Study Group Meeting is coming soon. We are looking forward to seeing you there!


(IIEEC OSAKA Blog

 2015.06.04 Updated

Osaka Study Group Meeting 2014 November 23rd Report

u>Osaka Study Group Meeting 2014 November 23rd Report

Desktop2.jpg
This is a very short report on what we did at the Osaka Study Group Meeting on Nov. 23rd.
The main theme of the meeting was how to teach singular and plural nouns.
Look at the Christmas tree. Look at the gorgeous decorations. There's a star! There are apples.
With the MAT METHOD, students really understands the point with the help of the gestures.
We also enjoyed many Christmas Activities and made a craft reindeer!Desktop1.jpg

 2015.04.12 Updated

Comments from the participants of the 2014 IIEEC-OUP Certificate Program 

Reservations for the 2015 Sessions of the IIEEC-OUP Teacher Training Certificate Program are now being accepted. These popular workshops have helped thousands of teachers become better teachers and their students to learn faster with lots of fun. Here are some of the comments we received from teachers who had taken the 2014 courses and received their two certificates from IIEEC and OUP.


-- Workshop 1 Fundamentals of teaching: The MAT METHOD --

- I was not sure how well it would work for kids that were so young, especially since their pronunciation is not great even for Japanese worse. I was surprised at how well the MAT method worked. As long as I could keep their attention by moving around or fluctuation my voice, the students picked up the new words very quickly.

- Teaching living English is possible when the student is the center of a lesson.

- I have become a huge fan of the six second drills. When I first heard about them I was skeptical, but after seeing how to use them in the practicum, my mind has been changed.

- What I was surprised at when I used MAT 3 steps for the first time, was thatmy students were very much engaged with me for the whole time and Basic Practice part went like magic.

- This whole workshop was full of surprises. My idea of teaching and my teaching style have been changed dramatically. The teacher taught us how to hold picture cards, the workshop was very educational that taught us what kind of English teacher I should be in the future.

- Since the students are speaking for 80% of the class time, and they do not have to wait for their turn to answer questions one at a time, they seemed to really enjoy learning in this way. After the class was over, I noticed a sparkle in their eyes like they really enjoyed learning today and had a sense of pride.

- At private English classes, the parents want their children to become able to speak English, but I had been thinking that it would take time for children to be able to speak English because they should know enough vocabularies, sentence patterns and grammars before speaking. I changed my way of thinking after learning MAT METHOD. By practicing introductory exercise and 6 second DRILL of vocabulary, sentence and question, I now believe that children will be able to speak.

- I tried to use Living English to my daughter. (I used to speak to her slowly in English, because I believed it was easy to understand and to listen.) but she has much better ears than I thought. She was able to repeat certainly what I said. And I tried her to say not only the answer forms but question forms as well. Now she is able to ask me questions. It means we can communicate in English.

- I think the kids enjoyed the fast pacing of the 6 second drills and I was surprised by their ability to retain vocabulary. And my students really enjoyed interacting with their classmates. I tried to include the parents in the class so I had the kids partner up with their mother for one practice. The parents enjoyed it and I hope they will try it with their kids at home.


-- Workshop 2  Activating the right and the left sides of the brain --

-The student to student interaction is a key component that my English lessons were largely missing before starting to use the MAT method. I can see how they would be much more likely to start speaking English with their friends once they get used to speaking English in pairs during class.

- The gestures I've been using so far have been working, in the sense that I am now getting more complete and consistent sentence responses rather than just nouns or verbs. The kids want to do the action, which means they automatically use the associated word.

- What was missing were more speaking opportunities for my students and practicing question forms. So I first introduced 6-second drill games and the result was better than I expected. As I flipped the cards, my students are more eager to speak out, and they are faster and more concentrated. My students speaking time in class has increased.

- What was missing were more speaking opportunities for my students and practicing question forms. So I first introduced 6-second drill games and the result was better than I expected. As I flipped the cards, my students are more eager to speak out, and they are faster and more concentrated. My students speaking time in class has increased.

- The biggest thing I have changed is I now teach many tenses to my younger students. I have used the future tense in most of my private classes. I have also started teaching the simple past tense.

- I benefited immensely from the second workshop the combination of theoretical explanation and step by step walk through of the MAT method lesson plan coupled with a practical application helped move the information to my long term memory. I can count to seven in Hawaiian.

- The more I introduce the language through repetition and practices the more they learn better and the longer they remember. And I could see the results of our lesson instantly on that day that they learned something before leaving the class. And when they come back for the next week lesson, they can still recall and remember by answering me back correctly.


-- Workshop 3  Know yourself, know your students --

- I have been following the advice to give each lesson more variety. Students speak to one another has greatly livened up my lessons and has greatly increased my students lesson retention. I am thrilled to see that my students are remembering material, and even more thrilled that they are able to remember in a way that is fun for them.

- Once students do enjoy verbalizing what they have been taught and feel confident of saying them, they automatically like to challenge themselves by asking me how to say the bigger numbers which they have not been taught.

- I thought that MAT pie chart is a great model that I can refer to when I make lesson plans and learning how MI's can be applied to each section of the MAT lesson pie chart was eye opening.

- I observed my students while they were playing games, singing, reading, and drawing. I could find many things that I hadn't noticed before. Based on the data, I made a new lesson plan.(...) Our lesson time is limited, so we would like to provide a better environment. These activities based on the eight intelligences are very useful to conduct lessons. Teachers can respect the students' talents, and develop their students' aptitude.

- Surprisingly using different techniques have motivated my students in a positive way and it also showed the enthusiasm of students who were less involving in the lessons.

- Learn to be more patient, sensitive and considerate to look at their own abilities rather than being just there teaching the lesson with no direction at all. By applying all these knowledge I learned in all these workshops including this workshop give me a feeling of relief and confidence that I can create a well-behaved class environment. And I feel much easier now in carrying out my lessons. And much more, these MI Theory is both beneficial for us because I am not only there helping my students to learn more and be better but I am also helping myself as their teacher to be more efficient in teaching them.

- I am not just there inside the classroom as their mere teacher to teach the lesson but I am there together with them discovering, exploring and bringing out their best self and skills so as mine. As they say, Building a beautiful sense of community in the classroom begins with appreciating the uniqueness of each child in the classroom.

- I realized even if there were a ready-made teaching lesson plan, it was necessary to re-arrange the order of the lesson to make it attractive.


-- Workshop 4 Getting maximum results in reading while speaking--

- The MAT Phonics is especially interesting. I had never thought about the phonics like this but this is the best way for children to learn phonics and help them a lot when they need the words, sentences and books.

- Reading activities are also great ways for children because some children don't like reading, just by sitting down and looking at the textbook. Children would enjoy these reading activities with or without the textbook because they are more fun than just reading written English. Also, I think the pair practice in reading activities is a great idea. I didn't get my students practicing in pairs so much when it comes to reading.

- I really like the ideas of MAT Vowel Actions. I also like the idea of Phonics Math.

- What stood out to me the most in this session was the idea that reading and writing reinforces oral language. Until I had heard this, I had considered writing and especially reading, additional obstacles for the students.

- This session has greatly helped me with tackling the difficult task of teaching reading. I have been approaching each lesson with more confidence and as a result my students have been gaining confidence in their reading as well.

- Earlier teaching phonics was a challenging task for me, because every time most of my students tend to remember the letter name instead of the letter sound. As the consonants are grouped in a way that can easily understand it is easy to use with students and easy to make them understand.

- After introducing role play, I have found that this method works really well and even the shy kids in the class can complete the conversations. This is satisfying to see and shows that I have passed the "teacher's test"!


-- Workshop 5 Classroom management and lesson planning --

- The MAT pie chart put planning into perspective for me and my lessons have been more organized.

- When I tried TELL in 2nd grade, I was surprised how much they notice in a picture book that they wanted to express in English.

- This opportunity has opened my eyes that my perception of teaching has changed completely.

- As always the lecture was clear and concise. The pacing was good and the speaker was engaging. The book recommendation was a nice touch as it told me that she was genuinely interested in teaching.

- After I have started using the MAT METHOD I found it easy to handle and was able to access my students more and more.

- This method has helped me to solve many discipline problems which I had earlier. Specially the classroom rules have made me easier to handle them.

- Actually than just praising the class as a whole, praising specifically have more intense responses. At times when I praise specifically they seemed to be extremely delighted and satisfied, that for sure increases their self-esteem and improve their ability to use the language with confidence.

- I haven't had much chance to try the advice on disciplining, since I started using the MAT method and varying my lessons most of my students have actually become much better behaved.

- Because students can say what they want to say and can learn reading and writing the sentences they created, which is something the students get active on and motivated to.

- I applied the idea of TELL speaking leading naturally to TELL writing in my class. I applied a very rapid improvement in my older students reading ability and confidence, thank you IIEEC

- I can think of one student in particular who would always snatch things from other students, or kick people, or talk too much. After attending the workshop on MI, I realized that maybe other alternative approaches might affect this student's behavior - and they have helped greatly. This has also affected the way I plan classes. I now prepare alternative activities with certain students in mind on the off chance that the planned activities don't get the required response. In most cases, a loss of focus or attention now results in me quickly changing or adapting the activity, rather than automatically disciplining the students.

- When I started teaching, my students seemed to be bored. Now I know the reason. My lesson's length of each section was too long. I continued the same activity for a long time even though students already did well. I couldn't pay attention to their progress. I'm now careful to make short, fast, rhythmical lesson. Taking the time to go slowly and carefully is also an important thing, so it's essential to keep good balance.

- I am proud to say that I have always took care in planning my classes beforehand with a variety of activities and material, but after the course, I made a long term plan for what I want the students to learn before they leave, and reviewed my daily plans in accordance to the long term goals. It made a difference in the choice of vocabulary, phrases, and grammar to teach in each class, and hopefully will help my students learn in a more constructive and organized course.


-- Workshop 6 Using activities effectively --

- I think the use of good learning activities is very important to a fun and functioning class. I am very pleased that I could come to the fifth and sixth workshops first so that I would have this information as soon as possible.

- The most fascinating thing I have learned on this workshop was to use learning activities instead of games and the definitions of games opposed to learning activities.

- As usual the lecture was well thought out and clear. The information was concise and the pacing was good. The handout was well thought out and easy to understand.

- In my opinion using visual aides to teach students how to read key words is an excellent technique for teaching vocabulary and early literacy. I was impressed by the idea of teaching appropriate reaction phrases explicitly and it is a technique I have applied in my classroom.

- I gained lots of tips on how to teach, how to manage a class with active young students, how to prepare and make a concise and effective lesson plan.

- Students learn a lesson from a teacher while I, their teacher learns how to improve my teaching skills through them and I gain also insights from them to my make lessons more interesting to create a strong learning environment.

- The MAT has a great impact on my teaching style. There is no doubt that I made a drastic change after attending the six workshops. The MAT 3 Steps and the MAT Practice System will be my teaching bible from now on.

- It was full of useful information and I tried to write it down as much as possible. However, the time was not always given enough. There are some parts I wish I could remember in details. I really hope to participate in the workshops again, and to be allowed to record them. Other than that, it was a very meaningful and fun time for me and I learned a lot.

- I liked the puppet show. I do use puppets in my classes but it was very different from what I was doing. First, she was really into the characters and changed voices. Secondly she had a nice setting. I feel that young children will be drawn to the play by having a full-blown puppet show. I would like to work on using the puppets and create settings of my own.

- Honestly, there were several students who quit coming to my English lessons even though they looked like they were having fun during games. Probably, I suppose that they couldn't feel their progress. To my regret, it is my fault as an English teacher. Experience has taught me that the most important things for young learners are competence and a sense of fulfillment.

- Some kids don't like to make mistakes and also don't like it when someone corrects them. Some of them might lose temper. So we should think first why students make mistakes, and find out other ways to let them understand. Throughout the 6 workshops, I learned a lot of things. I am not a teacher now, but I'm sure that all the reports will be my teaching Bible if I become a teacher.

- Before I took this course, I had a lot of activities in my lessons, but I did not note the clear purpose of the activities. I thought that a student's ability to say the target sentence was enough. I overlooked the opportunity for the students to talk about themselves.(...) Now, I make sure to note the purpose of each activity. I also make sure that each activity affords the opportunity to speak. When I explain the purpose of the activity, the students work on the activity more positively than before. They would make mistakes but would cooperate with each other or think by themselves.

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We had many more comments from all the teachers who participated in the training course. We are preparing for the 2015 session and hope to bring you even more information through our lectures and techniques to show how to teach successfully with the MAT METHOD. We have many repeaters who have told us they learn even move the second time. We are looking forward to seeing you at our workshops. Come and join the fun!

For the next sessions starting on May 17th:  IIEEC-OUP Teacher Training Certificate Program 2015


IIEEC Teacher Training Center

 2014.10.24 Updated

OSAKA Study Group Meeting Report (Sept. 7)

WU Song.jpgIt was really great to have teachers not only from the Kansai area but also from Ishikawa, Tokushima and even from Chiba on Sep. 7th. It was a great time to study and discuss many important issues. The room was heated up with the passion the teachers have for their students. We hope you will enjoy reading about some of the things we did and get some ideas for your classes, too.

First we sang a Warm Up Song. The original song is "Whose Watch is This?" from "Let's Chant! Let's Sing Book 2" (p.27, Oxford University Press). We changed the lyrics to "Whose bag is this? It's Mickey's bag. It's his bag", which were the target sentences of the workshop. Since the concept of pronouns is a little difficult for Japanese learners, we suggested using this song as a review. We hope it will help your students learn the possessive pronouns in a fun way.

PK1 Kazumi (1).jpgOne of the points we focused on in Practice Key 1 was how to teach countable and uncountable nouns. When we teach with the MAT EMTHOD, we use 'Actions' for the articles "a" and "an" and hide the action behind us when we don't say "a/an". We know there are different opinions about whether grammatical explanation is necessary or not. Especially for younger students, under the age of 8, it seems that it is difficult for them to understand the meaning of the rules or to judge when to use the rules. So, we believe that it might be better for them to just simply use and say the language many, many times and learn that there are times that they need to say "a/an" and the times they do not need to say it. For older children, who can think logically, find the rules themselves and can apply the rules when they come across a new situation to use the language, it might be good to briefly explain what countable and uncountable means. In either case, the MAT METHOD is designed to have your students use and say the target language many times in a fun atmosphere. Thus they will be motivated to learn. As you teach with the MAT METHOD, the students will be exposed to English a lot and will be giving output with English a lot. This will help them understand the grammatical explanations later on. Also this repetition is the basis of acquiring a language.

Fly swatter Game.jpgTo have your students use the language more in a fun way, we use Learning Activities. The Learning Activity we introduced here was "The Flyswatter Game". As the students finish saying a sentence, they have to swat either of the card "a"" an" or "×" correctly according to the sentence. It was fun to see the teachers getting so serious about doing a game. It made us all laugh.

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In Practice Key 2, we introduced how to teach possessive nouns and pronouns focusing on the words 'Mickey's, Minnie's, his and her'. What are the steps we need to think of? Here again, it is effective to use 'Actions'. By using different actions, students will learn that they will learn to distinguish he/his and she/her. Also it is important to check the meaning in Japanese when the language includes an abstract concept. After introducing when and how to use the target language, we need to practice a lot so that the students can use the language fluently and correctly.

As for a Learning Activity, we did a "Dice Game" where students have to make sentences as quickly as possible according to what was shown on the the dice. Also we had fun with the Activity, "Our Classmates' Belongings Game". When Team B asks "Whose pen is this?", Team A has to answer, for example, "It's Yuko's pen. It's her pen." within five seconds, or the pen will be the teacher's. The game like this will enable the students to see when and how the language can actually be used in real life. We think using real things is another point that we should try to put into every lesson we do.Story Telling.jpg

In the last part of our session we had fun listening to Halloween stories, singing Halloween songs and doing Halloween Activities. "Whose hat is this?" Although it looks like the witch's pointed hat, surprisingly it was the skeleton's hat! "It's his hat!" As for prizes for the winners, spiders made of jelly were prepared. We all had a lot of fun and we hope you will have more fun with your students using these ideas.  Downloads1.jpg

Our next Study Group Meeting will be on November 23rd.
We hope to see you then.


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