Download Songs for ESL Children

Once a week, I throw my Pooh bag over my shoulder and haul my collection of flash cards and toys to my local kindergarten. With a fresh bunch of children starting their English lessons in a couple of weeks, I’ve taken to revamping the curriculum I’ve been using, and injecting some energy into it with some very genki songs. The problem with classic children songs For years, I’ve made do with classic children’s ditties such […]

Get ESL Tips from Chris’ English School

One of the more recent blogs I’ve subscribed to is that of ESL teacher, Chris Ballard. Born in Hawaii, but now residing in Yanai city in Yamaguchi, Chris runs his own English school out of his own home. Another disgruntled English teacher? NO! What makes this blog so unique is that instead of criticising the ESL industry, or even writing articles on “how to teach English”, Chris shows us exactly what he is doing with […]

What will Rikuto Be?

I was teaching the future tense using “will” to three Junior High school students today, and since we had some time left at the end of the lesson, I showed them a picture of Rikuto and asked them to write answers to four questions about his future. Here they are for your own amusement! 1. What will Rikuto be in the future? Student 1: He will be an English teacher. Student 2: He will be […]

Business English for Professionals

Since coming to Japan, I’ve worked in almost every English teaching situation you can imagine. I’ve worked in English Conversation chain schools, I’ve been an ALT in Junior high schools, taught at kindergartens and elementary schools. I’ve done “baby” classes, private lessons in coffee shops, English by email, and even dabbled in video conferencing. The most rewarding form of English teaching for me though, would be Business English. Mitsubishi, Toyota, Sony, Pfizer and Japan Steel […]

Disney English System for Japanese

I just learned from my wife that she has sent off a request for a free Disney English System sample DVD. It’s widely accepted that if you want your child to be proficient in a foreign language, then you should start their learning from a young age. The last decade has seen Japan’s “English conversation” schools fall over themselves trying to recruit students at a younger and younger age. For example, when I started working […]

Double without you

One of the biggest difficulties in teaching English to adults in Japan is you are constantly battling against what they have previously learned. Most Japanese have studied English in some capacity for at least six years, most of which, if not all, were at the hands of a Japanese English teacher, and in some cases the teacher wasn’t even an English teacher, just a homeroom teacher reading from an English book! What this means is […]

Politically correct ESL

I used to use some old textbooks called Jack and Jill, in which the words ‘ugly’ and ‘pretty’ were represented by pictures of an ugly girl and a pretty girl. Jack and Jill was published back in the ’70s, but not much has changed in the book I’m using now, Hip Hip Hooray, in which pictures of pretty and ugly mice are used to teach the same words. There have however been some more significant […]

Walk the dinosaur

When I was a kid, thirteen to be exact, Was (Not Was) released a song called ‘Walk the Dinosaur’, which was a huge hit in 1988. It’s one of those songs you don’t forget, and I tend to sing it to myself every time one of my elementary school students chooses the ‘dinosaur’ from a bunch of stamps I use for homework and rewarding the kids at the end of each lesson. Today, in my […]