The Ministry of Education (MEXT) only has information in Japanese about their new curriculum and “English notebook”. So I figured I’d better translate it into English for ALTs who can’t read Japanese: MEXT “English Notebook” curriculum in English
Overall it’s not as bad as many of us feared and at first glance it looks quite similar to Genki English.
But reading through and translating all this my biggest feeling was disappointment. I spend a lot of time choosing the target language I use in classes, making sure it all fits and builds up as well as being what the kids want to say and real correct English. Here it just seems they’ve clumped together a bunch of Japanese phrases and said “Here, translate this into English”. A real shame.
They seem to spend a lot of time on each topic, and I guess that is to help first time teachers who probably aren’t up to speed yet. Plus reading through the content makes you think of 1st or 2nd grade classes instead of 5th and 6th!
But theses details are still in the “provisional” stage so may well change. I’ll get my hands on the book when I’m back in Japan in May when I have a ministry sponsored workshop. I’ll let you know a little more then.
As I said this curriculum isn’t in force yet, so please feel free to try out my curriculum and experiment with your own ideas. Elementary school education is so important for the future of our students, I’m sure we can all do better!
Any feedback or extra information you have, please add it in the comments section of the English notebook page!