If you are banned from being Genki….

Today’s workshop was very interesting! First it was a festival day so it was really hard for teachers to get here.

Then some of the teachers were also banned, by their Board of Education,  from making English lessons too exciting for the kids (see the video below for why!)

So I showed them the alternative Genki English lesson plan, which actually is much better for the kids and easier to teach, but you do need a computer to do it….

1. Warm up as usual, reviewing all the Genki English you’ve covered before.

2. New English: now instead of using the flashcards and “repeat after me” you just get one kid to the front who controls the computer as the whole class does the Teacher’s Set computer game for today’s lesson. As the theme is totally new for them (otherwise there would be no point teaching it!) then it is a real challenge, but immense fun for the kids. Have a look at Genki Koreanor Spanish if you want to experience the feeling for yourself. It takes a while but the kids get a real sense of achievement learning this way.

3. Meaning: Now you use the “Words 2” section of the Teacher’s Set theme to double check the meanings of each new phrase. Don’t tell the kids, ask them what they think it means and make sure there are no misunderstandings (e.g. thinking “I’m hungry” means “My stomach aches” or something – it happens!)

4. To remember for next time: Teach the song as usual using the Mini Lesson, again in theTeacher’s Set
Then get them to sing the song with the music as best they can without being too loud (because they were banned from doing this!) but with gestures if they can.

5. Practice: Now do the normal classroom game from the Lesson Plans book.

What you’ll find is a lesson that seems more traditional on the surface, and although it lacks a lot of the confidence and “success” training of a normal Genki English lesson, it does actually work very well, mainly thanks to the computer games from the Teacher’s Set.

Anyway…. here’s a video I took in the evening that explains why the teachers have to do it like this….

P.S.  New songs (school subjects!) in the Beta Test Forum!

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

7 Responses to “If you are banned from being Genki….”

  1. Joshua Almond

    It’s absurd that the Board of Education banned teachers from attending this seminar!!!

    First of all thank you Genki English Guy, you have saved my lessons several times with your game ideas!

    I’m an English teacher in Kawasaki for an Eikaiwa called Winbe, where our motto is 楽しく学ぶ!It’s essential that students at least ENJOY learning, anything.

    If there is anyway I can do anything to send a message to this Board of Education, plese fel free to contact me.

    よろしくー

    Joshua Almond

  2. richard

    Hi Joshua,
    Thank you for the support!
    They didn’t ban them from attending the workshop as such (although it obviously had a huge effect!) , they just banned them from being genki in the classroom!

  3. Roy Melling

    Hello Richard,

    As you observed the whole town wants to be genki but the office of education has banned such fun in english classrooms!

    You wrote:

    As the theme is totally new for them (otherwise there would be no point teaching it!)

    Sometimes, I’ve noticed that the students in my summer camp know alot of the English words. For instance, I put up words two from the software and most of the students know the vocabulary. So, is there any point teaching the theme just to boost their confidence and give them lots of useful speaking practice. I used a lot of genki in a winter camp where the students told me that my lessons were very easy but fun so they didn’t really mind. My aim is to teach a few themes and then do a review with the ‘what do you do?’ name card game so a conversation would be something like this:

    Explain the name card game and an example conversation:

    S1: Where do you live?
    s2: I live near the river. Do you have any brothers or sistsrs?
    s1: I have no brothers or sisters. Do you like vegetables?
    S2: Yes, I do. I like vegetables. What do you do?
    S1: Looking at the top of their card: I’m a superhero. What do you do?
    S2: (again, reading the top of their card) I’m a farmer. (Students play rps and the winnter takes the losers card.
    (say thank you and good bye)

    Also, with the computer games on the software I often get ten students to come to the front at a time and each student has a turn at the game. They usually want to play. Sometimes, getting one student to come to the front is also good and the amount of shouting at the student at the computer can be a bit loud. So I tell the students to use English and say ‘up, down, left and right.’

    Thanks for uploading the very cool videos from your workshops..always, good to watch!

  4. Margit

    Interesting and funny! Looks really good.

    The BoE thing: Sometimes I just think that maybe it all needs to be this way, as wouldn’t it be so boring if there wouldn’t be people around preaching the opposite…fuuuh!

    This will make Genki even more genki.

    Well about “Genki”. Yes, Japanese people love having fun. And it is so easy and pleasant to just be enjoying together.
    Considering this I always think there must be SOMEthing going on the right way in education here. I thought the other day, that I need to figure out these “right” things and focus on them.

  5. richard

    Maybe this is the reason there are so many esl websites coming out of japan?

  6. shabnam

    hi richard
    it’s very very interesting
    thanks for your tips

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