Gr. 5-1 Hello! Anyohasewo! Bon Jour!
Lesson Focus- Greetings & Saying Your Name
EigoNoto.com Additions: Japanese and World Greetings Culture, and Culture of Names
Conversation Skills: Speaking
Additional/Alternate Activities: Get The Picture (Greetings and Business Card Exchange); Row Races
The targets of Grade 5 Lesson 1 are Greetings from around the world, and exchanging name or business cards. There are listening, chanting and speaking activities in each of the 3 lessons; the last half of the last lesson is given to a speaking activity. Eight greetings from around the world are introduced.
The Eigo Noto lessons, as stated by the Ministry of Education (or at least as I understand them) are not meant to be conversation lessons. The goals of the curriculum highlight emphasis on home culture and cross-cultural awareness. However, in Book 1 Lesson 1, the Eigo Noto lessons take a very weak lead in discussing the culture of language and body language surrounding Greetings and name card exchange. And with the last half of the final lesson focused on speaking, there is obvious focus in this very first lesson on speaking ability. The goals of the lesson seem at odds with these goals of the Ministry, but let’s see if we can improve the lesson on both counts.
The speaking activities in the workbook lessons do little to motivate the students to do the activity. The EigoNoto.com Get The Picture and Row Races activities add an element of friendly competition, not language-skill based, but Janken-based, that many students find intrinsically fun and motivating. It’s a simple approach, but effective nevertheless. If you use points for motivation (get an Aussie points map here) in your classes, this is another way to motivate some students.
The Eigonoto.com lessons also begin with this lesson to use a large variety of international greetings at the beginning of every class. Speaking activities have also been included from the first lesson. And generally, a natural context and meaning has been construed with the language use in the EigoNoto.com activities that is typically missing in the workbook lessons. Language use, after all, is not only about the words themselves; language is a social activity, generally found within a context, and used for a purpose.
The pictures used in the listening activity on page 6 are a great place to start a discussion about greetings in different cultures. The obvious question to me is, “Which of the 6 greetings shown don’t show touching? And which doesn’t show the pair using eye contact?” Japan is a unique culture on both of these counts.
In the activities involving a name or business card, there is also no discussion of the etiquette of name card exchange. The culture surrounding this is also uniquely Japanese. It is very important etiquette in the business world, to be sure, but the almost ritual nature of the exchange is peculiar to Japan.
There could also be discussion of why in Japan the pattern of family-name before given-name is common. This, too, is unique to Japan and other Asian countries like China and Korea (North and South). The paternal, group-oriented thinking style is also peculiar to these cultures. Is there a connection? What is the historical basis? In Japan, it is only since the Meiji era, about 1870, that common people even have a family name. The topics for fascinating discussion here are many.
The “Hello Chant” used in this lesson is perhaps the best on the whole CD. There is rhythm, rhyme, a 4-beat count, and a naturalness to the use of the language pattern that makes it very effective. The listening activities in the workbook, incorporating listening, pointing, and choosing from the options in the workbook, are also very good. Having the students make their ‘own’ name card is also a very good technique: the sense of mine created in the making of the card provides a sense of realness that gives a deeper meaning to the card exchange activity (see Lesson Development Key #1). The time involved seems excessive, however, and could be better used. I have opted for students to write only their names on the cards.
This discussion of Lesson 1 contains themes common to my critique of the workbook and the Eigo Noto lessons- there are worthwhile goals in the lessons, and some excellent and useful material. But there are also ways that the lessons can be made more suitable for helping all students feel achievment in the final activity; depth of culture explored; and higher level students challenged without discouraging students of lower ability.
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Check out these posts for LOTS of classroom ideas to get your EigoNoto classes off to a great start (and finish)!
The Eigo Noto Class
- The Goal of Eigo Noto Lessons- Simply
- What Do We Teach?
- Pro Says Eigo Noto Can Be Used Flexibly
- Focus On What Students Already Know
- Where Do We Go From Here? Notes on Culture
Teaching Conversation and Communication
- Should We Call It COMMUNICATION CLASS?
- The Students Don't Have to Speak English, But...
- Teaching Conversation Skills in Your Classes (Why)
- Teaching Conversation Skills (How)
- Communicating With Sentence Patterns
- Team Teaching Made Easy
- How to Team Teach Video
- Things Your ALT Should Know
- Things HRTs & ALTs Can Do (English list) (日本語のビデオ, part 1)
In the Classroom
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Gr. 5-1 Hello! Anyohasewo! Bon Jour!