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And Now I'm Teaching Japanese.. - 11-01-2010, 12:34 PM

Hey all!

I've been asked to do a short series of Japanese lessons for the older children (ages 9 - 11) in the school that I work in. I've got 6x 45min sessions available once a week from 12th Nov until the Christmas holidays. I know I'm not JLPT1 but I'll only be teaching the basics as a bit of fun.

I've decided to begin with discussing where Japan is and if anybody knows any Japanese words already like Sushi and Karate etc but some children will know more because they studied Hokusai and some Kanji in their Art lessons - lucky kids eh?

Then, as I won't know most of these children, I'll find out their names by setting up a co-ordinates style activity for them to write their names and name of their school in Katakana, then move on to self introductions.

I then intend to move on to Body Parts (head, shoulders, knees and toes song) and clothes and colours before moving on to making sentences about where they live etc.

I come here asking for hints tips and activity ideas from anyone, especially if you work with children and teach a foriegn language.

Lookin' forward to reading your replies!

EDIT: Simple Japanese songs are always good too (like Kaeru no Uta) if you know any you can reccomend!


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11-01-2010, 02:07 PM

My big tip, since you're going to be doing names, is remember that if you find a famous person with the name on Wikipedia-English, usually on the left-hand side you can click on 日本語 and read the Japanese article on the person and see how to write his name.

So if you think "How do I write 'Rodney' in katakana?" just go on Wikipedia, look up Rodney Dangerfield (a comedian—not sure if Caddyshack was ever famous across the pond), go to the Japanese version of his page, and you'll see ロドニー・デンジャーフィールド, so ロドニー is your answer!

Also, be glad you're not teaching in Wales! I can't imagine having to write LLLeeyyywwwyyylllyyyeeennnyyylllnnn in katakana!
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11-01-2010, 03:02 PM

My god! Didn't even think of that one! So glad! Luckily the hardest part will be the 小さいツ which I'm not sure how to go about... May have to think of another way of doing this part..?


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11-01-2010, 03:04 PM

Lol we don't have that many people (especially kids) with welshy names in wales. Most have regular names like Katie, Emma, Sam and Andrew.

That said, I did know someone called Ieaun once and a girl called Rhianydd (where double d is pronounced 'th'). They would be quite a task in katakana!

Probably easier to call those exceptions ジョーンズさん! Jones is the most common surname in wales, I'd say about a quarter of the people I know have that surname!

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11-03-2010, 05:38 AM

Well, many (most?) names can't really be transliterated without sounding completely different anyway. It's best just to pick the closest thing and hope it doesn't sound preposterous, no?
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11-03-2010, 05:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHAD0W View Post
My god! Didn't even think of that one! So glad! Luckily the hardest part will be the 小さいツ which I'm not sure how to go about... May have to think of another way of doing this part..?
In six 45 minute sessions, are you realistically going to get to that level?

I would recommend keeping it simple and fun, so they want to pursue study of Japanese in the future. Teaching them how to write their names, write some basic phrases, how to have the simplest of conversations, and how to "trade in" some nouns so they can make their own original sentences will be the goal.
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11-03-2010, 10:32 AM

I do the exact same thing at my local school. Forget about writing characters; trying to teach 90 'kana will take literally ALL your time, and they'll forget it in a flash. GIVE each child the katakana for their name (or a katakana chart and help them find which symbols are 'theirs') and let them learn those specific ones. It's such a short time for you to be teaching in, you'll kind of have to swallow your pride and use romaji. I normally never would, but in this kind of situation it'll get so tedious and frustrating for everyone if you don't.

Our kids find the language parts really tiring, so we only do about 20-30 mins of language to start with, and then wrap up with games or crafts based on something cultural. We've done vocab bingo, and ball games with numbers, which they really like too. Also, LOTS of drilling. They're good at mimicking, but remembering the words is hard for them do they have to hear it a lot. Usually I model a word before they even see it, and get them all to repeat it a few times. Then they can see it and write it down. We give them model dialogues too, usually the lesson after they've learnt the vocab, so they can practice putting the words in context, and swapping them in and out. And if you planned a quick language exercise and they seem to be focussing well, stick with it! If you've got their attention and they want to work on something, might as well roll with it.

We've done numbers, time, colours, animals, national holidays, myths and legends (their favourite, we get asked about that a LOT), painting (with vocab), nationalities/countries, history, tokyo, the emperor and his family, food (also popular), japanese playground games, greetings and classroom japanese (sometimes I do this as a language blitz, i model 'konichiwa' with actions and get students to say it to me until they realise it's a greeting, then I add in 'my name is~', 'what's your name' and 'pleased to meet you' in stages, getting them to work in open pairs, then mingle. It's potentially confusing, but if played out right, can be really fun and they learn masses in a short space of time.)

good luck, it's loads of fun and the kids enjoy it!
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11-03-2010, 12:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbine View Post
I do the exact same thing at my local school. Forget about writing characters; trying to teach 90 'kana will take literally ALL your time, and they'll forget it in a flash.
At my stepkid school (middle school) they introduced this year a program which gives them a basic knowledge of many languages (pretty useless if u ask me ).
Anyway with just 3 or 4 lessons they didn't even touch the kana (I doubt the teacher knew them anyway). They would just introduce some basic greetings and introductory phrase, asking and thanking...this sorta things. LOL when they did Italian he corrected his teacher coz he heard the correct words directly from me...so please don't teach wrong Japanese

My daughter is 5 years old and she heard few words from me in Japanese like dad, mom, tree and a couple more and she remembers them. But as per recognizing and memorizing the kana will take too long. I agree with the fact you will have to use romaji...but for sure show them the different kana (they will be just mesmerized in seeing you write kana on the blackboard LOL).
HEY...they might even like my way of writing kana, which is probably compared to a 6 year old Japanese kid LOL.


降り注ぐ雨 マジで冷てぇ
暗闇の中 歩くしかねぇ
everything’s gonna be okay 恐れることねぇ
辛い時こそ胸を張れ
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11-03-2010, 10:32 PM

I think I must have confused you all. There won't be any kana other than writing their own names as the main focus of one lesson. For fun. There won't be any more kana/kanji other than that. When I said 小さいツ, I meant within their own names. For example my name アッシュ has the ツ in it and as a beginner I was always confused as to why Japanese spelled my name as "atsushu"... I understand now ofcourse, but do I point this out before we begin the name writing task or after when they've written アニ instead of アッニ?

You've had some good ideas, Columbine. Any chance I could steal some lesson plans from you if you still have them? What were the most popular Myths/Legends?

lol Chryuop I know what you mean with them being mesmorised, it was amazing to see their faces when they were gawping at a poster I designed as a flyer for the class. Classic.

Thanks everyone! Anymore ideas are welcome!


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11-04-2010, 12:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHAD0W View Post
You've had some good ideas, Columbine. Any chance I could steal some lesson plans from you if you still have them? What were the most popular Myths/Legends?

lol Chryuop I know what you mean with them being mesmorised, it was amazing to see their faces when they were gawping at a poster I designed as a flyer for the class. Classic.

Thanks everyone! Anymore ideas are welcome!
Unfortunately, all the lesson plans are hard-copy only and kept by my colleague so I don't think I could manage you a full copy of one. I can give you some tips on how to write your own if you like though. It's pretty straight forward.

We did Journey to the West (heavily abridged!), ojizousama http://life.ou.edu/stories/kasakojizou.html, Amerterasu and who some of the gods are, and then various short bits about different monsters (you can google most of them). We did a little thing focussing Kappa and a survival guide on how to deal with them, which was really fun! If you can find a copy, there's a little folk-tale about a sparrow prince that's quite nice too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chryuop View Post
Anyway with just 3 or 4 lessons they didn't even touch the kana (I doubt the teacher knew them anyway). They would just introduce some basic greetings and introductory phrase, asking and thanking...this sorta things. LOL when they did Italian he corrected his teacher coz he heard the correct words directly from me...so please don't teach wrong Japanese
Ours is a year-round club so we actually get to see a bit of progress over the terms, which is nice. Tends to go quite slow though. As you say, they're good at picking up words, but they forget them really easily by the next week, so we have to recycle a lot. We always show them the kana, so they see them and know that they're used, but we tend to avoid them trying to copy japanese characters off the board because we end up stuck on the first slide and then they have a bunch of stuff they can't read in the end, when they need useful notes. Occasionally though we do let them have a chart to try transliterating words that they already know in romaji.

As if I would EVER allow incorrect Japanese! *horrors* That's part of my role as it happens. The kids asked for the club and the resident Modern Langauge teacher agreed. He speaks a bit of Japanese but not that much; I'm there to model the accent (as best I can. I'm not great, but my accent isn't anywhere near as harsh) and pretty much double check what goes into the lesson is correct.
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