Some Good News
This year the ER@TU (extensive reading at Tohoku University) program was recognized by the university: we were given two prizes for education.
In January we received a prize for Excellence in General Education.
Receiving the award
Last week at the graduation ceremony we received the President’s Prize for Excellence in Education.
It was actually a bit nerve-wracking to be up on stage in front of so many people (I think there were over 5,000 in the audience).
However, I was really pleased that the program has been noticed by the university. Many people have worked hard to make it a success (none more than my partner in crime Daniel Eichhorst!), and it is a tribute to the efforts of teachers, the kyomuka, the library, and administrators, not to mention the thousands of students who have passed through our ER classes. I hope this will make it easier to continue developing and improving the program.
curriculum extensive reading graded readers Language learning Oxford Reading Tree presentations Reading
I really enjoyed presenting at the Sendai Oxford Teaching Workshop Series last Sunday. It was great to present on home ground, and we had a fantastic audience on the day.
My presentation was “Reading: the key 21st Century skill” and made the following points:
- reading is very important, and should be part of all language courses
- non-fiction is often neglected, but many learners prefer it and it is sometimes easier to understand
- OUP has a nice range of non-fiction readers
- how to include reading practice in your classes
- how to design an extensive reading program
You can see the full presentation below:
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments
I’m really pleased to kick off 2015 proper with a review of Lifer: How to Be a Bald Middle-Aged English Conversation Teacher in Japan. Based on the blog of the same name, it is written by the teacher behind Good and Bad Japan, a whimsical look at daily life here.
I think Carl must be a bit like me, because I suggested he turn his hilarious blog into an ebook years ago, and it’s only just come out
Lifer is probably the best book I have read about teaching English in Japan. Most of the time I could imagine that he was writing about my life, as I have lived many of the scenes in the book. A lot of the time it is laugh-out-loud funny, but the best thing about it is the author’s love of Japan and teaching that shows through the cracks in the anecdotes.
Please buy a copy immediately if you teach English in Japan or are considering doing so -not only will you enjoy it immensely and probably learn some things, but if it does well enough Carl may even get around to writing a sequel.
Looking ahead to 2015
I have no idea what will happen in 2015. Unexpected events, good or bad, are almost guaranteed. I’m hoping there will be more good than bad this year.
Also, I have some idea of what I want to accomplish. Here are my educational goals for 2015.
My main goal here is to write the second edition of our extensive reading manual. Beyond that I would like to continue improving my classes and supporting other teachers in the ER@TU program.
The main goal here is rolling out the new program Cambridge 2015, along with the SEG-inspired Cambridge Academy. This is on track and looking good so far.
I would like to write and publish some more ebooks. I also plan to work on my Retire Japan project.
I also have personal (mainly to lose weight) and financial (to continue saving and investing) goals. How about you? Any projects or resolutions for 2015?
WordPress puts together quite a nice ‘Your Blog in 2014′ package. You can see the one for sendaiben.org here:
Next up, goals for 2015.