Communal Language Learning

Going 27 years as a language teacher in Japan and still experimenting the effective way to teach a foreign language to young kids. The other day I wrote the best curriculum is Jolly Phonics. Last night, I mentioned the traditional public bath where it’s the chance for the people in the community to relax and talk about their undertakings. Today I got excited seeing the moms teaching their kids individually yet in a group setting! Considering the Japanese culture, this communal learning could be the best way for the kids to learn fast and not feel left behind in English language acquisition.

Great progress of our Grade 1 students today, January 23, 2019! They started learning Jolly Phonics at Olives Kids English Club in April and at the same time, they’re learning Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji in their elementary school. They study at our cram school only twice a month for just an hour. Since their moms and younger siblings join the class, we need to be creative in teaching the target lesson and getting their attention. Every other month we have a special event like Easter, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine, etc. so we pause our Jolly Phonics lesson.
Today is a review and test how well they understood the Jolly Phonics letter sound identification, formation, and blending. The moms were instructed to assist their child while waiting for their turn in public reading. It’s all their first time to read the 23 words blended from Group 1 of Jolly Phonics (s, a, t, i, p & n).
So happy to see all our 6 Japanese young students can read English words now! Ryuji felt incompetent because he missed a lot of lessons so I asked his classmates to help him. His mom is very supportive of his English study. We are all very happy that he successfully finished his English reading. I wished I was able to capture the other moms clapping for him. Great story of communal English learning of parents & children at Olives Language School.

Check our site for Olives Kids here: https://www.olives2020.weebly.com

When I started the Olives Kids English Club in 2014, I allowed the parents to partake in the learning activities. When we launched Jolly Phonics as a new curriculum in April, our young students need to have a textbook so they can continue their learning through our homework. During our lesson time, the parents just enjoy their exchange of pleasantries while I’m busy with the kids in checking their Letter sounds, Letter Formation, Blending and Identifying the sounds.

Great to see the moms can follow today’s lesson as I asked them to check their child’s reading and pronunciation while waiting for his/her turn in Public Reading. Everybody got busy within 1 hour and every student can read in public! Hoping this style of language learning will spread out and it’s great bonding for mom and child and the families in the community!

Wonderful to see the moms teaching English to their kids in a group setting at Olives School!

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