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Help Towards More Culturally Responsive Classroom Management
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Japanology



Joined: 17 May 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 8:14 am    Post subject: Help Towards More Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Reply with quote

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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you not be so cryptic? What country are you in? Is it an international school?

Also, what do mean by "wild and hard to control"?

Are you in any position to effect change?
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SeasonedVet



Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 234
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japanology,
I find your assessment of the situation rather interesting.
Interesting quote from Hashimoto et al.
I want to hear replies from others too.
I'll wait with you.
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OneJoelFifty



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 463

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I almost posted a thread talking about the exact same thing yesterday, but I wouldn't have been as in-depth as you. Good job.

I work in a private J/SHS in Japan. I teach classes solo. There are two textbooks the students have that I'm obliged to teach from, one of them recommended by the Japanese government. Each of the 1st grade senior high classes I teach has 40 or 41 students.

I've found that certain classes lack the basic respect that they have in their Japanese-taught lessons. I've been giving it a fair amount of thought in the last week or so after a particularly bad class, and I strongly agree with your points other than numbers 3 and 4. I think the biggest thing is the discipline issue, it easily explains why they can sit still in silence for 50 minutes copying from the board and listening to their Japanese teacher lecture, but can't shut up for a few minutes at a time while they receive instructions from me about the next activity.

Of course there are other issues with how they view the value of English conversation (it has none in relation to university exams), and the previous foreign teachers must have an influence as well. The difference between the 1st grade JH classes I teach and the 1st grade SH classes is staggering. And in truth, the level of the material I'm teaching in both classes is nowhere near 3 years apart.

The thing is, they are good kids. It's a nice school. There is no underlying element of hostility towards me. In the worst class, the seventh of eight (they are sorted by academic ability), there are a range of students. The ones at the front generally pay attention. The ones towards the back generally talk, or are unable to pay attention because of those talking around them. Then there are a group in the middle, who look like they're paying attention. Then when it comes to practicing English conversation, I approach their desks and find they haven't even taken out their textbooks. It's quite frustrating having to explain something several times at the front of the class, and then go around and explain it again to every group of students. And this is also using one of the textbooks that has explanations in Japanese! Of course, where they are sitting in the classroom may or may not be relevant.

I'm up to my 5th class with these students, and for the last one I basically dumbed it down a bit. I started off thinking that the textbooks were way too easy (and in relation to their grammar books, they are) and wanting to add extra to what they were practicing each class. They initially had longer periods of time to have extended conversations. This resulted in some of them speaking a lot of Japanese and not any English unless I stood by the desk and urged them to get on with it.

Now, I've started to focus almost entirely on the simple grammar points in the textbooks. Short bursts of conversation that don't give them time to go off on long tangents in Japanese. They have less freedom to customise the conversations by writing their own information, as they take an age to write anything. It's been a bit better, but I don't like making it so simple. Perhaps their level just isn't high enough; students in the top level class had to write a few sentences about themselves by way of introduction for the first lesson with me. The number that used sentence structure like "What do you play sports?" was scary. I expected more from 15 year olds in senior high.

Rant over! Any advice gratefully received.
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aynnej



Joined: 03 May 2008
Posts: 51
Location: Traveling through Asia/Indonesia

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this, japanology. As others have said, it's very interesting. I had a similar problem this last academic year at a private Jr/Sr High School. I don't know that I can offer any advice on creating a more culturally aware classroom, but I can relay a few class management tricks that helped me improve my situation (albeit ever so slowly) over the course of the year.

I taught grades 9, 10 & 12 (Jr High 3, HS 1 & 3). In the 9th grade class, there was a JTE present with me at all times. In the 10th grade classes, the JTE had to split her time between two native-taught classes. I was alone with the 12th grade class, but they were motivated students studying TOEIC prep, so I never had any problems with them whatsoever. I taught Oral Communication to the 9th and 10th graders. As in your case, the students considered it a "fun" class and tended not to take it seriously. Another challenge was I only taught at this school once a week, so it took longer to get to know the students and establish some consistent routines (this was a part time job on one of my days off from my eikaiwa job). But I understand from FT ALT's that teaching at a particular school only once a week (or less!) is pretty common.

In my 10th grade classes, there was a clear improvement in classroom discipline when the JTE was present. I definitely understand the situation you describe, with the students being better behaved in the classes taught by Japanese personnel.

So, here are the "tricks" I used:

1. I used a timer to control warm-ups and guided/free practice. I rarely let any exercise go beyond two minutes.

2. I put the students in pairs/small groups myself, and forced them to switch partners at least once. It takes a few minutes to do this, but after a couple of classes they'll understand the English you use ("You're A, You're B," or with hand motions "Pair, Pair, Pair, Group of three," etc.), and you can do this quickly. I found that if I let them choose their own partners, they'd just mill about and speak in Japanese. Plus, by changing where they sit, I could break apart the trouble makers.

3. I used rewards and punishments. This was tough, as I didn't have much input as far as grades were concerned, but it wasn't impossible. The grades for the O.C. classes were based on attendance and the results of five interview tests given over the course of the year (which they couldn't fail -- the lowest grade was a "D-"). In cases of really bad behavior, I could have the JTE take away the student's attendance point, which I did do a handful of times. But on a daily basis, I used rewards and punishments that relied on their more immediate desires/fears (desire to be accepted by their peers, fear of looking foolish, etc.).

3.a. I bought a fuzzy die at the 100-yen store. If I heard a student speaking in Japanese during warm-up/free practice time, the student would have to stand, roll the die, and answer that number of questions in English.

3.b. If a student consistently spoke in Japanese, I had a "special seat" in front of the whiteboard where they'd have to sit. Then, they would be my partner.

Three A and Three B became a kind of joke, with the other students laughing and saying things like, "Oh, Yoshi, you sit in the special seat!" I think that's important, because there is a danger of ostracizing/dehumanizing the student, if a teacher via his/her demeanor is too strict. In that case, I imagine these things might backfire. The class might clam up entirely and turn against the teacher. Maybe they'd be well-behaved, but they probably wouldn't learn much English.

3.c. We clapped. It's a small thing, but it worked. At the end of each exercise, I'd have a pair stand in front of the class and demonstrate whatever we were doing. Then, we'd clap. By the end of the year, the students were jokingly clapping all the time and telling each other "Good job!" in nearly perfect North American accents.

3.d. I gave stickers. Yes, I know we shouldn't have to basically bribe students to do what they should do anyway. But it was a negligible amount of cost/effort that saved me a huge amount of heartache. A lot of my fellow teachers have said that their Jr./Sr. HS students would scoff at stickers as being for children, but I found that, even if they outwardly shunned the stickers, they secretly wanted them. Especially when you and the class clap every time one is handed out. Smile

4. I made them accountable for classroom English. At the beginning of the year, I made a handout of classroom English with Japanese translations. When a student looked at me with that deer-in-the-headlights look or gave me the "Eh??" or "Wakanai!" I'd pull out the Classroom English sheet and point to the sentence I was using.

5. I utilized the JTE's as much as possible and asked for their help. Sometimes, if their English wasn't that good, I wouldn't really want them doing the pair work with the students directly, but they could still monitor them, give hints, etc.

In the case of my 10th graders, I asked the JTE to switch the times she came to my class (sometimes at the beginning, sometimes at the end), and pointed out the students who were misbehaving so she could monitor them.

In one of my 9th grade classes, I had a problem with a group of baseball players. They refused to do the pair work, knocked books off from desks, "play" fought. Part of the problem was that the JTE was fresh out of college and not very assertive. Plus, he was physically smaller than some of the baseball players. I told him in the U.S., those students would be sent to the principal's office. And that someone could get hurt. He spoke with his supervisor, then the next week told me "I didn't need to worry about those students." Basically, he said it was okay if they didn't participate. They were extremely disruptive, though, so I persevered, told him we had a duty to provide a safe classroom, we are the adults and are responsible for the students, etc. He gradually became more assertive, we took away attendance points, I had them sit in different sections of the classroom. The situation still wasn't ideal, but it did improve.

Sorry to go on and on. Not sure if this is exactly what you were looking for, but hopefully you'll find it helpful.

I don't have any advice about not being a "clown" in the classroom. Personally, I've made my peace with this role -- I have no qualms about using fuzzy dice and stickers in the classroom. When I remember my school years, the best teachers were the ones who had engaging lessons, so I don't really see my tactics as being being juvenile, just hopefully engaging. In my opinion, professionalism comes from dedication, regardless of the teaching methods one uses.
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Japanology



Joined: 17 May 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the responses so far.


Quote:
Can you not be so cryptic? What country are you in? Is it an international school?Also, what do mean by "wild and hard to control"?


Sorry Glenski - I cannot disclose the school location. It's not an International school though, and yes, I am in a position of change. By "get kinda wild and hard to control", I meant that the students get overly excited and off task and hard to manage during structured language activities.

I do look forward to your input though Glenski.

I agree with and like the way you have stressed to many posters in the past concerning ALTs - in that they are only assistants and have no part in classroom discipline. It's the same here. It could be that we are seen as ALTs because that is what they are used to in Japan. However- we are not ALTs. We are fully qualified/certified educators in addition to ESL qualifications. Many of us have a Master of Ed. Interestingly - WE have ALTs - they're the Japanese English teachers flown in from Japan who most likely worked with ALTs before they came here! And yes - we have had the same "job-role confusion" as the JET and ALT programs in Japan.

I am trying to piece together a possible explanation for some of the Job-Role confusions that is so often reported in the working environment under discussion.

Kayoko Hashimoto (2011): Compulsory ‘foreign language activities’ in Japanese primary schools, Current Issues in Language Planning, 12:2, 167-184 - http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14664208.2011.585958

This article highlights an interesting point where, apparently, in English policy documents, ALTS are called: Assistant Language Teachers. BUT - in the Japanese language policy documents - they are called Assistants TO Language Teachers!

Adding the "to" changes the job role completely. Something like this can only create confusions and frustrations. Cross cultural realtions are complicated enough without these kinds of politics.

This "dual language job role description discrepancy" could very well be happening within my organization too. Our ALTs and our contractual job role descriptions of them do not seem to match what they may have in their Japanese Language descriptions.

I don't personally feel this is a small problem or a cross-cultural mishap - it feels more like a deliberate form of language manipulation. I hope there is more to it than this though - deliberate language manipulations concerning national education mandate isn't fair to the Japanese and non-Japanese teachers and especially to the students who share the final stage together and who are left to work together, trying to sort it all out.

Something like this makes me wonder what kinds of Homeroom Teacher messages are being socially transmitted to the students about English, Foreigners, Westernization and other related topics. Sometimes I get this instinctual feeling like I'm not suppose to know the true answer to this though. Well, I'm gonna do my best to explore this issue as much as I can anyway.

The challenge I run into though is that anything that points to the shortcomings of Japanese English ability and its relationship with Nihonjinron will be a sensitive area and may not be in the best interest of cross-cultural relationship building. Cross-Cultural building under the current climate appears more complex than one initailly thinks though.

The article I linked above mentions a study that:

Quote:
... had considered the new Japanese MOE - "not as a straight forward matter of early education in foreign language acquisition, but as an elaborate scheme to foster a certain attitude towards communication with foreigners, with the emphasis on the differences between foreign languages and cultures and Japanese language and culture in the name of international understanding. This kind of approach certainly does not offer a simple solution to improve TEFL in Japan, but it provides insight into THE WAY particular aspects of the pedagogically compromised curriculum were formulated - and this can lead to curriculum improvements


This, it seems, is very complex indeed.

I still think we can avoid concluding with:

The Japanese need to be more "Kokusaijin" , that is, more internationally minded, or less internationally defensive, if they want to really learn English.

This may be so - but we don't know how long this would take. I want to keep solutions student centered and somehow influence students in a positive way towards English, without the adult politics, without the "othering" , if possible. What is changable now?

I'm hoping we can continue this thread and attempt to fill this huge GAP between the "highly structured and effective classroom management" and the "ad-hoc difficult to manage" classroom management models between Japanese teachers and non-Japanese teachers.

Any further thought on this is appreciated. :)PM me if you want.


Last edited by Japanology on Thu May 24, 2012 6:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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OneJoelFifty



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 463

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll add to what aynnej has said, a few of the things I do to help the class run smoothly.

Swap seats
All my senior high 1st grade classes sit with girls on one side, boys on the other. Typically six or seven rows of students. From the very first class, I had the second row of girls stand up and swap seats with the second row of boys. Half my classes now do this automatically before the bell goes. Remember that at the start of the year the students may not know each other well at all. They should soon get over their shyness.

Arrive for the class early
Want them to swap seats? Need to check the register? Want to make sure they've got their stuff out the lockers? Be in class early and take control before the bell goes.

Give stickers/stamps
All my classes, from first grade JH to first grade SH, have an evaluation sheet. Each class they write the day, date and weather, and the topic for the class. There's a space for stamps and stickers, and a space to mark whether or not they did their homework. I don't use many stickers for the senior high students, mainly stamps with stickers reserved for coming to the front or answering a tricky question. These participation points make up 15% of their overall mark for my class. There's also a self-evaluation for each class, where they circle how they think they did from A-D.

Learn their names
It's a lot easier to casually say "Moe, please stop talking" and target the noisiest student, than it is to stop and tell the whole class. I had my students make English name cards that they put on their desks at the start of each lesson, to help me remember.

Daily questions
I have three questions (day, date and weather) that the students have to ask, answer and write on the board (so 9 stamps to give out) at the start of each lesson. I debated whether to do this with the senior high students as I wondered if it was a bit childish, but decided I would. I think it sets the tone for the class, and it's an easy way for shyer students to take small steps towards greater participation. It's also a good way to learn the students' names, as I make an effort to say their names every time we interact.

Use a timer
Yep, I also use a timer, it works well most of the time.

I haven't got the punishment aspect down yet, but I haven't had consistent cause to try anything.

EDIT: I know this is off on a tangent to the very interesting original topic, but I think it's a good idea to share classroom management techniques, I haven't seen any other good topics on the subject and we seem to have a few good contributors at the moment.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japanology wrote:
I cannot disclose the school location. It's not an International school though, and yes, I am in a position of change. By "get kinda wild and hard to control", I meant that the students get overly excited and off task and hard to manage during structured language activities.
Ok, thanks. You can actually make change. I am still confused because you make it out to seem like the school is being run as a Japanese school and by Japanese staff. So, I am curious how you intend to make changes happen. It sounds as if you would be fighting a losing battle.

Quote:
I agree with and like the way you have stressed to many posters in the past concerning ALTs - in that they are only assistants and have no part in classroom discipline. It appears to be the same here - but only in the minds of the Japanese teachers - not in policy.
Whose policy? If the school policy says otherwise, then why are things not different?


Quote:
I still think we can avoid concluding with:

The Japanese need to be more "Kousaijin" , that is, more internationally minded, or less internationally defensive, if they want to really learn English.

This may be so - but we don't know how long this would take. I want to keep solutions student centered and somehow influence students in a positive way towards English, without the adult politics, without the "othering" , if possible.
You wanted my opinion. Here it is. The above is wrong. Japanese are too isolated nowadays. Yes, now, not 250 years ago. They know English is the lingua franca of the business and science world, yet they (meaning, the government and any other agency in charge of making change in education) continue to perpetuate the archaic system of college entrance exams as a means to educate students in HS. Sorry, folks, but when the majority of your HS graduates cannot hold a simple conversation in English, something is seriously wrong.

TOEIC is used by >60% of Japanese companies to gauge new employees, to measure whether someone is fit for promotion, or to send people overseas. Japanese companies, not foreign ones in Japan. Yet, students graduating in science and engineering departments (there's that lingua franca tone again) do not have a strong desire to learn English. Weird.

Japan needs to realize and take action on being more globalized. Even a small company can suddenly find itself doing business with someone overseas, and that will undoubtedly be in English. So, yes, politics play a role, but I see no reason why educators should not help students to be more internationally minded.
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japanology, I have been meaning to respond to this, but I have been engaged in the ALT threads. I will do so when I have the time a response to a post like yours deserves.

My MA area of research is the evolution of kokutai, specifically as it applies to the Imperial Rescripts on Education and the Kokutai no Hongi. In the future I would like to explore how kokutai continues to influence current Japanese education policy.

I think your sources here are ones I need to look into.

...and yes the usage of the particle to in the ALT designation is of serious concern.
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SeasonedVet



Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 234
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japanology,
I believe this to be a very important point as you said
Quote:
7)The students associate disciplinary behavior and appropriate classroom behavior only with Japanese language and ethnicity (and this, it very much seems, is not to be changed.)


In my experiences, for example,
Kids are in groups doing an activity,when time is up, I tell the kids to return to their original positions, turn around, turn around the desks, modoshite kudasai, whatever and in both languages. The kids respond halfheartedly, some respond, others don't. They take forever to do it, and I have to repeat instructions a number of times.
Here comes the JTE who says it simply and not even loudly even though the kids might be a bit noisy. What happens?
The kids automatically and uniformly obey and return seats to positions.
Why?

I'll give you another example with different results. In this case the JTE is a youg guy who we can consider to be cool and who really wants the kids to learn "real world" English. When the kids ask something, he points them in my direction, when they need instructions he points them in my direction, when it is time to return to original positions, I say it and the students in his classes do it the first time, I don't have to repeat again and again. He seldom has to jump in.
What's different?
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aynnej



Joined: 03 May 2008
Posts: 51
Location: Traveling through Asia/Indonesia

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seasoned Vet said:

Quote:
In my experiences, for example,
Kids are in groups doing an activity,when time is up, I tell the kids to return to their original positions... They take forever to do it, and I have to repeat instructions a number of times.
Here comes the JTE who says it simply and not even loudly even though the kids might be a bit noisy. What happens?
The kids automatically and uniformly obey and return seats to positions.
Why?

I'll give you another example with different results. In this case the JTE is a youg guy who we can consider to be cool and who really wants the kids to learn "real world" English. When the kids ask something, he points them in my direction, when they need instructions he points them in my direction, when it is time to return to original positions, I say it and the students in his classes do it the first time, I don't have to repeat again and again. He seldom has to jump in.
What's different?


I'd say the difference is in the expectations the JTE set for the students. In a team-teaching scenario, it's hard for a native teacher to gain respect without the support of the JTE. In the case I outlined in a previous post -- my 9th grade (JH 3) class with the problematic baseball players -- I couldn't change the situation on my own. I had to enlist the help of the JTE. Fortunately we were able to work together and make some improvements.

Not sure what this dynamic says about the Japanese educational system's attitude toward internationalization, though. They dump so much money into English education -- so it is a priority -- but then seem to fall apart in the execution.

Japanology mentioned a quote by Hashimoto et al and this idea of learning English in order to promote Japanese culture to the rest or the world. It's interesting to consider. However, I believe there is a sincere desire on the part of the government to have its citizens learn English for economic development. Japanese companies have been developing interests in southeast Asia for the last two decades or so. They're certainly not going to learn Vietnamese, Khmer, Laotian, Burmese, etc. They're going to use English and Mandarin. If there is a tendency to use English to promote Japanese values throughout the world, I dare say it stems directly from the culture (call it island mentality, cultural pride, whatever).
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Japanology



Joined: 17 May 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank again all for contributing.


I appreciate your take on Japan isolationism Glenski- it's well know though - past and current. What is your take on the difference between Classroom Management success and Japanese and non-Japanese teachers? Why the huge Gap?

OneJoelFifty: Thanks for the suggestions. Your list is almost identical to the one I share with new teachers. Great ideas to work with.

Just to add:

1) Make sure everything that comes out of your mouth in giving instructions for an activity is backed up by a visual like a mime or flashcard or Japanese translation.

2) Model ... model ...model - using puppets / stickmen with speech bubbles on the board with the target language inside.

3) Routine .. Routine ...Routine - students are easier to manage if they know the class procedures

3) Need class silence - wait ...wait ...wait. Eventually the students bring order to the class on their own. If that don't work - walk around with your funny "SHOOSH" sign and save your voice.

4) Find the class leader and make him your model partner

Kionon: Thanks for your reply

Quote:
My MA area of research is the evolution of kokutai, specifically as it applies to the Imperial Rescripts on Education and the Kokutai no Hongi. In the future I would like to explore how kokutai continues to influence current Japanese education policy.


Sounds very interesting. I want to know how Nihonjinron effects MOE language policy. Maybe we can compare notes. I'll show you my thesis if you show me yours? What is Kokutai?


SeasonedVet:

Thank you for this. I Know right- Why? Why do the students respond to the Japanese teachers like trained robots and they respond to foreign language teachers if they damn well feel like it? Why? What or Who is teaching them this. Us? This is why I want to know what is being said to the students at the homeroom level about English and Effort and Behavior.

I have some research ideas that might inform this more SeasonedVet. Stay tuned.


Last edited by Japanology on Thu May 24, 2012 6:47 am; edited 2 times in total
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japanology wrote:
Thank again all for contributing.

Glenski first:

Quote:
Whose policy? If the school policy says otherwise, then why are things not different?


Good question - that's why I'm looking into the deliberate two languages/two policies mismatch. Policies or Mandates might not be transparent or even written - especially inappropriately perceived ones.
You didn't answer my question. Whose policy?

Quote:
I appreciate your take on Japan isolationism Glenski- it's well know though - past and current. What is your take on the difference between Classroom Management success and Japanese and non-Japanese teachers? Why the huge Gap?
Tough question when the whole situation isn't even described.

1. You have a Japanese school outside Japan.
2. Presumably it is not governed by Japanese directors or policy, but you have not said.
3. The kids respond to J teachers more than native English speakers. Don't even know if you are in your homeland or another native English country or a nonnative one.

With the extremely limited info given, I can only explain the kids' behavior because they are not in a situation that imposes real native English country values on them and/or they figure they will soon be leaving to go back to Japan where they figure English is not needed. The situation is essentially Japan now to them, and they see J teachers as the controlling force.

If this is correct, you are going to be hard-pressed to change anything.

OneJoelFifty: Thanks for the suggestions. Your list is almost identical to the one I share with new teachers. Great ideas to work with.

Just to add:

1) Make sure everything that comes out of your mouth in giving instructions for an activity is backed up by a visual like a mime or flashcard or Japanese translation.

2) Model ... model ...model - using puppets / stickmen with speech bubbles on the board with the target language inside.

3) Routine .. Routine ...Routine - students are easier to manage if they know the class procedures

3) Need class silence - wait ...wait ...wait. Eventually the students bring order to the class on their own. If that don't work - walk around with your funny "SHOOSH" sign and save your voice.

4) Find the class leader and make him your model partner

Kionon: Thanks for your reply

Quote:
My MA area of research is the evolution of kokutai, specifically as it applies to the Imperial Rescripts on Education and the Kokutai no Hongi. In the future I would like to explore how kokutai continues to influence current Japanese education policy.


Sounds very interesting. I want to know how Nihonjinron effects MOE language policy. Maybe we can compare notes. I'll show you my thesis if you show me yours? What is Kokutai?


SeasonedVet:

Thank you for this. I Know - Why? Freakin Why? Why do the students respond to the Japanese teachers like trained robots and they respond to foreign language teachers if they damn well feel like it? Why? What or Who is teaching them this. Us? This is why I want to know what is being said to the students at the homeroom level about English and Effort and Behavior.

I have some research ideas that might inform this more SeasonedVet. Stay tuned.[/quote]
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Kionon



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Kyoto, Japan and Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japanology wrote:
Sounds very interesting. I want to know how Nihonjinron effects MOE language policy. Maybe we can compare notes. I'll show you my thesis if you show me yours? What is Kokutai?


...Oh boy. What is kokutai? That's pretty much what my thesis tries to answer. Literally it means "Country Body" (国体). There's no simple answer. However, some of the ways it has been described: "State Shinto," "National Polity" "Essence of National Structure" "Unity of Religion and Government" "Emperor System"

Almost all conceptualisations of kokutai from 1825 to 1945 rely on an understanding of Japan's unique creation by creator kami, and its imperial line being founded by the sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami. Further, all of the Japanese people were descended from other kami in the service of Amaterasu Omikami. This literally would make everyone in Japan part-god. In the earliest versions of kokutai, there was this idea that while Japan's kokutai was best, every nation had a kokutai. From the late 1800s on, there were various Imperial Rescripts on Education where education of the masses (unknown during the feudal periods) were to be in the spirit of kokutai. By 1920, there were vigorous debates among Taisho scholars as to the meaning of kokutai and how it fit into the Meiji Constitution, however there were few people who believed that any nation had a kokutai except Japan, that kokutai was itself Japanese. In 1925 it became illegal to say otherwise. And in the 1930s the textbook Kokutai no Hongi was handed out to school children, which explained the most radical ultranationalist version of kokutai conceptualised and I feel was largely used to justify the Mukden Incident, Manchukuo, and later the actions of the Pacific War...
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Japanology



Joined: 17 May 2012
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kionon wrote:

Quote:
, however there were few people who believed that any nation had a kokutai except Japan, that kokutai was itself Japanese. In 1925 it became illegal to say otherwise. And in the 1930s the textbook Kokutai no Hongi was handed out to school children


O boy. Well, thanks for this Mionon. Check your PM plz.
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