BumbleB English Monthly Update December 2022

Overview

December flew by very fast. This year we didn’t do anything special during lessons for the holidays, but we did have a “Meet Santa James” Day on December 18th. During this day, students and family members came by to see Santa James and pick out English books and stationery items as presents.

We have finalized our new pricing plan for next year and will have a yearly calendar available which should make scheduling much easier for students and parents.

In addition, we had a returning JHS student whom we started teaching while he was in elementary school. This student is attending an international school in Malaysia and is back in Tokyo for the winter break. We have improved his vocabulary, reading comprehension, and critical thinking skills.

Group Lessons

This past month we have been notified by several parents that their children will take a short break from our English lessons as they start taking juku lessons. The spring is a busy season for many afterschool programs, and we expect to adjust our class schedules to fit both new students entering the school and students leaving.

As always, please contact us directly for information or requests about scheduling changes. [email protected]

Private Lessons - Kids

As mentioned previously, in December, we created a customized lesson plan consisting of several 2-hour lessons each week for a student attending an international school in Malaysia. The student entered the international school in July; the main issue has been improving the student’s confidence level. We do this by emphasizing conversation using the 5W+H method. The 5W+H method answers one or more of the following in the reply: who, what, when, where, why, or how. As a result, the student will answer the question, “What did you do on the weekend?” from the perspective of answering not just with a short answer, “I played a game”, but who did they play with, what type of game did they play, when did they play and where did they play the game. This answering method is not necessary for every question, but it is good practice for otherwise quiet students who are not yet confident in conducting a prolonged conversation.

We have also introduced Newsela, https://newsela.com, in several private and group lessons. Newsela is a useful tool as articles can be created at varying reading levels, and the end-of-the-text questions test a student’s reading comprehension.

One of our youngest private lesson students will take the Eiken Level 3 test in January. This student is pre-elementary school age, and though we don’t usually focus on Eiken at this age, the student is immersed in English at home throughout the week and is genuinely curious. Students who see English as not just another class they need to learn at school but as a way to further their understanding of a topic, whether it is soccer, trains, space, or movie characters, tend to learn English the quickest. These students are motivated to learn a topic, and English is the medium they use to understand the subject material.

Private Lessons - Adults

We currently have four private lessons for adults. Two classes focus on business English, and two on conversational and essential English.

As we want to increase our Business English lessons, don’t hesitate to contact us with any requests. We are available for onsite classes at our Yoga school in Tokyo or online via Zoom.

College students who need to improve their Business English skills for conversation, client meetings, and presentations are also welcome to apply.

Summary

This month we continued to see improvement in our student’s English and support students as they take exams for high school entrance, Eiken, and living abroad.

Unfortunately, we have received news that a few students will take a break in the Spring as they get accustomed to the new juku schedule and workload. We know firsthand the difficulties and stress of the juken system in Japan and how focused and motivated students need to be to enter competitive schools.

We hope parents realize that an English language school with experienced staff, such as BumbleB English, can be an asset to a student’s juku experience. English is a test subject for high school entrance exams, and the most relevant topic areas are reading comprehension, reading, and speaking. We have prepared students in the past for the Eiken exam, which focuses similarly on vocabulary, reading comprehension, and speaking. Students who pass Eiken Grade 3 and above benefit from the point-based entrance system. See the following article for more details: https://berkeleyhouse.co.jp/blog/eiken/eiken-highschool/

We wish a Happy New Year to all our students and friends of BumbleB English. May 2023 bring happiness, health, and good fortune to everyone.

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