January was a review month for many of our classes. Review is beneficial for our students as they only attend once-a-week lessons. We reviewed previous textbook lessons, read simple passages, and focused on pronunciation. In addition, students answered questions from the Eiken English language exams.
As mentioned in the overview, we incorporated many questions from past Eiken exams in our group lessons. These questions are helpful in teaching students how to structure their thoughts logically and clearly. For example, for the question, “What season do you like best?” we encouraged students to answer the question directly and to add one or two reasons. For example, one student replied, “I like winter best because I enjoy skiing in Nagano with my family. I also like winter because I receive Christmas presents from my parents and grandparents.”
For our intermediate classes, we have been studying a list of 100 high-frequency words. Words such as he, him, the, that, what, who, you, are, etc… are found frequently in English sentences that English learners encounter in both textbooks and reading books. We have developed strong readers by introducing students to words they will encounter frequently.
Private Lessons - Kids
In early January, we finished lessons for a Japanese student who had returned to Japan for winter break from his international school in Malaysia. Reading comprehension was a weak area for this student, so we focused on reviewing reading passages by using the following Scholastic Reading Tests Grade 4 workbook. This workbook is very useful in helping students understand the main topic and the details of written passages. They also cover new vocabulary through synonyms and antonyms-matching questions.
For another of our private students, we used the Quizlet flashcard app, to review intermediate-level vocabulary words. We have found Quizlet to be a useful tool for both beginner and intermediate-level students. We also use this with junior high school students and can monitor how often the students access the service.
Unfortunately, we did have a bit of disappointing news as one of our high school students informed us that she did not pass the Eiken Pre-1 exam. Upon review of the test with the student, we understood that her weak area was vocabulary. The Pre-1 exam is a tough exam for even adults as it contains many words such as “outsource”, “synthetic”, “fabricate” and “sanction”, which are found in newspapers and specialized materials. We recommended a harder set of reading materials and a useful vocabulary book for this student.
Private Lessons - Adults
Our adult business English classes are customized to the needs of each student. One of our students has learned that he will be transferred to an Eastern European country and will be in charge of growing sales of cars within the market of a Northern African nation. This is an exciting role for the student, and though we are said to see him leave, we are glad for his success. In the meantime, he needs to train his successor, so we have been focusing on methods to help his successor lead teams and navigate within a traditional bureaucratic organization.
To help prepare for the MBA studies of another student, we assigned a case study about L’Oréal and the digitalization of its supply chain. The case study was an excellent example of a company’s successes and failures as it tries to improve its internal processes. In the upcoming weeks, we will continue to assign this type of material and materials for courses typically found in 1st year MBA programs, such as Financial Accounting and Reporting, Financial Markets, Managerial Economics, and Business Analytics.
We are also teaching the spouse of the above student. For this student, we are focusing on everyday English, greetings, phonics, and pronunciation. In addition, this student has been describing Japanese culture such as Japanese New Year’s traditions and kintsugi.
January was a cold yet good month for many of our students. We have seen nice progress in both group and private lesson students.
We are running a special Spring Campaign, 10% off our monthly lesson fees until March 31, 2023, and we encourage anyone interested in our school to contact us for a free trial lesson.
As always, please get in touch with us directly for information about our school: [email protected]