It's been over a month since the March 11th earthquake, and for much of that time, with tsunamis, earthquakes, radiation and the concerns of family abroad at the forefront of our minds, it has been difficult to focus on the more mundane matters of education, books and websites. But life and classes go on and for those outside of the areas most severely affected, we are now back to school...either literally or metaphorically. And it does feel like a relief.
Mike Guest criticizes Kumiko Torikai's view on English
So it's back to school, and here at ELTNEWS.com we are back providing news, views, interviews and reviews for English teachers, school owners, authors and publishers in Japan. Mike Guest, for example, takes issue with Professor Kumiko Torikai over much of what she had to say in her January interview with the Asahi Shinbun.
This is important. Professor Torikai is a well-known educator, who has sat on panels advising the government on English education in Japan. She has a direct influence on how English is taught here and it is only right that her viewpoints be subject to scrutiny and, if necessary, criticism. Professor Torikai postponed an interview with ELTNEWS.com due to the earthquake, but we hope to be meeting with her soon to discuss the points raised in Mike's article and her views in general.
Carla Wilson on boys and girls
Carla Wilson has a short article addressing how teachers treat boys and girls differently in the classroom: "While I do try and ask students who raise their hands silently, my attention was often drawn to the loud (mostly) boys. I also noticed that boys are more likely to try and answer questions that they are unsure of, while the majority of girls will only answer when they are certain they have the right answer."
Ways to start your classes
Always worth a look around this time of year is the Think Tank article on ways to start a class off right. Marc Helgeson, Peter Viney, Dorothy Zemach and the rest of the Think Tank crew have some fabulous ideas.
So, we're back. Next week: the Tim Murphey interview. Worth waiting for.