December 02, 2011
An English language teacher from Japan, who recently won the Cambridge English Competition 2011, has returned to his classroom in Aichi with some fresh approaches to teaching English.
Shunichi Sugiura was one of six English language teachers to win the competition, launched by the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (ESOL) and Bell at the end of last year, which invited teachers from all over the world to submit inspiring English teaching stories.
Shunichi was awarded a trip to Cambridge this summer to attend a professional development course at Bell Teacher Campus, based at Homerton College, part of the University of Cambridge, for his winning project encouraging students to take part in classroom discussions in English about their own experiences of working part-time.
Since returning to his class at the Aichi Prefectual Toyohashi Nishi Senior School, Shunichi said: “I couldn’t believe I’d won the competition. Coming to Cambridge gave me a great insight and was very meaningful to me. I’ve learnt many new skills which I intend to share with my ambitious English students and colleagues working at my school in Aichi.”
Shunichi believes the classroom should be a place where students can empower themselves and acknowledged that exposure to English is a challenge for Japanese learners. Speaking about his winning idea, Shunichi said: “Classroom discussion materials can be really useful but they must be relevant and motivating. Many of my students are working part time so it was an ideal topic to generate some lively classroom discussion. This helped to encourage interaction between students which is really important when learning English.”
Cambridge ESOL’s Marketing Manager, Simon Wright said: “It was great to welcome Shunichi to Cambridge. By bringing together all of the winners in Cambridge, they were able to share their unique experiences with each other which is really beneficial to everyone involved. Teachers of this calibre all play an important part in helping to raise the standard of English around the world.”
• Cambridge ESOL website
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