Kamigaura-machi Elementary English Education Program


Picture from Spring 1999 visits.


Kasumigaura-machi's school system encompasses seven elementary schools with a total elementary aged population of about 1000 students. Presently two AETs are responsible for elementary school visits.


Since the arrival of the first AET 10 years ago, AETs have been central to Kasumigaura-machi's English education in the elementary schools. AETs usually have taught three or four classes per visit and occasionally participated in club activities. Last year, AETs visited schools a total of 21 times for a total of three visits per school per year. AETs have prepared three different guidebooks. The first bilingual guidebook appeared in 1996.

Until last March (1999), the model for visits was as follows:




School year 1999 has brought important changes to the elementary school visit program. First the number of visits has been increased. Each elementary school will now receive two visits per term. The extra visits will be used to introduce English penmanship in the 5th and 6th grades as well as intensify spoken English in those grades. The visit schedule remains the same for the 1st through 4th grades.


Also, I have prepared a syllabus in Japanese so that lesson content is generally uniform for all schools. There is, however, flexibility built in for Japanese teachers who may want to do special English or cultural lessons and/or activities. The syllabus is partly the product of my own training and experiences, but many of the lesson outlines were developed from effective lesson plans drawn up by the Japanese teachers themselves. .


The model for the teaching cycle remains the same. AETs and Japanese teachers meet before and after the lesson. The school board and AETs also remain committed to the team teaching concept and we hope to draw the Japanese teachers into more active roles during the lesson as well as carry out English instruction independently. Ideally this will be just before and just after AET visits.




Objectives of the school visit program for students remain the same and are:


  • To have enjoyable first experiences learning English.
  • To develop a minimum English vocabulary (100 - 200 words) before entering junior high school.
  • To develop an understanding of foreign cultures.
  • For the Japanese teachers:


  • To develop an understanding of English teaching methodology in preparation for the implementation of English education at the elementary school level in the early 2000s.
  • Future Plans

    Next year should see a further increase of AET visits to the elementary schools. Also, the syllabus is still in its infancy and needs to be revised according to suggestions of the Japanese teachers. It also needs to be combined with a revised edition of the 1996 Elementary Guidebook which includes bilingual explanations of activities, vocabulary lists and songs.


    More Pictures from Spring 1999 visits.









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