The Minimalist ALT
was inspired by a group of Japanese elementary school teachers I was training who told me they wanted to learn activities that require 'no preparation, no materials, and are time-flexible.' Don't we all!!
The result not only changed my own teaching style, it made my life at school a LOT easier! But more importantly, the students enjoy the classes and use English in real and meaningful ways.
Scroll down to learn how to teach... with less.

March 3, 2009

Individual Student Translation

Asking an individual student to translate your spoken or written English word or structure into Japanese can be an effective way to test comprehension of meaning and to reinforce it for the entire class. It also follows the good teaching practice of not telling an answer, but rather challenging the students to elicit it.
Beware, though, that this is a test. The student's answer will be either correct or not. And all of the other students are watching and listening. This raises the answering student's affective filter and anxiety level.
To lessen the anxiety, I usually ask the whole class to first chorally give me the translation, giving everyone the challenge. Then after this, I ask for a volunteer, or choose one by rolling the dice, to tell me the correct translation. Asking for a volunteer or choosing a volunteer by dice, rather than choosing one yourself, lessens more the stress on the lone answering student.