English as a Foreign Language in Japanese Elementary Schools
I am just starting this as this week I am teaching "English time" to all classes of the local elementary school. For the past 4 years my daughter took my place and now that she is working full time I have taken over again. One thing I was doing was to shake hands with the children, I had asked my daughter to help and then a little boy said he wished he could have shaken the hand of the young pretty teacher. That is when I thought it is time for my daughter to take over.
The most important thing is motivation. In some schools the children have no contact with non-Japanese and have no wish to learn English. In other areas where there are research centers or Universities, the parents may live abroad and then there is much more interest.
I usually try to use some event to encourage the children. This year I used the olympics and the olympic flag, with the circles depicting different continents and the colours to teach the name of colours. Also pointing out that some English words are in the Japanese language and Japanese words like Judo, karate, sushi etc... are now in the English language. I try to make them help to make a list.