English as a Foreign Language in Japanese Elementary Schools
Looking forward to reading your impressions. Do you work with visual documents? If you do, how do you go about it?
The only time I used something visual was a video of a documentary on Egypt. The students were in the 3rd grade and I just showed a little they insisted they wanted to see all of it. I thought it would be too boring. I left it in the school for them to see later, their homeroom teacher was trying to skip parts but they wanted to see it all. It was over 30 minutes long but they were very quiet.
This time, last week, I tried to get some documents and use a projector with the computer but it was too complicated as I had to teach 12 different classes in 4 days. What I find good is to make them listen to different music and I bring clothes, boxes, table cloths and artifacts from different countries. They love to look, touch and wear the clothes, shawls etc.. at the end of the lesson. This way they can practice colours, names of metals etc.. It can get quite chaotic so I stopped letting touch the drum (which they broke) and the small metal cymbals, like castanets.
For adult classes, I use power point presentations, I also teach by connecting to the internet, this has to be carefully arranged because only certain classrooms had the internet connection, and I used a DVD. The DVD is so that they can get used to different English accents. I usually keep the visual presentation to about 15 minutes for a 90-minute lecture. For certain courses I would try to finish the DVD and this I kept at the end of lesson. Depending on how advanced the class was I would repeat a small segment several times. These adult classes were the ones I taught in Kyoto University and there were about 60 students per class. The elementary classes are usually more than 30 till 40 students/class. The homeroom teacher usually stays and if there are children with special needs an extra teacher accompanies them.
I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if I can be of use