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Stories written by Dave and Amy

My EFL Kindergarten Lesson: Part 1: From what age?

I am often asked what we do in our kindergarten lessons.    There is a lot to say, so I will break it into parts.  To begin with, at Dave and Amy English School, we teach kindergarten kids from 4 years old.    Why?     When students join our school, we want ALL children […]

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At Dave and Amy English School, our students speak out loud as they write in the My English Book and Me 3, 4, 5 and 6 texts.  http://www.etjbookservice.com/my-english-book-and-me/  Why? 1.  Increase speaking time.    This is a BIG PLUS where parents are concerned.   All parents want more speaking time.   And may not realize […]

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At Dave and Amy English School, we develop our own games and texts: Dave and Amy Games .  Why?  Materials for native speakers are often unsuitable for EFL students.      Materials for native speakers often contain: 1.  Complex vocabulary.  For the EFL student, the vocabulary in these games can be overwhelming and reduce interest in English.   At Dave and Amy […]

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I’ve just finished a book “Why don’t students like school”.    Here’s what I gleaned that we will be using at Dave and Amy English School, for my kids soccer training and my quest to learn music and Japanese!   1. Change  Pace   “We all inevitably lose the attention of our students.   As this […]

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At Dave and Amy English School, we believe in rotating teachers every 4 months.    We think we have the perfect balance between the benefits of rotating teachers and the disadvantages of changing teachers too frequently.    We have 7 dedicated teachers (including Amy and I) who have been with us for years.    So, […]

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After 12 years in business, Dave and I think we have hit upon the best way to do trial lessons.     Before I outline what we do, I will say what we don’t do and why.      All of what we DON’T do, we DID do for years.    BUT we changed to […]

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Touching students in class is an area of some controversy. What is appropriate? Is it ok to use it to create a bond with and encourage students?   Recently I observed a new teacher and noticed that the discipline problems that had been causing problems might simply have stemmed from an over emphasis on establishing […]

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Organization is really important.   A well organized classroom helps teachers quickly locate level appropriate activities/ flashcards…     There is less wasted time searching for a good activity.    And less teacher mistakes:  choosing too easy or too difficult activities for the class.   Your students will learn more and be more confident in […]

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How do you handle criers? Let’s begin with my first experience with criers.  20 years ago, when I first came to Japan, I had naively/ optimistically/ stupidly (call it what you like) agreed to teach 10 new 3 year olds with no Moms, no other teachers.    It was a disaster.    As soon as […]

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Here’s an activity that we use to improve reading and writing skills rapidly. It involves something we’ve heard the modern teacher is sometimes reluctant to use these days, the much maligned eraser.   I read the Talent Code by Daniel Coyle http://thetalentcode.com/ .   In it he talked of the importance of correcting mistakes in order to master […]

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