Learn from the Best: Footpal (Part 1)

Amy and I believe that when you learn,  you should learn from the best.        Learn from them.   Develop their ideas and make them your own.   We apply this to our kids also.       Our sons’ futsal school: Footpal has a renowned coach.   People travel long distances to take his classes. … Read more

Please Don’t Go

Many 6th grade students quit English lessons in anticipation of Junior High School.    You shouldn’t quit.   You should continue.      Let’s look at why you might want to leave and why you shouldn’t.   #1 Reason:  My child can’t make the time because club activities finish late.   This simply isn’t true. … Read more

Movin’ on Up: Elementary to Jr. High

We find that our students are progressing more quickly these days.   We have many elementary students on Jr. High School texts.     We use the English File series with Jr. High kids, higher level returnees, adult students, and NOW higher level elementary students.    The text is comprehensive: covering vocabulary, grammar. listening and … Read more

School Rules: Stick to Your Guns

As school owners, we would recommend having rules.   And not bending them.      For many reasons:  You are a business.  To be professional, you must have rule.   2.   Presumably you made the rules for a reason.   If you CHANGE them easily, then why did you take the time to think … Read more

Did you have fun?

After a trial lesson,  a potential student is often asked by Mom, “Did you have fun?”        This irritates me for several reasons.    Mom:  YOU saw the lesson:   If YOU thought:     A.  The lesson was fast-paced, interesting and enjoyable. B.  My child WILL learn to speak, … Read more

Adult Lessons and Free Conversation

If you teach adults, chances are you’ve been told:    “We want free conversation.   No texts please.”   At Dave and Amy English School, we don’t do free conversation.   These are the reasons why: 1.   In conversation, students will use the same vocabulary and grammar that they always use.     I … Read more

The Principal’s Office

It was NOT where I wanted to spend my Friday night:  in the principal’s office of my 13 year old’s Jr High School.      It all began a week ago when Alfie was LATE home from school.   This wouldn’t normally be a concern since kids in Japan walk home on their own and … Read more

Japan with Kids: What’s Great

We’re often asked by family if we miss America / England?  The honest answer is no.   We love living in Japan with our two kids.   There is so much about their childhood that their cousins back home can’t have or do.   #1. Freedom:    Children in Japan have freedom to go out … Read more

The Dave and Amy Story: the Disco Years

Amy and I came to Japan, in 1996.  Very happy with our job, accomodation, new friends, food, new places…..    But the neighborhood night scene was like pre-war Britain:  I’m guessing here.    Tokyo is brilliant for nightlife, but we wanted to meet people where we lived, in Saitama.    The turning point was seeing famous … Read more

What is fun?

      Traditionally, children’s English teaching in Japan has relied heavily on FUN lessons.   But what is FUN?   Why the emphasis on FUN?   Was any real learning occurring?     Students coming to us from other “FUN” schools seemed to indicate: probably not.                  … Read more

Lesson Planning Made Easy

Many teachers overthink lesson planning.   I think it is best to keep things simple.    This is the basic plan we use for 1 hour elementary school lessons at Dave and Amy English School.   30 minutes:    2 fifteen minute activities or 3 ten minute ones.   Mainly done at the table in … Read more

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