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Happy English

Happy, clappy English teaching:    not a fan.    Why?      


After 22 years here, we are miserable sods jaded with teaching and life itself.

Ha ha, gotcha!
No, we are very happy people but definitely not into the concept of bouncing around a class, bug eyed leading the class in ‘fun’ English.  
If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, please refresh your memory (for the UK audience // for the Americans).    Sorry we can’t reference every country.      
Both of these guys are legends of bad 80s tv, but would they make effective teachers?
Fun IS a big part of our lessons but without an annoying tv presenter demeanor.     It’s fun with a purpose.  The purpose being real learning. 
What else is of concern?
  • Happy English lessons are by their nature teacher led.   The lessons shouldn’t be about US as the teacher.   It should be about the children as STUDENTS — learning.    With happy English there is an emphasis on the TEACHER being super happy leading the class. 


  • In normal life are we ALWAYS happy.    No!   Then why the emphasis on SUPER HAPPY English teaching?


  •   It encourages students to see ALL English teachers as clowns.   We are NOT clowns.    


  • It’s EXHAUSTING for the teacher.   Being the SUPER GENKI teacher is a young person’s game.   One we don’t want to play.   


  • The TEACHER is SUPER HAPPY and EXPENDING lots of energy??    But how about the kids??     Is there real learning?    Or just activity and noise. 
  • Finally, this style of teaching is not used in Math, Science, P.E…    Why is it common in the childrens’ English teaching industry?      Are we the clowns of education in Japan? 
So how about us at Dave and Amy English School?  
Our BEST teachers are in the background:   setting up activities and monitoring.    
You only hear their voice when needed.  
What do you hear instead?   The busy activity of STUDENTS speaking and doing.   
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2 Responses to Happy English

  1. I really appreciate these observations.
    Children are already naturally full of exuberance, and if the teacher has to infuse bounciness into the lesson, this is an indication that the teaching/learning dynamic is not as good as it could be.
    It seems to me that our job should be to direct the energy the children’s natural energy into productive learning activities–not to be energetic for them.

    Another way to put it is that if they need us to generate the joyful energy in the room, that means our lesson isn’t doing it for them.

    Of course, none of this means we can’t be joyful along with them. But if they are depending on us to elicit joy from them, then the lesson itself must be failing to elicit it.

  2. HI Alan—well said. We are happy in our lessons of course. We just object to the teacher led / super happy teaching style.

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