Hello. The summer term at HIUC in Osaka is almost finished. Students are about to enter their final week. Some of the students are starting to look pretty tired, but it looks like everyone is doing okay. The first ten weeks at HIUC can be very difficult for students. It is a bit of a shock when you enter a new teaching and learning environment in a second language. However, all the students seem to be adjusting without too many problems. It is very important to do your best and never give up.
This week, I have been meeting with all the classes to go over some summer study tips. We have been looking at activities that the students can do to work on their listening. The summer break is a fun time, but also a dangerous time. For ten weeks, students have been using a lot of English. However, over the summer break they do not have to use English because they do not have classes. In addition, it is often difficult to find opportunities to use English in Japan. This makes it easy to stop using English while a student is on holiday. That is one of the reasons why I am showing them listening activities they can do. If they do the activities, they can improve their listening and come back to school in the fall ready to learn more. The key is to do a little practice every day. I hope they follow my advice.
In my class, the students have completed their fourth presentation. They had to do some research about a national park in the USA. Then they had to make a three-minute speech about what they learnt. All the students spoke for more than three minutes. They all used cue cards and had some nice eye contact with the audience. Most of the students had a good amount of information and organized their speeches properly. When I compare the students’ first speeches to their fourth speeches, I can honestly say that every student got better. It is really nice when you see your students improve.
Next week, the students have to tell their classmates about a museum they visited. They have to got to a museum, take notes about it, and then share what they learnt with their classmates. They will work in small groups and talk to different people every day. They will give the same mini-speech two or three times. This should help them to work on their speaking fluency. They will also get a chance to learn more about Osaka. They will also have a final vocabulary quiz. I think the rest of the classes from now till the end of the term will be a little extra busy. It will help the students realize that next semester is going to be more challenging than the current term.
Have a good day and keep cool.