Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The list of the roles of ALTs and HRTs

I’m making a list of the roles that an ALT should take and the roles that HRTs should take in English activities at elementary school according to what I have read before. This list is not complete yet, so I want to add the roles of ALTs and HRTs.

(The roles of ALTs)
①To teach the pleasure of English
②English shower
③To improve students' communication skills
④Motivation for understanding other cultures and Japanese culture
⑤To praise and give confidence
(The roles of HRTs)
②Class control
③Model as a learner for students
④To remove the students anxiety and relieve
⑥To connect the knowledge and skills to other subjects

〈The roles of ALTs〉
①The aim of English activities at elementary school is to get accustomed to and come to like English. So ALTs primarily have to teach the pleasure of English as people who use English.
②ALTs have to give students “English shower” as native speakers. It is important for the students to touch with English as much as possible, for example, native pronunciation, gestures, expressions, and so on. Then these experiences link to their output.
③It is said that Japanese are not accustomed to communicate with foreign people, so it is important for the students to be exposed to such environment.
④The existence of ALTs is the bridge to understand other cultures for students. Also the understanding other cultures link to understand Japanese culture.
⑤When students learn a content in class, they sometimes cannot have confidence the meaning of what they say and do. So by using it actually and being praised by ALTs, they can understand it certainly and have confidence what they learn.

〈The roles of HRTs〉
①HRTs should not leave the class to only the ALTs. They have to have consciousness that they lead the ALTs and make the class with the ALTs together.
②HRTs are always with students, so they know the students well, for example, human relations, their character, their achievement, and so on. So they can work on and support the students along their personality.
③It is important for HRTs to try to learn with students. They should be not only instructors but also learners.
④It is said that Japanese students tend to feel stress and tension immediately and these reach to the class. So HRTs should remove such anxiety and relieve as people who understand and accept them.
⑤HRTs need to translate what ALTs say to explain the difficult contents and raise the students’ understanding. But HRTs should not translate all, because it is not good for the students to get used to such environment. It is important for them to learn the skills that expect what the ALTs say.
⑥HRTs can incorporate the knowledge and skills in other subjects into the English activities by relating the activities to other subject contents. This can awake the students’ interests and concern, then that will activate the class.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I read two books!

I read two books to find out the roles of ALTs and HRTs. I think these books told me wonderful ideas.
First of all, I could learn about the present problem for ALTs in the education field. It is that the roles of ALTs aren’t defined clearly there. So when ALTs are stationed in schools, ALTs have to know the characteristics of the region and the roles to achieve education objects based on the education philosophy with distinct features each school has, and then they have to endeavor to accomplish it. I thought the roles should be made clear as expected.
The books say that ALTs should be sources of authentic English, the persons who has experienced the culture of another country, and cooperators in the preparation of teaching materials and tools. I learned ALTs should not only teach English and share the customs, way of thinking, and concept of other countries with students but also stimulate their interest in other countries and language.
Next, the books say HRTs can utilize the individuality of students in organizing activities and develop teaching materials and tools based on fresh concepts. And, HRTs can incorporate the knowledge and skills in other subjects into the English activities by relating the activities to other subject contents. Thus, I learned there are a lot of roles that HRTs should play because HRTs take charge of the academic and moral instruction of students. Also, these books say HRTs should not take a passive stance toward English. If they do so and this may be passed on to students, the students’ attitudes toward English may also become passive. So HRTs should be not only instructors but also learners.
Then the books say a lot of important things in team-teaching, too. Team-teaching has plural teachers and they can share the roles. So they can lead lessons or support activities in various directions. For example, they can create dynamic lessons that are difficult to create under a single-teacher format, conduct class preparations efficiently, and provide more support during lessons, such as giving more careful attention to individual or small-group instruction. Also, they can show students the communication and cooperation among instructors, so the students learn a lot from it. Also, the lock of sharing the roles affects anxiety for not only instructors but also the students. Consequently, it is necessary for teachers to take time before class. But ALTs can’t be assigned to the school on a full-time basis, so the meetings should be treated in detail, and they should construct close human relations even if the meeting is short.
I could get much information from these two books. So I hope to find many keys for my graduate paper by reading many books from now on.

Friday, October 28, 2005

My Qestionnaire

I’m asking some ALTs to answer my questionnaire now. The one reason why I decided the objects of the questionnaire are ALTs is that they are professional teachers in English teaching, so I think they can look back and judge their activities, HRT’s activities and their own selves impartially. Also, I’m not familiar with the ALT’s activities, so I need to know them. That’s another reason.
By the questionnaire, I expect that I’ll find out the roles of ALTs and HRTs clearly for the effective English teaching. In a class there are many activities, that is to say, there are many roles that teachers should do. I think the teachers should grasp the own roles and play the own roles perfectly. Naturally, ALTs and HRTs should cooperate together to make one class. But I think the class will go well and the students will be able to enjoy it by separating the roles. So I hope to get some clues to find out the roles of ALTs and HRTs.
My questionnaire asks the ALTs their activities, notions, problems and anxieties in their activities. They will answer about what they usually have trouble, for example, gaps between their ideas and the HRT’s ideas, the difficulty in communication with the HRTs and the students, the present condition of the student’s learning and so on. I’ll regard these troubles as improvement points in team-teaching and position them as roles of ALTs and HRTs. Also,my questionnaire asks about the student’s behavior toward the ALTs. I guess the contact with ALTs is so effective for the students, for example, the progress of communication skill, to get accustomed to hearing native language, to have interests in foreigners and foreign countries, and so on. So I’ll be able to describe the student’s changes by the existence of ALTs and position the value of them as the roles of them.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

My graduate paper

I’m writing my graduate paper about English teaching at Elementary school now. The title is “What are the roles of ALTs and HRTs in effective English teaching at Elementary school?”
These days many elementary schools adopt English activities, and we can see a lot of classes are “team-teaching” style there. But regrettably, I hear that some teachers have some troubles with their activities, for example, the lack of meetings about activities, the difference of ideas of ALTs and HRTs and so on. I think these problems affect students something bad. Also, we generally have an image of English activities at elementary school as “pleasant” activities, but I think the activities must be not only pleasant but effective for students. Therefore I think it is important to show the roles of ALTs and HRTs clearly to give students solid experience.
In this paper, I plan doing a questionnaire for ALTs. By valuable information and opinions from it, I hope to find the answers to my questions.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

My introduction

My name is Miki Numahata. I'm from Aomori.