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.


Blogger JH said...

This list is a very good start. I am looking forward to seeing what else you add on to the list.
One thing that struck me was the the HRT seemed to have a lot more responsibility than the ALT. I was an ALT myself for two years. To be honest, one of the things that I did not like about the job was sometimes I felt I was being paid just to be a "gaijin." I thought that I could contribute more than was being asked of me and spent most of my two years trying to get my school to let me be more involved. I am really curious to see if you can find any other roles for the ALT or can persuade me of the importance of the roles that you listed.

10:30 PM  
Blogger ayu said...

Hello,I am Ayu.I read your blog, and thought your investigation is very interesting!! I learned that ALTs can have many roles from your list.Especially "English shower" was an impressive phrase for me.

I have ever heard that "sometimes ALTs become just a tape recorder in the class".I think this situation might be made by some bad communications between the HRT and the ALT before the class.So I think it is important for HRTs and ALTs to cooperate with each other in making a class.
Thank you,

6:13 PM  
Blogger red-hot said...

Hello, I'm Cube! I'm interested in your blog, because I'm also interested in the relationship between HRT and ALT. I did teacher training this summer in junior high school. My teacher said to me, 'ALT is not a taperecorder, you know. This is a difficult and important problem, it is a good way to communicate with ALT, but teachers can't spend so much time to do it.'
When I heard this, I thought it is important to communicate with ALT. And teachers have to devise lesson plans and discuss with ALT.
Thank you,

10:08 AM  
Blogger Floyd said...

I was an ALT in a JHS for a year and had 3 wonderfully different teachers. One of them was very cooperative and we always made great plans together. Another was very busy and let me plan the lesson around some grammar point from the text. And the last would just have me read the text and/or new words. Honestly none of these bothered me. I felt I was there to help the teachers as best I could with a resource. Also, after teaching together for a few months, the last teacher would let me contribute more, and would also let me speak Japanese to help students when they were doing grammar workbook practice. It might sound boring, but I rather enjoyed it. His lectures were quite interesting but I imagine a teacher with no Japanese ability would go crazy. I think there are more bad ALTS out there than good so sometimes we have to convince them we are not retards and can we more than the "gaijin" in the class. He confessed to me in my lasy days that his previous ALT experience with team teaching had been a nightmare. I think because that those teachers had theire ideas of what THEY wanted. I also have these feelings but in the end, I am there to help out. not be a pain in the neck.

11:06 PM  

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