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Posts Tagged ‘ESL’

Let me just start this out by saying that I’m not an English teacher. I do not have a degree in education or English (though I considered an English major).

However, I spend an obscene amount of time in Japanese public schools, and the English-language textbooks are pretty consistently lacking. For example, the English taught often has a lot of Japanized grammar, like the tendency to use “Do you know OOO?” for “Do you know her personally?” AND “Have you heard of her?” AND “Are you familiar with her body of work?” (New Horizons). This makes sense in Japanese, but in English the context determines how specific you need to be.  There’s unnatural phrasing right and left, like big letters and small letters for capital letters/uppercase and lowercase (Eigo Note). Not understanding that cake is collective (“I’ll have the cake.” “I like cake.” “Have a piece of cake.” “Would you like some cake?” NOT “Here are cakes!” when referring to one cake sliced into pieces.) And don’t get me started on Shougakusei no Eigo, with Santa Claus’s “I am from Finland! I live in Snowland! I have presents! I like children all over the world!” or Kintaro’s statement that he has a masakari. You have an axe, son, because we are speaking English.

Today I went to work and found a set of 2012 Columbus 21 junior high English books on my desk. I read through the Columbus books today, and these are actually good textbooks. The English is, by and large, natural. The characters sort of remind me of the characters from Genki. Click below to see my comments.

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