There seems to be less opportunity for English teachers these days. Since the Lehman crash it seems that many companies are not seeking the services of language teachers. Those companies who formerly required English teachers, for a benefit for the staff, or as a possible means of increasing growth, are no longer willing to spend that money on training. Private students also seem to be in a downward trend, these days the extra money potential students had for increasing their prospects has dried up. Bonuses and extra monies that businesses and people used to have is disappearing. So what’s an English teacher to do? Now is your chance to explore your entrepreneurial creativity, take some time to re-do your curriculum, or re-build your lesson portfolio. My experiences in the few years I’ve been here (six) indicate that a lot of us[semi-professional English teachers] are teaching from web resources or from out-dated texts. Take a look at what you are using for materials, and assess it for communicative content; -are your students learning English phrases they will use? -are supplying vocabulary that is current? -do your students enjoy your class? -are you letting them ‘get-by’, or are you challenging them to grow? Many of our potential clients may have lost confidence in the effectiveness of English lessons in Tokyo. The responsibility falls on the teachers, I have seen ridiculous lessons, I have followed terrible lessons plans.
Though I would like to teach better lessons my hands are often tied by the employer, I am required to teach a particular text. Over time I have learned how to squeeze some useful English into a particularly dull lesson. Take a bit of ingenuity and assess the needs of the class. We need to restore the image of English as a tool for success! A good lesson is informative AND enjoyable. A curriculum that addresses the special needs of your clients particular sector is crucial to getting a contract. The teachers need to display energy, and appear interested in giving the students something to think about. This will restore confidence in English for personal and business growth. thanks for reading, ian