Lesson 2-2 The Second lesson - The importance of using the right gestures or...

May 29 2009 0 Comments by The ENB

The importance of using the right gestures or...

...it may cause a misunderstanding in real communication (a real situation).

From what I can feasibly translate from the top left hand corner on page 28 of the Teacher's Book we are somewhat showing the kids through various gestures to understand the real importance of communication and to use gestures with the understanding of its meaning or else it will cause a misunderstanding. Hmmmn...before you think about that too deeply I guess now is a good time to mention that we always start our lessons with a quick hello and greeting with the kids. Hmmmn...

Eigo Note Book 1 Page 11 Activity and Hello Song

We started out the lesson simply enough with another review of the "Hello song." Sometimes singing a song over and over may be boring for students, but I think they understood its more of a quick warm up than a requirement, so we quickly breezed through it twice. Good, finished. I soon stepped into a review of the previous lesson's target by adding some repeating and chanting of my own.

Checking on the kids, I asked a few of the kids to join me in a "mihon" or as we say in English, a little demonstration. I don't really ask actually, I or the HRT just call out the day's date and the student with the same student number must do the demonstration with me. Had they remembered the previous lesson they would do fine. It was a simple A and B skit of A saying 'How are you' and B saying a free answer of 'I'm fine," or other feeling. But since the day's theme was to check for understanding I closed each conversation (with me as A) with the ending of 'Fine?' I was hoping by the third or fourth student that the whole class would catch my meaning so I had done various endings with 'Hungry?" "Sleepy? even an 'OK?' along with waiting for the kids to respond with a 'Yes' to finish it off. Most kids will respond with a 'Hi..' (yes, in Japanese) or an 'o.k.' but I still wanted to force out the 'yes' so I repeated myself until they understood what I was looking for.

feeling and actions flashcards

As a few students got used to it, it was then explained what my purpose of repeating their answer was for. It was mentioned in Japanese that this was known as 'kakuninsuru' the act of checking again. Seems fair enough for me. That would have been quite hard to explain in English to the kids, although they understood quite well. We then went through a few more students with the same type of conversation to consolidate the subject. After that, we did a group session with the students asking each other the target language while going through the conversation with each student individually. This is much easier done with the students sitting down asking each in their assigned lunch groups while the HRT and the ALT spoke with each student.

Next on the menu was supposed to be a gesture game but it was decided to leave that for the last event to make sure we could include the next item.

Eigo Note Book 1 Page 12 The Gesture (by groups) Game at the top and the Skit for us Teachers on the bottom...

Now here we are jumping ahead which is quite alright to do with the Eigo Note and many times recommended by the teacher's book to mix it up so to speak. Now here is the 'showing of a misunderstanding through your own misunderstanding of certain gestures and how they may differ from country to country' kind of skit. There are basically two skits. One showing a good understanding between two people and another one with a misunderstanding and one of the two people walking away because of that misunderstanding. You have really got to practice these skits with your HRT's in order for them to work with the class. The skits basically involves the idea of a person asking for help and getting it because they had made the right gestures (in the first skit) and the refusal of help (in the second skit) because the person had made the wrong gestures.

Although here is how it was done in our lesson. The teachers and I had been really confused by what this skit was all about. Sure it was meant to show two different things. In the end, it was decided that the HRT would play the role of let's say an American or Canadian and the ALT would play the role of a Japanese person (using Japanese based gestures.) It was then played as in the first skit like this: (Let's call the two people person A and J for short.) Person J would call person A by his or her name and ask A to come here and help by pointing to his nose during the saying of please help 'me' and using a Japanese gesture of 'come here' with the palm faced down and fingers beckoning back and forth quickly while thereafter person A walks away with a strange look. In the second skit person J asks for help but this time with the palm faced upwards and curling the arm and fingers to the chest while asking person A to come here and please help me while thereafter person A gladly obliges and helps person J (in our case lifting a big heavy looking wastebasket.) It is really a good idea to start off the skit with person J acting as if the wastebasket is really heavy and giving the students a little bit more drama than usual to bring them and their attention into the skit.

Now the differences are there in the two skits and I'm sure both you and I might know what they are, but now is a good time to 'quiz' the kids and see what kind of answers they may come up with. Now here’s another chance to get involved in some more dialogue with the kids and offer a few prizes for the back of the book.

We then finished off the lesson with the gesture game portion and had a round of laughs with the various things the student and the teaching staff came up with. The order and game was easy enough to do separately in lunch groups alternating clockwise from the first student closest to the direction of the front door to the classroom. In the beginning it's easy to get the students going by putting up some action flash cards on the board and going through the first round together with the first student of each group while you perform the first 'mime' and they perform with you exactly the same way. I did skiing for this one and you can only guess what kind of answers we got in return because well, you know, with your legs bent in a sitting position and arms forward a bit it kind of looks like...

They got the answer soon enough and the games were on their way. Time permitting a few of our classes had done a few challenge games performed by the brave students at the front of the class. After the games were finished we recapped the lesson points accordingly.

Hope you have time to read the next post for the Eigo Note Book 1 Unit 2 Lesson 3... blog post coming soon.

Please be sure to check out my Eigo Note Blog for Grade 6 and my experience in teaching English with the Eigo Note 2 Textbook.


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The ENB writes for eigonoteblog.com whenever possible. The ENB's favorite school lunch is curry and rice. ( Short and spicy since we don't want to annoy anyone ;D )

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