I spent my winter break preparing to teach Japanese 1020 at my university. As an Education major it amuses me that I can’t teach at most grade schools yet, as that requires state certification, but I’m being allowed to teach Japanese at the college level. Well, it is Elementary Japanese, but still. Of course, having such certification requirements for teachers is…its own convoluted thing.
Anyway, I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back to The Air Moon. If I’m lucky enough to be asked to teach the same course in the Fall term, I’ll have a little bit of leeway as I would already have the course materials made. This time, I came in and basically copied the previous semester’s syllabus and schedule; the curriculum is set so I can’t change what is taught but I am developing my own way to teach it. I also have to get used to using GENKI. I learned with Yookoso and so far I think it’s a superior book, at least for people studying Japanese from abroad rather than in Japan, which was GENKI‘s original audience. Case in point: with GENKI, students don’t learn the word for “car” until Lesson 7, but they learn the words for “train” and “bicycle” much earlier. In Japan this makes sense when you’re anywhere save for the most rural areas, but in the car-centric US? In Detroit? Students at this level are often asked to describe their daily life, but it’s hard to do that when the text doesn’t match their lifestyle. Which is part of the reason I let them write anything and why I make instructional materials such as this:
I used this photo to practice positional words. For example:
Q: ゴジラはどこにいますか。(Where is Godzilla?)
A: ゴジラはとしょかんのうしろにいます。(Godzilla is behind the library.)
Okay, being honest the main reason I do stuff like this is because it’s funny, and probably far more memorable. Using a photo of one of our university’s actual libraries, hopefully the students will associate it with the Japanese word for library every time they walk past it.
Can you describe where Pikachu, Bruce Lee, and the soccer ball are relative to each other, O Readers? ^o^
Picture credit: I got the Pikachu drawing from mlpochea on DeviantArt.