Matthew's Classroom

I have been teaching English to kids in Japan for more than 20 years: public elementary schools in Tokyo for 11 years, and Hello Kids Komazawa for the last 9. For 3 years I have been teaching weekly lessons to students at Tsutsujigaoka Kindergarten. As I tend to stay at the same workplace for a long time, I've been able to see the long-term results of my work. Being able to really see children's English communication ability grow has been very rewarding. I mainly use APRICOT materials in my classroom. They best suit my goal of having students use as much English as possible while developing confidence and self-esteem. I enjoy teaching development, and I love discussing English education with other teachers!
  • 47. 10 Useful Pieces of Advice for Teaching with LEARNING WORLD #6

    This post will look at #6:

    6. Importance of Reviewing

    Even if students think that they remember what they have learned, it is natural to forget. Do not get stuck with ideas like “I taught this already!” or “I have done this before!”


    Yes, our students have a responsibility to try and remember the content of our lessons. But we should acknowledge that it’s probably not possible to remember everything. So we should review the important content regularly.

    It’s important during times of review that we don’t lose sight of the purpose of review. Always keep in mind that we are trying to establish how much of previous lesson content our students remember. So avoid reteaching the entire previous lesson, or giving away too much vital information. Vital information should be elicited from students, not actually given by us.

    Often, a small number of students will remember specific previous lesson content, while the rest of the class will have mostly forgotten. The students who do remember will quite likely have also remembered to complete previous week homework assignments, so credit these students accordingly and inform other students that they are more likely to remember previous lesson content if they complete homework!

    I often review content in different ways depending on the content.



    The Chants in Learning World are reviewed with the CD, playing the chant’s introduction drum beat only, stopping just before the chant starts. Students then need to continue alone, without the CD. This will tell me exactly how much they remember.


    Using the CD, I play the first line of a dialogue only, then pause the CD for the students to continue it. This is similar to the way I review Chants.


    Vocabulary items (in the “Words” section) are reviewed by playing the CD and carefully pausing it on each word’s very first sound! If students have done their homework, then having them recall vocab items in this way should be quite easy, but it’s not easy for those students who haven’t done their homework! So in this way you can very quickly know which students looked at this content during the week between lessons.


    Yes, we musn’t overlook review! Reviewing is important for students because remembering content can help build their confidence. Remembering content can remind students of a purpose to their studies.

    My next entry is coming soon, and it will look at #7:
    7. Make students use English

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