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!
  • 50. READY Workbook - vocabulary copying activity

    The feeling of success students feel with English often depends on the challenge level of the material they are using. If material is “too easy”, students’ motivation may suffer. If material is “too hard”, students’ self-esteem may suffer. While it’s not always easy to find this balance, I have found that, as a teacher, raising the challenge level of easy material is easier than simplifying difficult material.

    Consider page 7 in the READY Workbook, which is a black&white version of the textbook, page 10:


    (↑READY for Learning World WORKBOOK)

    (↑READY for Learning World Student book)


    You’ll notice that in the workbook students need to copy the vocabulary list. Copying is an important process within “writing practice”, but simply copying for the sake of copying doesn’t involve a lot of thinking nor does it particularly stimulate motivation. I recently wanted my class of three fifth/sixth graders to be more challenged.

    So I prepared an extra reading activity; small slips of paper with English to read with missing words. The missing words were items on the list of vocabulary.

    For example, “I can see the American ________” and “Tian comes to school by _____”


    *These three papers are all made using Penmanship.



    With their textbooks and workbooks open, students picked a slip of paper, read it, and decided what vocabulary item was missing. Then they copied it onto the slip of paper. This gave students not just an increased challenge, but also an important reason to copy the English, and not just copy for the sake of copying.

    By all means check the video. The same activity format can be presented to all the vocabulary copying pages in READY’s workbook.


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