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Japanese Speech Contests By Mariel Howard Kalamunda Christian School.

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1 Japanese Speech Contests By Mariel Howard Kalamunda Christian School

2  Primary LOTE programs under criticism: After 7+ years of learning a LOTE students know a “bunch of nouns and three songs”

3  Lack of lesson time (once a week for as short as 20min per lesson)  Lack of LOTE teachers, teachers change frequently  LOTE not taken seriously, LOTE teachers “DOTT time providers”  Limited access to computers

4  To provide a focus and increase motivation in students  To “bring together” everything learnt during the year, ensuring that what was studied at the start of the year remains relevant and is revised frequently  To provide “communicative purpose” in order to improve accuracy and fluency in the LOTE (“Learning is about personal meaning-making…Interaction needs to be purposeful…about something…have value in its own right” Teaching and Learning Languages, A Guide by Scarino and Liddicoat)  To provide an “open-ended” activity to recognize not only each students “abilities” but also their “capabilities” thus focusing on each student’s potential  Increases the profile of LOTE in the school and in the school community  To provide an opportunity for students parents to learn about the culture (shared Japanese supper, kimonos worn, Japanese background music)

5 Increased Motivation Provides a Context and a Goal for Learning Better Fluency and Retention of Language Builds LOTE Culture by Involving School Community Ensures Revision of Learnt Language

6 Steps to a successful Speech Contest (example only, based on my experience)

7  Effective activities essential in PS due to lack of class time (time allowing, effective activities discussed and ideas collected at the end of this session)  Activities also have to be fun, interesting, age appropriate and above all based on real communication (exercises with focus on form vs. real-life tasks and activities with focus on integrated use of language)  Do teach nouns but tie them to a sentence with real communicative purpose (eg. Teach colours and then “My favourite colour is….”)  Use a variety of methods and resources eg. balls, blankets, sets of cards, music, songs, flashcards, “realia” eg real menus, computers, Smartboard, puppets, pictures from magazines and the internet…(“The key is to have resources which open up multiple possible uses and allow for flexibility and creativity in teaching and learning ” Teaching and Learning Languages, A Guide by Scarino and Liddicoat)  Use Japanese in class as much as possible (kids learn best from context, provides natural and constant revision)

8  Music is the most effective memory strategy as emotional experiences are readily recalled (Innovative Teachers’ Companion by ITC Publications) - don’t just have “song time” but play the same songs whenever students are doing “brain-dead” work like tracing characters to revise vocabulary, improve intonation and pronunciation and to provide a calm multi-sensory learning environment  Take advantage of the power of Motor Memory by using plenty of sports, role-plays, games and gestures  Get students to think of mnemonics (ways to remember new words) eg. “Usagi” can be “Oh, saggy ears”  Use emotions to engage learners (Brain Compatible Learning) by modeling an optimistic state (smile, eye-contact, excitement and personal exuberance), change of location (“Teaching a concept in a different location assists students to recall it through episodic association i.e.utilising the associative emotions they develop” Innovative Teachers’ Companion by ITC Publications ), drama and roleplay and MUSIC!!!!  Revision, revision, revision!!!! Use a variety of methods and activities to revise the same thing keeping in mind that students have their preferred way of learning (eg. visual or kinetic) and some students need more opportunities to practise than others

9  Start “marketing” event from start of year and put it in the school calendar to get students excited and focused and to create “hype”  Highlight benefits like improved skills and confidence and a chance to “blow their parents away”  Mention prizes!  Get heads of school to attend and other teachers if possible  Aim as high as practically possible (after school event with parents attending, shared Japanese supper, use a microphone, native speakers and other Japanese teachers as guests or judges etc)  Remind students, staff and parents of the even at regular intervals eg. during assemblies

10  Make participation a privilege and something to be desired by making it “invitation only”, possibly based on speaking mark or earned by attending lunchtime practice (this tests their commitment at the beginning and lessens your stress of getting them to an acceptable standard before the contest)  Get students to commit to the contest well in advance with a permission from parents  Do not let students drop out without a permission from parents (teaches commitment and resiliance, avoids instances where parents are still expecting students to participate, and stops students from wasting everyone’s time, especially yours)

11 Disclaimer: There are several ways of teaching script so the methods outlined is what seems to work for ME and my students  I have a “no romaji” policy from the beginning in order to ensure correct pronunciation form the beginning and to remove the “crutch” that often prevents students from advancing in their hiragana  I create mystery and intrigue around hiragana and kanji (“ a secret code your family can’t read!”), use “Hiragana in 46 minutes” and take it as slowly as needed with lots of revision using various hiragana games and activities  I use spoken language to support the learning of written language and vice versa by teaching the spoken and written form of the new words simultaneously -students revise the characters used to write the new words as it ensures constant revision of characters and ensures that visual learners are able to “see” the new words (written language supports spoken language) - memorization of new words help students become familiar with the characters used to write it (spoken language supports written language)

12  Select speech contest topics according to the Curriculum Framework and introduce them to the students at the start of the year (eg. “Self-introduction” for Yr 1-4 as the focus is “Self and Family”, and “Shopping Roleplay” for Yr 5-7” for “School and Local Community” focus )  Provide plenty of examples in class including recordings of previous contests (I use a subliminal method or “Sleeping activity”)  Students plan their own speech based on the phrases learned during the year and the example speeches  Encourage students to learn a couple of new words or expressions to make their speeches more individual, but warn them of the dangers of trying to learn too many new words (easy to forget under pressure which affects fluency in the contest)

13  Write students speeches in note form IN ENGLISH and use these both as “parent translations” on Powerpoint during the contest and as palm cards for students if needed (no Japanese palm cards allowed unless in hiragana)  Practise as a group using prompt cards in hiragana (also excellent reading practise!)  Listen to students speeches individually and correct main errors (In most speaking exercises communication and fluency are more important that accuracy so correcting minor errors is not beneficial, but in this instance I want student to memorize the language structures correctly so that they can later be recalled and modified to provide unlimited amount of new senteces )  Students practise in small groups and pairs (Confident students can become “teachers” for others. “You learn best when you teach”)

14  Divide students into categories eg. Yr 1-2, Yr3-4, Yr5-7  Around 30 speeches is a good number as it any more is hard to listen to and judge (You may have to run heats or have junior and senior contests if you have more entries)  Start evening with shared Japanese food tasting (can be made by students, but we just ordered ours from local sushi and noodle shop), play Japanese music in the background and have children try on kimonos if enough help available  Judges found it easy to have a printout of Powerpoint translations so that they could take notes as they listened  Give prizes to winners as well as encouragement prizes for things like “best smile”, “best presentation” etc. (I have given origami and manga books as major prizes)  Give a participation prize for everyone like a Japanese pencil or Japanese lollies  Try to get native speakers or other Japanese teachers to do the judging

15 Lessons Learn all nouns, verbs etc. for topic using lots of oral exercises, IT, and games Learn main sentence structures used with topic Revise all hiragana required for these words and sentences, Lots of hiragana writing and reading exercises Writing Assessment Write individual speech/ role play using words and structures learnt ( Hiragana only) Corrected by teacher to achieve 100% accuracy Oral Assessment Corrected speech/role play memorized Presented in class Best students selected for Evening Speech Contest Speech Contest Present speech/ role play in front of 200+ family and friends Translations projected to audience (students allowed to use it to jog memory) Native speakers or other teachers as judges Japanese supper

16  “Evaluation is an integral part of the process of curriculum renewal. Evaluation involves making considered judgment about a program to ensure that what is being done in teaching, learning and assessment is worthwhile, effective and sufficient ” Teaching and Learning Languages, A Guide by Scarino and Liddicoat)  Get feedback orally or in writing, formally or informally from students who got involved and those who didn’t (why not?) before and after the event  Talk to parents, other teachers and the principal about their impressions  Collate feedback and think of ways to improve the event for following years  Make the changes!

17 “The Japanese contest was a new idea for the Junior School. Mariel was really keen and saw it as a great way to grow the profile of LOTE in the school and also challenge the children. The planning and prep that went into the evening was great and the kids loved to have the extra sessions of coaching. There was a great up take of kids for the evening. A large group of parents and friends arrived at the event and were treated to a sample supper of Japanese food. The atmosphere was exciting. The delight was that we saw our children perform who were very competent but also those who managed to really persevere and push through the fear of performance. The standard of presentation by all children was really impressive. Parents were delighted, and all the apprehension I felt leading into a public competition for the younger students quickly disappeared as I saw the pride and excitement as they competed and were encouraged and rewarded. It was a wonderful event we would really like to build into our regular program for the year”

18 “A wonderful opportunity for the students to speak Japanese in front of an audience, to ‘force’ them to converse yet with a thrill of competition. The subject was ‘real life communication’ about themselves, which will be useful later in life to speak to any Japanese speaker. The competition gave my daughter confidence, not only in her Japanese speaking but in speaking to a group of adults (parents) in a safe small atmosphere. It was set up beautifully and carefully introduced to be a safe place. The Powerpoint behind each student enabled us non-speakers to understand what the child was saying. Overall a carefully thought out, carefully managed, delightful evening for parents and students alike”

19 アナです。六さいです。一ねんせいです。ペットはいぬとねこです。ぞうがすきです。ト ラがすきじゃないです。めはあおです。かみのけはきんぱつです。どうぞよろしく。 Yr 1 This Is Me ( _ です、 Numbers, Pets, Animals, Colours, Body ) わたしのかぞくは五人です。おとうさんとおかあさんとおにいさんといもうととわたし です。おにいさんはあたまがいいです。六ねんせいです。十二さいです。しゅみはから てです。おとうさんはたのしいです。おかあさんはきびしいです。でんわばんほうは一 二三です。パースにすんでいます。 Yr 2 My Family (_は_です。 Family, Adjectives to describe people 、 Hobbies, Phone number, Place of residence) ぼくのいえはおおきいです。だいどころといまとしんしつとよくしつがあります。だい どころはおおきいです。にわにきとはなといけがあります。にわとりがいます。にわと りはかわいいです。ぼくのへやはごちょごちゃです。つくえとベッドととけいがありま す。つくえのまえにいすがあります。いすはあかです。ぼくのへやはかっこいいです。 Yr 3 Our House ( _ に _ があります。 Rooms, Things in garden, Furniture 、 Adjectives to describe things, Locations)

20 いらっしゃいませ。くつがありますか。いいえ、ありません。ぼうしがありますか。は い、あります。ちいさいです。もっとおおきいぼうしがありますか。はい、あります。 どうぞ。いくらですか。五千円です。たかいです。もっとやすいぼうしがありますか。 はい、あります。三千円です。おねがいします。どうぞ。ありがとうございます。さよ うなら。 Yr 4 Shopping ( Shopping phrases, Money, Numbers , Stationary, Clothes, Comparisons ) もしもし。えいがにいきましょう。いいえ、こうえんにいきましょう。日よう日にいき ましょう。はい、いきましょう。くるまでいきましょう。いいえ、でんしゃでいきま しょう。サンドイッチをたべましょう。はい、そうしましょう。こうちゃをのみましょ う。はい、そうしましょう。おにいさんといきましょう。はい、いきましょう。えきの まえであいましょう。はい、あいまほう。じゃまたね! Yr 5 Let’s Go to the Movies (-ましょう、 Transport, Weekdays, Foods and drinks, Public places, Verbs) こんにちは。たんじょうびのパーチーにきてください。おたんじょうびは何月何日です か。二月二十三日です。月よう日です。パーチーは何じから何じまでですか。一じから 三じまでです。何をたべますか。ケーキをたべます。何をのみますか。コーラをのみま す。何をしますか。ゲームをします。たのしいそうです。月よう日にあいましょう。 Yr 6 Come to My Birthday Party! (-ください、 Birthdays, Dates, Time, Things to do)

21 ありがとうございました !


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