I started ‘kids training’ today. It was soooooo much fun! 😀 I think it’s going to be pretty hard work still, but we get to sing songs and dance and make complete fools of ourselves, so that’s got to be good, right?
I have to prepare a lesson for tomorrow, but we’re not teaching real kids during training (just each other) so that’s not too bad. Unfortunately my lesson doesn’t have any songs in it as it’s for older kids, but I still get to do gestures! It’s all about “where is s/he from?” so I get to make up gestures for country names, which is harder than it sounds!!
One thing which is going to take some getting used to though is phonics. We have to do phonics in adult classes too, but it’s even more important for kids’ classes that we get the pronunciation right. And by ‘right’, I mean ‘American’. Now, I completely understand the reasoning behind it, but it is going to take me some time to get the hang of it I think! I mean, I have to change the entire was I say some things! (It’s only during the pronunciation parts of the lessons though, mostly…)
When kids get tested to get into schools they are tested on pronunciation, and it has to be the American way. So, of course, we need to teach them in line with that. The other reason is to try and stop them using katakana and Japanese pronunciation. This is really very interesting. I was talking to a friend of a friend over dinner last night about how she hated katakana because it made her pronounce English words incorrectly, and I can completely see what she means.
Take for example ‘toaster’. In katakana it would be written: トースター. This is basically pronounced almost in the same way as we say ‘toaster’ in England. However, in America they say their ‘er’ sound differently, so it’s really ‘toastER’, not ‘toastA’. So, I need to teach ‘toastER’. This basically resulted in most of us walking around training today going ‘eeerrrr’ at each other for large amounts of time. I’m gonna have to work on it I think… 😉