During our two-day MY Expo this past Friday and Saturday, we were excited to welcome Aya Nakanishi, who taught MY’s staff about strategies for dealing with neurodiversity in our classrooms. Aya and her colleagues joined us remotely from Liino Kids Therapy in the Osaka area.
MY frequently teaches students who may, in the not-so-distant past, have been labeled merely “wild,” “rambunctious,” “troubled,” “silent,” “withdrawn,” or “badly behaved.” Our better understanding in recent years of the brain is helping to change these labels.
A struggling student may be experiencing any number of conditions that affect how the brain processes sensory information. Unsurprisingly, a child whose brain struggles to filter out what are normally background noises or images for most people behaves and reacts differently in a busy, active classroom.
Aya’s presentation helped MY’s staff better understand the experiences and perspectives of neurodiverse students. From Aya’s insights about how neurodiverse students think and behave, we are better exploring ways to support our students during lessons.
MY enjoys special guest speakers at our training days! Connecting with people outside MY and challenging ourselves with new ideas is a wonderful opportunity to grow. A big thank you to Aya for developing a presentation especially for MY’s staff (in English!) and for taking time to listen to and answer our questions! Aya and her colleagues frequently share tips and information online, so please take a look at the excellent work that they do!
MY English School is hosting a two-day professional development weekend with featured guest Michael Griffin on October 18-19. Both days of the event are free and open to the public.
Anyone wishing to stay overnight at the hotel and onsen is welcome to join us for the opportunity to interact with the presenter and other attendees in a more relaxed setting. The deadline for a hotel & dinner banquet reservation is October 11. Please contact Chris Saunders regarding reservations and details.
Overnight Cost: 10,000 yen, including: Nomihoudai Dinner, Breakfast, Hotel room.
Practicing Reflection: Reflective Practice is something of a buzzword in ELT. “What does it mean, and how do we do it?” are two very reasonable questions. Reflective Practice seems to mean different things to different people, though most agree it’s important and useful. In this interactive session, we will broadly define the term and think about what it means to us before diving into activities that will offer hands-on practice reflecting. Through this practice participants will find ways to include reflection as a pillar of their own teaching. This session will offer guidance, tips, questions to consider, feedback, and strategies for becoming a (more) reflective practitioner. There will also be a great deal of practice. Through practicing reflection in a guided way and learning strategies and techniques for further reflection, participants will become more comfortable and skillful reflecting on their own in their regular work.
(Re)considering “bad teaching practices: There is no shortage of received wisdom about what the “bad” teaching practices are in EFL. Training courses, conferences, workshops, and colleagues are common sources to learn what’s “bad” and should thus be avoided. Chances to step back and consider why this is so are not as common. Many teachers internalize the “rules” about these “bad” practices but don’t examine specific cases and contexts were these practices might not be so bad. In this interactive workshop, participants will be asked to consider the potential positives of widely-known and negatively-viewed teaching practices. Ideas and assumptions about what constitutes “bad” teaching will be challenged, and participants can expect to walk away with a clearer idea of their own beliefs on common and commonly mentioned practices.
Behavioral Economics: Are there things Kahneman, Thaler, Harford, and Levitt can teach us about English language teaching that Thornbury, Nation, Graves, and Ur cannot? What can insights can behavioral economics provide to English teachers? In this interactive workshop, the world of Behavioral Economics will be connected to the world of English Language Teaching. Prominent and accessible theories from the field of Behavioral Economics, like the endowment effect, sunk-cost fallacy, endowment theory, and loss aversion, will be applied to English teaching. Questions about how such theories can be applied will be raised and considered. Participants can expect to walk away with insights from Behavioral Economics and new ways of framing and attempting to work through challenges they encounter in the world of English language teaching.
About the speaker:
Michael Griffin has been involved with English teaching for 20 years. He has worked as a teacher, teacher trainer, trainer-trainer, curriculum developer, substitute teacher, assistant director, and mentor. Intercultural awareness, world Englishes, curriculum development, alternative ways of teacher development, and reflective practice are some of his main interests. Currently, Michael works online with the New School’s MATESOL program and for World Learning on American English E-Teacher courses sponsored by the US Department of State. He blogs at http://eltrantsreviewsreflections.wordpress.com.
Welcome to MY English School’s teaching web journal!
MY’s teachers have set a goal this year of communicating regularly via a blog. MY’s teachers collectively have many decades of teaching experience, and we plan to use this space to share ideas among ourselves and outside of MY. We’re slowly sorting out how we want to use this site, what we want to include on it, how to make WordPress work for us, how to set up multiple contributors, and so on. We are looking forward to adding frequent content about our teaching and ourselves soon!