🐞 The Blog
This blog details my experiences in teaching as well as being an ALT from a developing country working and living in Japan. This blog also contains free lesson plans on a variety of topics for a variety of grade levels. You are free to use and adjust them as you wish.
Please do not ask me to create a lesson plan for you. The lesson plans posted here are those I have personally taught to the indicated grade level. I have done my own adjustments to warrant publishing them on the internet.
The reason behind this endeavor is to provide a free resource for teachers of ESL, EFL, Language and/or Literature.
🐞 My Teaching Principles
I teach English. “To help the student help themselves” is the flag I fly.
My work consists of a complicated compromise among my educational beliefs, my goals for the students, the goals of the institution I work in, and the students’ interests, aptitude, capabilities, and needs.
- What do the students need to learn?
- What are they currently capable of?
- What are their interests?
- How would they be able to use what they learn outside of the classroom?
- In what creative ways can I get them excited for lessons that are boring as all heck to them?
- What are the institution’s goals?
- How can I teach a lesson in order to meet the institution’s goals?
- What is my time frame for certain lessons?
- What are alternative, meaningful ways I can assess the students’ progress aside from pen and paper tests?
…are some of the questions that factor into my making lesson plans. Context and objectives are important, because even if we teach the same lesson, the objectives provide the slant with which all the intricacies of the lesson plan will follow (comprehension questions, engagement activities, motivation, motive, synthesis, etc.) The context is the launchpad from which you build your objectives around.
Having been born and raised in a country where English is a Second Language, and currently learning a Foreign Language myself, I can very much empathize with students undergoing the same struggles.
To learn a language is to practice speaking it without fear (of correction, ridicule, etc. especially with older learners). Creating an environment where students feel comfortable enough to express themselves regardless of their proficiency in the target language is my first priority, because what use is constantly correcting a student who mispronounces words enough to discourage them from speaking altogether? My technicalities come afterward (grammar, spelling, etc.) when the student and I have enough rapport for them not to fear being corrected.
I am an avid defender of World Englishes. English has been adopted and diversified by the many countries that speak it. As long as you understand one another, differences in accent and pronunciation should absolutely not be a point of argument. There is a difference between wanting to clarify if your conversation partner meant “pin” or “pen”, or “read” from “lead”, but insisting someone say “INnovative” instead of “inNOvative” because “innovate” puts its stress on the first syllable makes me want to punch something.
Please stop. You know what they mean, anyway.
I take my responsibility as a teacher very seriously. I have a scary amount of influence on my students. Anyone who has clearly remembered a teacher (most loved, most hated, or anyone in between) can attest to this. What comes out of my mouth can make or break a person—a student, usually in their most formative years. A single remark can be the difference between a future doctor, lawyer, inventor, artist, world leader or mass shooting.
I recognize that many adults deem the worries of the youth as trivial and how their inability to empathize or see different perspectives is is frustrating (it’s maddening how many people act like they weren’t young once). I strive to acknowledge and respect what students bring into the classroom. I am not the only source from which learning can occur. I listen to students and try to help to the extent I can. I do not believe in an abuse of power (i.e. “Let’s make this quiz difficult, bwahahaha!” Just. No.)
Teaching isn’t simply a 9 to 5 to earn a salary once a month. We are in charge of lives and futures. Sadly, many teachers can’t seem to understand this simple, yet weighty fact.
There is an unfortunate abundance of people making life more difficult than it needs to be. I do not want to add to that.
My name is Bugi and I am a millennial born and raised in a developing country in Southeast Asia (if you put together enough clues from my blog, you’ll know which one). I am a simultaneous bilingual. I consider my mother tongue both English and my native language, though I must admit I am more fluent in English. I used to fluently speak a foreign language, having lived abroad when I was 3 to 5 years old. Upon returning to my home country, I completely forgot how to speak it within the span of one year. I have no intention of learning that language again.
I began formally studying Japanese in 2011. I passed my N4 exam around 2013, but to be quite honest, I can barely give lost tourists directions.
I attended a National University with English Language as my degree program, and studied Education after I graduated. I’m currently pursuing my Masters in Language Education, though I’ve put this on hold for working as an ALT in Japan. I spent elementary and secondary school in an exclusive, non-secular institution, though I am an atheist and a bisexual. If you have problems with this, and think this influences my lesson plan/content negatively, leave immediately .
I have been able to teach in non-secular institutions using my Roman Catholic birth status. Is this lying? Am I deceptive? Obviously yes, but from a practical standpoint, asserting my beliefs significantly diminishes my chances for employment. I do not see the necessity for me outing myself as it has little effect on the quality of my work. From an educational standpoint, as my goals and the institution’s goals coincide, I strive to work toward them regardless of the differences in beliefs.
What’s my moral compass? Ten plus years of non-secular education and culture, my mother’s fortitude and life experience, and the wealth of lessons I’ve learned from interacting with various people—co-teachers, superiors, nuns, priests, friends, professors, mentors, students, strangers online, you name it. That being said, it is completely your choice to continue engaging with this blog.
I’ve traveled to Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, the UK, Greece, Belgium, France, and Germany. Acknowledging myself as a secret statistical outlier in my home country simply drives home the fact that diversity exists. We can co-exist, and very well too if we see each other past the labels. Life is too short for anyone to remain in conflict, and that in and of itself should tell you that conflict arises from wanting to be in power more than actually asserting the superiority of your beliefs. If you truly wanted to help make the world a better place, you’d readily set your differences aside and work together instead.