Friday, September 3, 2010

Let's understanding

After you've been at the English teaching game in this country for a while, a certain cynicism inevitably sets in. Whether it's bored, unmotivated students, unhelpful co-workers, or burnout from teaching dozens of different classes the same old thing every week, grousing about respective work situations is a frequent topic of conversation whenever ALTs and/or eikaiwa folk get together.

Beyond that, though, I think a lot of people would agree that the worst aspect of teaching English in Japan is often the teaching materials you're supplied with. It's filled with ridiculous, cheesy songs and completely unrealistic spoken dialogue sequences, often with bizarre, non-standard English that no native speaker could even dream up. I mean, I remember dumb stuff like this when I took French in high school, but the Japanese have practically turned it into an art form, all the while not noticing how completely ineffective it is, not to mention despised by teachers and students alike.

So it's with that in mind that I, and probably every other person who has taught English in Japan, found the following video completely hilarious. Someone took the audio CDs from Eigo Noto (English Note, the standard middle school English textbook) and created a video around them, which... well, just watch. You might not appreciate it as much as someone who's had to actually use materials like these, but it's funny nonetheless.

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