Fred Stuhr talks about Teaching English in Japan

How to teach English in Japan had the pleasure of interviewing former English teacher Fred Stuhr.

Fred Stuhr talks about his experiences of teaching English to junior high and high school kids in Japan. When you teach English in Japan, like all junior high students, Japanese junior high students can pose unique problems.

When you teach English to children how did you do it exactly? What kind of teaching did you do in Japan?

Of course, when I started to teach I had no experience teaching. So at first I just had simple conversations if the student had a fair grasp of English. My students seemed to enjoy the relaxed conversation mode much more than lessons from the book in the private classes.

I did not teach English to children for very long and I only worked about 20 hours a month part-time as I was a full time student with night classes at Sophia University.

In more structured group classes I was not as satisfied and was not with any one student long enough to see any marked improvement.

In the years I was teaching there was no JET program that I was aware of, so I was more like an early experiment for Hosei. My Jr high boys were not bad, but of course, the older girls at Kichijo Girls school were much more interesting and proficient in English.

Teach English Children: What are some of the highs and lows of teaching English?

High points were meeting so many different types of people and learning how to deal with situations.

Lows – Students who were too shy to use their ablity.

As you said in your article the English teacher wears many hats… entertainer as well as teacher. It is unfortunate that at times the native English speaker is reduced to parrot status, at least for younger students. So it became rather repetitious.

(Teach English children: I experienced this as an ALT, they wanted me to be a parrot. I quit! I suggested they usea tape recorder instead. –editor)

Teach English to Children Advice

What advice would you give to someone interested in teaching English: to children?

Anyone who wishes to teach English in Japan should have an open mind, a good imagination for topics of conversation, and lots of patience. He or she must have a thick skin and have the self confidence and control to deal with any situation.

Teach English Children:What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a more successful teacher of English?

Teaching English Children–Author: Fred Stuhr

Family information: Japanese wife of 38 years, two boys, now 36 and 32. Primary employers in the USA: K-mart and J.C.Penney. When I returned to the USA in 1974 there was a recession and few jobs, so I ended up in Retail.

About kintaro63

Writer and teacher in Japan
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