an archive of lesson plans

Author: Miki Saigo

JP S20 ADV Gadgets

Language Resident Name: Miki Saigo

Day and Date: April 21, 2020

Language and Level: Advanced Japanese

Class theme/topics discussed:

  • Handy gadgets from Japanese dollar stores

Goal of the class:

  • Describe how to use something

How did you structure the class?

  • Warm-up: Greetings
    – Ask what students did in the weekend. Ask what they think about the P/I grading policy in Pomona.
  • Activity I: Guess how to use these gadgets
    I show pictures of handy/funny/cute gadgets from dollar stores in Japan (e.g. kitchen tools, cleaning tools, stationeries). I ask students to guess what they are for/how to use them. We watch video clips that show how to use them afterwards. I ask students if they would buy any of the gadgets we saw.
  • Activity II: Discussion
    I ask students if they know any handy gadgets from daily life. (e.g. smartphone stand, cheese grater, tiny stapler)
  • Activity III: Advertisement
    We watch a video clip from a tv shopping channel to observe how people advertise a product (with great energy!):
    https://youtu.be/KBrWprkHt6o (first 30 seconds)
    I ask students what they noticed (“They speak energetically and without pause,” “They use many onomatopoeias”). We pick one of the gadgets from Activity I and try to make sentences to advertise it like a shopping channel.

What technology, media or props did you use?

  • Google Slides
  • Youtube videos
  • Pictures from the internet

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

  • Students seemed to have had fun seeing the funny gadgets.
  • Activity III could be developed more if it’s done in a physical classroom.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

  • If I do this class in person, I would develop Activity III more: I would bring a gadget to class and have students explain how to use it and advertise it like a commercial. (I found it awkward to do it when you don’t actually have the item in your hands.)
  • It would be smoother if you ask students to bring/think about a gadget for Activity II before class.

Material: Google Slides:
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Qpt32B8ED56OAuu5QjO1Q80MfTDv0OJ4m7OTdVUhk4Y/edit?usp=sharing

JP S20 INT/ADV Job Interview

Language Resident Name: Miki Saigo

Day and Date: February 5, 2020

Language and Level: Intermediate Japanese

Class theme/topics discussed:

  • Job interview

Goal of the class:

  • Learn what job interviews in Japan are like
  • Learn what to talk about in a job interview

How did you structure the class?

  • Greetings and announcements
    – Study Break: Calligraphy Feb. 6th
    – Oldenborg Open House Feb. 13th
  • Activity I: Film Nanimono (2016)
    I first introduce the term shukatsu (‘job-hunting’). Next, I briefly explain the setting of Nanimono, a film that well-portrays the situations of job-hunting in Japan, and we watch the opening scene of the film. We watch it twice, and I ask students what they saw (e.g. black suits, interviews, resumes etc.) as I write them down on the board. We watch another scene from the film about a group interview and talk what we noticed.
  • Activity II: Job interview
    After watching what a job interview is like in Activity I, we practice how to talk in a job interview. I give students a handout that lists sample questions and ideas to build the answers. I explain the meanings of the advanced vocabulary in the handout, explain the typical structure of a good answer, and demonstrate some examples. I also show some video clips for more examples (skip to relevant scenes):
    https://youtu.be/L9fO-xpWF18
    https://youtu.be/U_jI1KQkmsk
    https://youtu.be/Ayb2pWPK9ko
    Finally, in pairs, students ask each other the questions and practice how to answer. I ask some students to share their answers to the whole class.
  • Activity III: What would you do?
    Students in pairs discuss what they would do in the following situations:
    1. Your boss pronounces your name incorrectly everytime. What would you do?
    2. You go to karaoke with your boss and colleagues. Your boss is a terrible singer but asks what you think his singing is. What would you say?
    In a few minutes, I ask some students to share what they discussed.

What technology, media or props did you use?

  • PowerPoint slides
  • Handout
  • Youtube videos
  • Film (DVD from FLRC)

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

  • This class was successful. The job interview practice was challenging for the students, but they find it practical and were very engaged. Every student took notes in their handout and brought it back with them (Usually some students leave handouts in the classroom when they don’t need them after class, but not this time). Students left the class with accomplished faces!

How could this class be improved/ modified?

  • Students, especially those actually planning to apply for Japanese companies, would want more feedback. Because it was hard to correct all of their errors when they were talking at the same time, next time I would ask more students to present their answers after the practice time so that I can correct them.

Materials (Download the files for better view):

JP S20 ADV Fashion

Language Resident Name: Miki Saigo

Day and Date: January 28, 2019

Language and Level: Advanced Japanese

Class theme/topics discussed:

  • Fashion

Goal of the class:

  • Discuss preferences and opinions on fashion

How did you structure the class?

  • Greetings and announcements
    – Study Break: Calligraphy Feb. 6th
    – Oldenborg Open House Feb. 13th
  • Activity I: Whose outfit?
    I show students pictures of various outfits. In groups of three, students discuss who/what kind of person would wear them to where and if students themselves would try wearing these outfits. After they discuss in groups, they discuss with the whole class.
  • Activity II: Discussions on fashion
    In groups of three, students discuss the following questions:
    1. What type of outfit do 5C students wear?
    2. What would you wear when you go to:
        – a family gathering for Christmas
        – a friend’s wedding
        – a job interview
    3. Do you take time to pick clothes in the morning? What do you do when you can’t decide?
    4. Do you stick to certain brands? Do you like fast fashion?
    5. Imagine you traveled to a somewhere far away… and you find people there wear completely different from you (e.g. everybody is wearing ルーズソックス!). What would you do?
  • Activity III: Idol group audition
    I mention how idols/groups wear unique fashion and do various types of activities on media (e.g. singing, dancing, cooking, comedy, acting, harvesting…). I divide the students into groups and tell each group to imagine they are going on an audition as an idol group. Using a worksheet, students first ask each other their hobbies, skills and things they want to try in the future. Students list up the keywords and then discuss what they can do as an idol group using their talents. They also decide their group name, goals and theme fashion (draw what they are going to wear on media).
    When they are done, they present their idea to the whole class.

What technology, media or props did you use?

  • PowerPoint slides
  • Pictures from the internet (for the picture cards)
  • Worksheet

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

  • Activity I was visually entertaining. It is open-ended and made students talk, too.
  • Students had fun in Activity III. They were creative and talked spontaneously to share their ideas. It was nice to have them draw their costumes.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

  • I would add a discussion on trend fashion next time. (e.g. What kind of fashion item is popular now/went popular in the past?)

Materials (Download the files for better view):

JP S20 INT Causative-Passive

Language Resident Name: Miki Saigo

Day and Date: May 4, 2020

Language and Level: Intermediate Japanese

Class theme/topics discussed:

  • Causative and causative-passive verbs

Goal of the class:

  • Review the grammar rules of causative and causative-passive verbs
  • Use causative-passive verbs in conversation

How did you structure the class?

  • Warm-up: Greetings
    – I ask students to participate in the course evaluation (distributed via email) after class.
  • Activity I: Quarantine Bingo
    Using the bingo sheet made by the advanced class last week, we play a bingo game in teams (two students per team); if the statement in a cell applies to either of the team member, they the cell. At the end, the team with most bingos wins.
    (To do this in the online environment, I made copies of the bingo sheet on a document on Google Doc and had students mark in the synced document.)
  • Activity II: Causative
    First, we review the usage and conjugation rules of causative verbs (-せる/させる; make someone do-). Then, to drill the conjugation, I show some pictures and have students describe them with causative verbs (e.g. “I made my child study,” “I made him eat vegetables,” “I made him go to school”). I write down the sentences on the slides as students answer. Next, we play a game that uses causative verbs; it is a rock-scissors-paper game, except students have to follow the commands, “You win/lose” or “Make the opponent win/lose”.
  • Activity III: Causative-passive
    I introduce causative-passive verbs (させられる; be made to do-) by rewriting some of the sentences from the previous activity. We review when and how to use causative-passive verbs. Then, I ask students to describe the pictures from the previous activity with causative-passive verbs (e.g. “I was made to study,” “I was made to eat vegetables,” “I was made to go to school”).
    Next, we discuss the following questions, using causative-passive verbs:
    1. Were you forced to do anything as a child? (e.g. music lessons, sports, fashion etc.) As an example, I show a picture of myself wearing a kendo uniform as a child and talk about my memories back then (e.g. “I was made to learn kendo,” “I was made to wear the uncomfortable uniform”).
    2. Have you ever been forced to buy anything by your family, friends or salesclerks?
  • Closing: briefly explain what we will be doing in the next class (Final class!)

What technology, media or props did you use?

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

  • I chose this grammar rule as the topic because it is one of the hardest in the intermediate/advanced grammar. I designed this class by setting the target grammar first, and then the activities. This way, I was able to structure the class logically and with a clear goal. (I know this was the ideal way to design a class but I often failed to follow this process this semester.)
  • Because my original lesson plan turned out too short in the advanced class, I added more drilling of the conjugations in Activity II and III. This became a good guided practice, especially to intermediate students; they find the task helpful to practice the complicated conjugations.
  • They liked seeing my childhood pictures. It is nice to use personalized materials sometimes in order to catch students’ attention.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

  • It would be better with a couple more open-ended tasks. I would add some discussion questions that make students use causative verbs after Activity II.

Materials:

JP F19 ADV Facial Expressions, Gestures & Emojis

Language Resident Name: Miki Saigo

Day and Date: December 3, 2019

Language and Level: Advanced Japanese

Class theme/topics discussed:
Face expressions, gestures and emojis

Goal of the class:

  • Talk about emotions and certain situations to use gestures/emojis
  • Learn cultural differences about gestures and facial expressions

How did you structure the class?

  • Warm-up: Greetings and announcements
    – Cultural events
    – Lunch Table attendances
  • Activity I: Emojis
    I give students Handout of emojis and briefly explain what “emojis” are. In pairs, I ask students to discuss (i) what kind of emotions/meanings the emojis represent, and (ii) in what kind of context people would use the emojis in a message. After a while, I ask the questions to the whole class and discuss together. If needed, I explain cultural backgrounds of some of the emojis. I also ask if there are other emojis that students often use.
  • Activity II: Gestures
    I show a list of words/situations on the screen (“to call,” “thank you,” “when you meet your friends” etc.) and ask students to think of gestures they might use in the situations. Students work in pairs, and when they are done, I ask them to act out each gesture. We talk about cultural differences found in the gestures.
  • Activity III: Discussions
    In pairs, students discuss the following questions:
    1. Are there other gestures you use/ have seen? (To give examples at first, I mention a couple gestures that I have seen in American TV shows.)
    2. When you travel abroad and you don’t know the local language, what do you do? (It could be gestures or other ways to communicate.) For example, when you’re at a store or in a taxi?

What technology, media or props did you use?

  • Handout with pictures
  • PowerPoint slides

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

We had lively and interesting discussions throughout the class. Students enjoyed talking about emojis more than I had expected. I think it was a good topic for our generation. The first few emojis in Handout were meant to be basic expressions (e.g. smile, laugh, cry etc.), but they developed way more than that and had a huge discussion (e.g. “It is a fake smile you make when you don’t like something,” “You don’t use this crying face when you are actually sad,” “It could be happy tears”). Moreover, students in this class had culturally diverse backgrounds, so it was interesting to compare the cultural differences in gestures (e.g. how to count with your fingers in China).

How could this class be improved/ modified?

I was going to do another activity (storytelling by using emojis), but students spent a long time discussing emojis (which is fine because they enjoyed and talked a lot). Depending on the audience, however, I would use another activity to adjust the time.

Handout & Slide (Activity I):

絵文字(えもじ)
A.

B.

JP F19 ADV Onomatopoeias & Slang

Language Resident Name: Miki Saigo

Day and Date: September 24, 2019

Language and Level: Advanced Japanese

Class theme/topics discussed:
Onomatopoeias and Slang

Goal of the class:
Learn casual vocabulary and phrases

How did you structure the class?

  • Warm-up: Greeting and announcements
    – Ghibli Movie Night on Sep. 26
  • Activity I: Match the onomatopoeias (= sound-based words)
    I ask students to make groups of two or three and give each group a table of onomatopoeias and picture cards. I ask them to place each picture on a corresponding onomatopoeia. When all groups are done, I tell them the correct answers and explain when to use the words.
    I introduce other common onomatopoeias and ask students if they know even more.
  • Activity II: Guess what these slang words mean
    I give a handout that lists slang words and ask students to choose the closest synonym from the options. Students work in pairs, and when they are done, I tell them the correct answers and explain when to use the words.
  • Activity III: Names
    As the newly-invented slang term “kira kira name” (millennium kids’ untraditional names) was mentioned in Activity II, I give a few examples of kira kira names (I first show students the Chinese characters and have them guess how to read them).
    Next, I ask students to make groups of three and talk about their name origins.

What technology, media or props did you use?

  • PowerPoint slides
  • Drawings from the internet
  • Picture cards
  • Web articles

What worked well in this class? What did not work?
Students talked a lot in Activity I. I thought the vocab was too easy for advanced students but they were not familiar with all of them, which led them to discuss with their group members.

How could this class be improved/ modified?
I think this class went well and the amount of content was good for a one-hour class.

Note:
I told students to avoid using slang words to professors and in writing; I made it clear that I talked about slang in this lesson because they might hear/see it sometimes in Japanese media but they are not supposed to use it in formal contexts.

Picture cards (Activity I):

Handout (Activity II):

Slides:

Sep.24_AdvJP_Slides

JP F19 ADV Business Situations

Language Resident Name: Miki Saigo

Day and Date: September 12, 2019

Language and Level: Advanced Japanese

Class theme/topics discussed:

  • Superstitions/customs in Japan
  • Business situations in Japan

Goal of the class:

  • Become familiar with Japanese superstitions and customs
  • Learn how you are supposed to speak and act in business situations
  • Learn how to present your ideas

How did you structure the class?

  • Warm-up: Greeting and small talks (How their days are going etc.)
  • Activity I: Superstitions in Japan
    Students make groups of two or three and I give each group a set of cards (See the attached file). Each card describes a famous superstition in Japan with a picture. Students have to guess if the superstitions on the cards are something they should or should not do in terms of good fortune/manner. After they separate the cards in do’s and don’ts, I give them the correct answers and explain.
  • Activity II: Business manners in Japan
    I talk how job hunting in Japan has many rules you have to follow. I give students this webpage I printed out, which is about the dress code in job interviews:
    https://job.rikunabi.com/contents/manners/1003/
    I mention a few important rules and ask how what they think about having these strict rules in job hunting and how it is different from their cultures.
  • Activity III: Invent a new product
    I mention a few products from this webpage which lists products invented by college students in Japan:
    https://matome.naver.jp/odai/2138608074292868501
    I ask them to work in a group of two or three and invent a new product. Before they begin, I present a product I came up with, as an example. I show them a drawing of the product and present a) its name, b) what it is like and what it can do, c) the target consumers, and d) its price. I ask them to try inventing something and give them a handout that helps list (a)-(d). After they collect their ideas and draw what their products look like, they present it to class.

What technology, media or props did you use?

  • PowerPoint
  • Pictures from the internet
  • Japanese webpages
  • Picture cards
  • Handout

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

Students had very creative ideas at inventing new products. The task was more than just language practice but exciting for them.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

It would have been better if I gave students time to practice how to speak in job interviews; in Japanese, you are supposed to talk in honorifics in business situations, and I don’t think they get to practice speaking in honorifics in their usual conversation practices.

Picture cards (Activity I):

Slides:

Sep.12_AdvJP_Slides-Business

JP F19 INT Folk Tales & Superstitions

Language Resident Name: Miki Saigo

Day and Date: September 11, 2019

Language and Level: Intermediate Japanese

Class theme/topics discussed:

Folk tales and superstitions/customs in Japan

Goal of the class:

  • Become familiar with Japanese folk tales, superstitions and customs

How did you structure the class?

  • Warm-up: Greeting and announcements
    – Thomas Mann House Tour & Screening, Sep. 21st
    – Language Partners
    – Tell unregistered students to register
  • Activity I: Japanese folk tale ‘Urashima Taro’
    In this activity, I use a 3.5-minute YouTube video that narrates a Japanese folk tale called ‘Urashima Taro’ along with visual images:

Before we watch the video, I read the vocabulary list in Handout and explain what they are, using the drawings beside the list. Then, we watch the first three minutes of the video until I stop for comprehension check. I ask students to complete the Plot in Handout. After we summarize the story together, I ask what they think is going to happen next and what would they do if they were in the same situation.
Finally, we watch the rest of the video and discuss what the lesson of the story is.

  • Activity II: Superstitions in Japan
    Students make groups of three and I give each group a set of cards (See the attached file). Each card describes a famous superstition in Japan with a picture. Students have to guess if the superstitions on the cards are something they should or should not do in terms of good fortune/manner. After they separate the cards into do’s and don’ts, I give them the correct answers and explain.
    I also ask students if they have superstitions in their cultures.
  • Activity III: Cultural shocks
    I start with some examples of cultural shocks I have encountered since I arrived in the US (e.g. skateboard and scooters). Considering that not all students have traveled abroad a lot, I also add that different customs can be found in your neighbors, giving an example of my friend with weird habits. I ask students to discuss in groups and share some of the most interesting ones with the class.

What technology, media or props did you use?

  • PowerPoint
  • YouTube video
  • Handout
  • Picture cards

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

  • I told students to look up or ask me if they could not understand the words on the cards in Activity II: Superstitions, but in fact, they could figure out from the pictures. Having visual support worked well.
  • Students voluntarily mentioned many superstitions and cultural differences they know.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

  • I think this class went really well.

Picture cards:

Slides:

Sep.11_IntmJP_Slides

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