For this week's Reading Apprenticeship assignment, I traded my Japanese content area for a ticket to the English Department. I constructed a literacy activity based on a poem entitled "The Most Beautiful Flower" by Author Unknown. I won't lie, it is a lot easier to learn about literacy from the point of view of an English teacher. English is literacy; there is no way to have an English class without some form of literacy. By going outside of my content area, I received a sneak peek as to how much literacy can be implemented into any given lesson. This fact makes me want to think harder as to how to implement more English literacy into Japanese. Japanese has a lot of literacy involved; however, this type of literacy is not as easy for children to learn. Reading comprehension is extremely important to convey in an English class, but in a Japanese class the students first must learn to read. I learned that in an English class, it is really easy to promote literacy. Almost too easy. Students recognize that literature and grammar are important to English classes; it is old news to them. The challenge for English teachers is to make literacy fun and exciting for the students. English teachers have a difficult time keeping their content fun and interesting. My content area comes with the difficulty of not only teaching the students about literacy from both a cultural and grammatical sense, but ensuring that the students do not panic from the overwhelming amount of writing and reading involved. In contrast, English teachers will have trouble keeping their students awake. I'm sure I'll have that problem too, but I may be biased. I've never liked English.
~A Future Japanese Teacher