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E3: Communication

With the English 3 class, the students have begun their 2nd year in the FIS program’s English language courses. Because the course is focused primarily on communication, the students have done a lot of conversation activities about different topics ranging from families and relationships to culture and the digital world. To make the course more engaging and interactive, we don’t use a textbook filled with language drills. Instead, we use the class time to learn language in a more fun, active, and freeform way that encourages everyone to participate and develop their language skills without worrying about mistakes.

During the classes, students have been learning about different communication strategies like circumlocution–how to communicate a message even if you don’t know the vocabulary– and the Golden Rules , which teach you how to speak English actively and politely.

Avatar Profile

While going through each of the course’s topics, the students made their own avatars which they use in class for roleplaying and conversation activities. Over time, the avatars’ details are expanded and given a life of their own. They have their own family trees, religions, hometowns, hobbies, dreams, and reasons for being interested in Japan (all of the avatars are from overseas!) Recently, students finished a group project and gave presentations to the class about a 3- or 4-day tour in Japan that they designed. The tours are based in real places and activities in Japan, but the tours can’t be just anything–they must design them while considering the needs, likes, and dislikes of their avatars!

Later, the students will learn how to create their own websites that showcase the trips that their avatars went on with pictures, stories, and a blog with their avatars’ comments on each day of the trip!


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