Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Writing 2 Spring 2014 Week 6: Writing a Personal Narrative Part 2

Hello everyone,
Today we are going to continue preparing for our second writing task, a personal anecdote.
First, let's study some vocabulary. Please click the link: Academic Word List.
By now, all of you have a lot of experience using a Japanese/English dictionary, so it's time you started using an English Dictionary. is a very good site. Another reference tool you should be using is a Thesaurus. A thesaurus is a dictionary of synonyms and antonyms. Synonyms are words that have a similar meaning and antonyms are words that have an opposite meaning. is a good site.

Look at the picture on the left. This is a picture of me when I was a high school teacher. I told you a story about a lesson I learned from my students when I was a high school teacher.  Here it is again:

           In 2003, I was lucky enough to get a job teaching at Kanto International High School. I had been teaching in Japan for six years, but this was the first time I was a real independent classroom teacher.  Also, I had started studying toward a Master of Education in TESOL degree at Temple University. I knew that I would have many opportunities to apply what I was learning at graduate school in the classes I was teaching at the high school, so I was very excited when I got hired at Kanto.

          One of the things I had learned at graduate school was the importance of group work, so one day I gave my students a group project. I explained the project to the students, and everyone seemed to understand what they were supposed to do. I handed out some worksheets for the students to use while doing their group project, and then told them to get started. As the students were working on their group project I walked around the classroom, and I realised that all the students were working alone. They must not have understood my instructions I thought, so I asked the students to stop working and I explained again that the project was a group project and they should work on the project together. The students started working on their projects again, and I walked around the class again observing them. They were still working alone. This puzzled me. I had been taught that Japan was a "group-oriented society", so why were these students not working together, as a group? My students taught me a valuable lesson that day. They taught me that what is normal for a group in one culture is not necessarily normal for a group in another culture.

Now it's your turn. Tell us about an experience you had that taught you a valuable lesson.

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