Does your school have an English Club?
If so, that's great! Because having one in your school makes a big difference and can be influential to others. It can further enhance the English education in Japan, promote a better understanding of the diverse cultures in Western countries, and provide club members with valuable international relation skills. But, the key to all of these is to make this club fun!
In April, each club does an orientation in the school’s gym to recruit new first year students. For the first week or so, these new students will observe several different clubs to see which they like. After that, they make a final decision and sign a contract. The contract simply means that the student has officially entered a club for that school year. As for existing club members, they also have to renew their membership.
The Club Budget
The budget for each club is dependent on the number of members. And, this is why it’s important to have those signed contracts! Then, you wait in June to start using the new club budget, but in early February, it's best to use all of the remaining budget. Because it will automatically reset back to ¥0.
Students entering the English Club
These members like English, so they join this club. But, that may not always be the case. Some may join because they aren’t into sports, or what they’re interested in is not offered in their school, or they just have free time. However, the purpose of English club can be design to introduce club members of any level to learn English more in-depth, broaden their perspective of Western cultures through immersion, and have fun communicating in English!
The English Club
The club activities may include cultural presentations, drama performances, holiday events, and much more! There are two English club curriculum tracks for you to choose from. One is ideal for teacher(s) who are given more teaching flexibility for educational purpose than the other alternative. Both options still aim to make English club exciting for all members to participate, be proactive, and enjoy their time.
Electing English Club Leaders
This comes just before the third year club members retire. The leaders consist of the club President and the club Vice President. If your school is participating in a pen pal project program and/or other cultural exchange that requires communication with the school(s) abroad, you may want to add a club ambassador leader. And, because this is an English Club, it’s essential for you to teach these leaders to gain skills that can produce future generation leaders and for them to give all the other club members the fullest cultural immersion experience. Moreover, allow these members to ELECT their own leaders. So, get those voting ballots out for your students!
New Year's cards sent abroad!
Is there NO English Club in your school?
Advocate for one! And, believe that you can do it. What do you think of the educational benefits and the advantages of having an English club in your school?
The JTEs, as opposed to one ALT in a school, are usually the ones who have the access to starting an English club. If a JTE is interested in becoming an English club teacher, it will be discussed by other teachers, then to the PTA, and so on for approval. This process will take about one to two years. In the meantime, start with an English circle and work your way up.
Make it possible! And, try to build international connections.