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Learning => Learning Japanese => Topic started by: Bonbon on June 23, 2010, 07:41:41 PM

Title: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on June 23, 2010, 07:41:41 PM
I'm sorry, Beth and Katrina could not join us for the demo. However, I hope you will all take the time to read my comments. I'm curious to read your perspective on Nobuko's demo and classes.

I have not told Nobuko about our discussion forum so I would prefer to keep it between ourselves for now.

Do you have recommendations for Nobuko Sensei?
Can I get your feedback on these areas? Or others?
Did you e-mail them to her already? If so please share with us. I was so busy so I didn't hear feedback yet!

Nice step by step instructions in grammar and "how to do" activities. (Instructions were clearer/simpler than Mika's perhaps)

Speaking/Writing Chances for the Individual/Pairs/Group.
Lots of chances to do this rather than just listen. No real Group discussion or direction I thought.

 Lesson Focus
We covered about 8 things.

A self introduction
An introduction of other people,
A 1 point lesson using: 3 grammar forms masho, mashoka, masenka
2 grammar worksheets using masho, mashoka, masenka
1 worksheet joining grammar to club words
1 worksheet with up to 15 club vocabulary.
1 worksheet relating club vocabulary to our work life.

Is this too much? We knew the grammar and much of the vocabulary....Therefore,...even if the steps are small will you remember all of the target grammar and vocabulary?

The grammar and club vocabulary tied together well with one worksheet...but there was a rush I think and I didn't get to use that worksheet.
I felt that the club vocabulary/pictures worksheet kinda got thrown in at the end. Since the class is an "Adult Speaking Class" and not a "High School Grammar Class" then I hope for a 30 minute adult discussion.. broken down into 10 or 15 minute parts. Sounds Reasonable?

I would advise that Nobuko Sensei try vocabulary techniques other than a worksheet. Students' should not only read new vocabulary but also be given a chance to write down the vocabulary in their notebooks or on their word list at least once.

Introduce vocabulary early and use throughout the lesson. Students should be about 80% comfortable with the vocabulary or grammar before mixing them both. Again, give enough vocabulary spoken drill first. The student is waiting for a chance to use the new vocabulary in a personal way. Perhaps the student hopes that new vocabulary will be (should be) used in the class discussion.

By the way, there were 15 club vocabulary of which I knew 7.   .....8 new words is pushing my limit of retention...but how about yours?  How many would you recommend?

Teacher Talk time VS Student Talk Time
Your teacher "talk time" over student "talk time and Thinking time" is a little bit too high. Since this is a student "speaking class" not a "listening class". It is very important to remember that every time you speak, takes the speaking chance from the student. I think, chances to speak were a bit confined and controlled, which is OK but only for a while in an adult class. After the period of drill, we need a chance to discuss and let our feelings/ideas flow.

So-So: "Repeat After Me"
Opportunities to repeat the grammar and vocabulary in class were not too bad but a little limited.  Use your personality here and ask the group and call on individuals to repeat the grammar point or target sentence many times throughout the lesson.  Once you feel you are tired of hearing the students say it you will know to move to the next vocabulary. Can any of you remember any of the new school club vocabulary?

So-So: Adapting to Age & to the Average Skill Level
Pace was a bit too quick.  We need time to react and voice an opinion. Yes, we could understand but we needed a chance to reflect sometimes instead of listening.  Nobuko is an interesting teacher. However, iI sense that she is used to teaching high-school/low level college whose attention span is short and get sleepy or unmotivated when attending Japanese class several times a week. Students like that are different from an adult class.

 We only meet once a week. This class are adults who are eager to interact with you directly. We need chances during the lesson to talk to you personally. Western Adults generally have western classroom manners and rarely interrupt the teacher. The teacher has to give periods of pause to the class to allow the students to ask questions, and confirm ideas.

Understanding Student's Mindset & Learning Style
It was a demo, and the first time to to meet the students so I don't expect her to understand or guess what that we need or think. However, knowing your audience is the key to teaching. It is what makes it possible to teach difficult students.  We are adults, and have have lived here for 2 or more years and are exposed to Japanese language everyday.  This is very different from Nobuko's 6 years of teaching experience in the USA. I don't know if she will ask you about your preferences for topics/grammar/methods...please share them here.

Teacher Speaking English
I realize that sometimes students  (I...unfortunatley...hummm) speak English in class because we don't know the words in Japanese and because it is faster to get the point across when others are waiting. However, despite telling Nobuko Sensei very clearly before that "this is a Japanese Language Only Class"....She used English consistently throughout the lesson. I was actually shocked and honestly I disliked this point.

Where you surprised? Was English helpful? Did the English make the pace easier or the listening easier or more difficult for you? The words she used in English did you know in Japanese? I noticed there were one or two I did not know in Japanese but I felt I didn't have a chance to interrupt/put my hand up.

How do you feel about this? If you dislike it please say it here. In the class please feel free to say "Please don't speak English" You can be very direct with her because she lived in the USA for 6 years. She is very direct with me personally...(in fact sometimes a touch too much).

Would you please post your opinions here?  I would like to know if we are all on the same page or have different expectations.

My hope is that she will review the grammar Mika taught us so we become more comfortable using it casually and in class. And I that she sticks to one language.

Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Drew! on June 26, 2010, 06:30:33 PM
#3:  Yes, I think the last few worksheets felt tacked on but then again didn't we start class kinda late that night?  I think overall, the lesson was fine.

#4:  I actually like doing worksheets, I think it helps me remember the words better and I can always come back later and read them again...guess it's just my study style.  I think the amount of words was ok, actually.

#5:  I agree with you to a point.  I really liked the free talk time at the beginning & end of Mika's class.  We should definitely keep that going in Nobuko's class (in my opinion).  But in the middle of the lesson when we're trying to practice some grammar point, I think using any kind of worksheet as a guide is better than having free talk.

#10:  This is the most important thing for me.  I actually like some English in class, if i'm totally lost on some point I like hearing an explanation in English.  That's just how I like to study languages.  On a great day, I only understood maybe 75% or less of what Mika-Sensei said.  On a not so great day (i.e. almost every time) I could only understand half or less of what she said.  Maybe it was her speed, maybe it's because I'm always tired on Thursdays, maybe it's because she never spoke English.  Most likely, my listening skill isn't good enough for this level, but I think that I'll be able to learn alot more in Nobuko-Sensei's class with some English thrown in there.  Maybe next year I'll be able to learn in a class where someone's speaking at a fluent speed, but right now I don't think I can handle it yet.

Is that a lazy study habit?  Absolutely.  But that's my preference.  Of course, I'm not the only person in class and we should try to be democratic about it, so if everyone else wants her to stop using English, then I'll happily try my best to follow along.  Fortunately, I don't think she speaks as fast as Mika so I should be daijoubu.

Finally.............Thanks for finding us a new Sensei Bonnie!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on June 26, 2010, 10:29:36 PM
Hey Drew,
Thanks for the feedback. I like having a worksheet/s too, especially for reference...but I just feel that generally speaking in Japan there is a habit of the teachers using worksheets as a security blanket instead of using a variety of techniques for a variety of learning situations and a variety of learning styles. In my experience they seem to think that if they give a worksheet out that the student is covered. In public school there is a certain amount of passing off the responsibility of the student's retention and even actual spoken practice that occures because of worksheets.

In regards to the speed of Japanese in class I understand how you might feel as at my Friday night class at the International Center, I only understand some main/sub points but don't understand 75% of the words.

In Nobuko's last lesson was her Japanese slow enough that you could understand if she done without the English? I thought her style was smart to be simple. I don't mind her vibe/tension but I did feel the pace was a bit too fast. If she slowed down and didn't worry about entertaining us so much I think you might be ok with much less or no English. I am pretty sure her Japanese is going to be simpler than Mika's. Shorter sentences etc.

I would prefer to be given the chance to ask when I don't understand a word in Japanese rather than hear it only in English. I  also think that when students hear a word in English they are less likely to ask what the word is in Japanese. That is why I would rather hear it in Japanese, because then it feels more natural to ask a teacher to explain it  or have us use our dictionaries. I'm concerned she will first depend on using English to explain things instead of first trying in Japanese. That will just drive me NUTS. I would absolutely prefer she try in Japanese and then take responsibility to check if we all actually understood it or not. At that point I think English is excusable.

When they start speaking in both languages it it becomes more complex. Teachers seldom know which words we know in both languages so they don't know when to translate for themselves. Anyways,  please don't hesitate to ask  "sono tango, Nihongo de wa nan desuka? Like you rightly did once during the lesson.

I also think when you give the teacher the option to speak English then a fluent and naturally very chatty English speaking teacher like Nobuko will find it hard to limit it. I think she was actually being conservative with her English but I felt she was using it rather liberally for our level.

The reason and purpose of English class should determine if to use it. I think as a back-up to Japanese explanations is fine. But just random English like she used honestly distracted me.

Anyways, a simple test to determine if the English was useful... is to ask yourself it the words she spoke in English, if you knew them in Japanese and let me know us know if you like.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: keeperofalstooth on June 27, 2010, 02:51:57 AM
I wasn't there for the demo lesson, but as far as using english in class, i would MUCH rather have a teacher try an explanation in japanese first.  I felt like with Mika, if we didn't understand something, she always explained it in japanese with examples, etc.  i really liked this about her classes actually.  often times at least one of us understood and could tell the others if it was needed.

of course when we are missing the point, a little english is ok, but i think being able to listen to explanations (in japanese) about words you don't immediately understand is an extremely important skill.  maybe explaining the main grammar point in english is ok, but she should be able to explain unfamiliar vocabulary to us in japanese. [again, i wasn't there, so if i misunderstood exactly how she was using english, i apologize]

i also like having free talk time at the beginning.  we may not always be able to use the target grammar (or even speak with correct grammar) but being able to random conversations is probably the most useful skill for me at work.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Electric Barbarella on June 27, 2010, 12:33:13 PM
I thought that she was very easy to understand and I didn't think the pace was too fast.  Her Japanese was also much slower than Mika-sensei's.  Probably from teaching so many Americans!   :lol:  Also, I like worksheets because I like to have a reference.  And I don't mind if she gives us a worksheet to do at home.  I like to have structure when I study.

As for vocabulary, I think about 10 new words is a good target.  The problem is that each of us knows vocabulary the others don't.  I have a basic idea of what vocabulary my students know because they all studied the same thing, but a teacher for us would have no idea.  Like, I know the word for vulture (ハゲタカ), but not sheep...(ah, it's ひつじ).  So, I think there will be days when you may not know 15 words and days when you know all but one.

Like everyone else, I would like her to give us a chance to try to figure out words in Japanese first.  Or if one of us understands, let us explain it in English to the class.  Beth, she was adding words English after saying Japanese.  I do something similar in class; "Okay, today we are going to study irregular verbs.  Irregular verb is ふきそくどうし," but she was doing it for a lot of words, basic words too.

If we are all lost, then she should help out in English.  Instructions or a grammar point with a little English on a worksheet is fine.

I think that we should have at least one free-talk time in class.

I guess my suggestions are:
     Less English from the teacher.
     More partner/group work to practice the vocabulary/grammar point.
     Free-talk time.

Anyway, I thought that the lesson was very basic.  I think we all know the -ます forms pretty well, even if we screw up sometimes...  I would like to see what class is like when the topic is something unfamiliar.

Bonnie, what do you mean by "vocabulary techniques?"  I agree that we should read, say, and write vocabulary.  It helps with retention, but I realize it's not always possible to do that with all the words.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Drew! on June 28, 2010, 08:54:53 PM
Ok, so no English unless we're all lost is fine with me.  I think I can understand her Japanese better than Mika, from what I remember.

So...when is her first class?  Is it still gonna be on Thursday's @7   @ the volunteer center?  Will it cost the same?
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on June 28, 2010, 11:17:08 PM
Please come to class this thurs. 7pm at Volunteer Center.  If in the future you want to delay it to start a little later tell me Thurs.
Nobuko is expecting you for class. Please feel free to bring up what you want to see in class, or anything posted here. I talked to her and I expect she will not use English randomly. She said she didn't know our level so she used it last time.

I hope you don't mind, she asked for your phone numbers and e-mail so I sent them. I guess I don't know Drew's e-mail.

Price, I think it will be the same but if she asks for 2000 yen please don't be surprised as it is a 90 minute class. I think that is reasonable considering that in Eikaiwa, in a group each person pays about 2,500. Mika was generous at 1,500 yen per lesson and Nobuko has years of experience.

Anyways please expect a 10yen per photocopy charge. We can discuss how this should be collected...perhaps every class?

Vocabulary techniques: generally, I mean short drills
wordcards, flashcards, card games, concentrated timed written or verbal drill of new word in sentence, or with or without a partner like recounting for a verb 5 forms of new conjugation in a 1 minute time limit. It is a way not so much to learn but to recall and retain.

Vocaubulary techniques...introducing especially convenient words/prefixes/suffixes like iki"katta" (way to go) words that Japanese use in Katakana like "mark" for sign. Teaching the difference between words that sound similar like relationship/health/experience...all sound similar in Japanese. Giving hints how to recall which is which.

Sorry this is rough gotta run.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on July 02, 2010, 12:23:16 AM
Well, how did you feel about Nobuko's first lesson?
Her e-mail is:

Before the demo, I talked to her about using a structure which gives the student 30 minutes of independent discussion/practice time. As I recall during the demo. That didn’t happen. After the demo I met her in person for about 90 minutes. Then, I also gave her a 5 point structure which gives us 30 minutes to “practice and produce”. You can read in the next post.

I think Nobuko had asked us at the demo what we wanted to learn. It seemed to be that some others also want review. When I met her, I asked her to review the grammar we had been taught. I told her that we were basically familiar with grammar from Mika.  However, I did not know what she would cover. I thought she might do a level check or spend more time getting to know us the first lesson.

It seems somewhere there has been a misunderstanding between her and I or us and her. By asking her to review I meant “let the student practice previously learnt information”, or in other words, let the student "produce or prove ability to use the words and grammar.

Instead I think she retaught Mika’s worksheet in a new way. To reteach is sometimes needed…But practice and production is more needed I think. I thought we would "practice" the previous words/grammar pattern" through a variety of methods involving speaking like in the demo lesson.

My hope is that this be a student conversation class with one pattern grammar. I think from your response to the demo you prefer a variety of learning methods and desire discussion time.

1. Warm-up/Intro.
Personally, I'm flexible. The brief introduction to the grammar point was first. I’m not sure if I prefer conversation or warm up before or after. How about you?

2. Understanding of Students
I think. She is still getting to know our level of vocabulary, and grammar confidence. I think she doesn’t know and how much we can retain in a class, and carry over to the next week. She has not asked if we want homework. At the end, she off handedly suggested we create sentences at home using the grammar she taught. I don’t think that is quite right. I want to use the grammar in class. If we are to do homework how should it be done? Should we get a worksheet? I’m not sure what her expectations are…do you think they might be a little high?

3. Teaching Methods Vocabulary:
I think the new words were good. I’m not ready for a word “rain shower” but yes, I am comfortable enough using Japanese that I’m ready for a “word sprinkle”. I think the new vocabulary was about the right limit.  But I need them up on the board a.s.a.p. and a chance to write them.

4.Teaching Methods Fashcards
Matching verb/noun activity was ok it had hiragana. Next we were to match cards with words in Kanji which had a similar meaning but had no hiragana. I need furigana. It was confusing for me to have to look back at tiny Kanji/hiragana on the worksheet. I had to understand the Kanji from the flashcard I had to find it among all the small words listed in Kanji. I spent my time figuring out the shape of the Kanji from the worksheet and matching Kanji.

The purpose of the activity was to realize and retain which words are similar. However, I did not accomplish that. Did you all study Kanji before? I think that went ok for the rest of you right?

I didn't follow her 8:35pm activity with Kanji on a sheet and 2 new sets of flashcards. Could someone comment on what was going on with that?

5. Verbal Instruction and Information Strong Point
She seems to explain things fairly well. She enjoys being engaged with the students. Naturally, she is hoping we will all keep up with her pace, and prove our knowledge “in live time as she teaches”. She got some of us to verbalize how to use the grammar in a sentence while she was instructing. I think that is really good. She is interesting and had lots of information.

6. Verbal Instruction and Information Weak Point
While the class had lots of new information I felt there should be a limit in amount and time spent on instruction. I think, about 30% less information would be better.

Nobuko’s intention was to "reteach" the previous words/grammar. It was interactive but more of a "chalk and talk" lecture than I expected.

Perhaps she is used to teaching a class 3 times a week in the USA. The structure for teaching three times a week may be more lecture based especially on days when introducing grammar. I think she knows how to teach but if you, like me, when learning once a week, prefer a basic predictable structure then please tell her. I recommended a 5 point structure to her. I also think the PPP system, Presentation, Practice, Production method is good to use as a guide for each class. I haven’t mentioned that one.

7. Student attention span.
Nobuko got our attention because she had good things to say. But I don't think having to constantly listen is a good way to retain. I don't think it is fair to expect the student to be constantly engaged with the teacher for the whole class. I thought she spoke about 80% of the time. However, I’m western, I still hope/expect the teacher to talk only 25% to 35%. I hope for it to be a Student speaking class rather than a teacher speaking class.

When I asked her about this point after you left she said, “what is wrong with the students listening to the teacher for 90 minutes?” She said, she was expecting us to retain it and use it next week. Well, there are many ways I learn and listening is only one.

Perhaps it is just me... I like to have a “period of time” to think at my own pace. Instead I felt a little spellbound like my attention was crucial almost 100% of the time. How was your attention span? Were you tired of when it came to the activities? If you want a shorter teacher talk period and more student “practice/drill and production through speaking activities” then please e-mail her.

8. Grammar Goal
Did her introductory point about “ni” vs. “o” relate to her grammar point?

What was her main grammar point (sorry I was too tired mid-way through) Could someone summarize? I felt that she had too many sub points to focus on. They were bigger/stronger than the grammar goal. Did you feel that her grammar goal drowned in her sub points?

I was regularly having to change thinking style or thinking direction.  I wasn't always sure what we were learning.. I didn't have a clue when she was going to finish sub points and return to the original grammar point. How was it for you? .

Lesson Structure
How did you feel about the structure? I thought it was very different from her demo which I thought had a clear structure. The demo gave us several chances to verbally produce what we were learning.  But to my recollection the demo also did NOT give us “ a lengthy group discussion time or a chance to speak using the grammar”. I think method and structure is linked.

How much time do you want to spend following, thinking and listening? How much time do you want to spend talking? Would a little less information or intensive listening be better?  

Many of us English teachers know the 3 Ps system. (Presentation, Practice, Production) Does she need to balance instruction/presentation, student practice/drill and student production (where we independently prove our knowledge)?  Did you get enough practice and drill? Nearing the end, did you feel you could produce the grammar result/s?

I felt we were not quite able to use the grammar point in a sentence comfortably. Was it because there was too much presentation or some other reason?  Do you think she wanted us to use the set of 3 flashcards as practice or production?

Either way, I thought she asked us to do all the flashcard activities way too late. Even well after 8:30 was still adding 2 more sets of flashcards and get us to do an activity. I’m not sure why, maybe she feels she “has to complete the lesson”?

Would, a one pattern lesson with a clear structure on one worksheet would be better? Would added "student think" time or "personal practice time" or “grammar production discussion time” be better? Please let her know by e-mail. She asked me for your feedback.

Overtime:  I didn't have a clue when she was going to finish class. I wanted to finish at 8:30. She went overtime with the demo. lesson in June and even then I told her not to go overtime again. Anyways, I think she should start even if we are late. Let’s try to be on time…me too.

 Conclusion was a good attempt but it was rushed at the end, we were all tired packing up, putting away tables and she was recommending homework.  

I talked to Nobuko briefly at the end of the class and mentioned a few thoughts. Please give me your honest feedback and e-mail Noboko if you would like any area here improved. I am only one voice and both Mika and Nobuko felt/feel that I do not represent the view of the class. I'll post her e-mail address. Please be honest and direct with her she asked me to tell you that she prefers it. She is waiting for your e-mail.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on July 02, 2010, 07:57:26 AM
About Class Structure:

Before Nobuko started we met in person and talked about the demo. I gave her feedback which I mentioned on the forum to you.
Also, I told asked her to use the following structure word for word. I also said please give the students discussion time. When it is student discussion please let the students "produce the language" for a block of time totaling 30 minutes.
She talked about breaking down grammar points before the student can use the language. I agree but wouldn't it be better if she still followed the structure I recommended? If so please tell her, if not please say here so we can discuss it.

Class Structure 
The class will focus on student speaking and grammar.
•  10-15  minutes of current events free conversation at the start of class.
•  15 min. of review
•  30 min. of instruction of new words and grammar point.
• 30 min. of student group discussion using the new grammar/words.

10-15 Min. Free Conversation
The purpose is to let the students have at least 15 minutes to initiate topics and practice fluency of speed. Mistakes should be corrected in a way that does not distract the students from the content of the conversation. During this time long corrections and explanations should be avoided.

15 Min. Review
Every week previous grammar pattern from the past 2 lessons should be briefly reviewed. Please check the students’ skills by reminding them of the grammar and having them speak. Please ensure there is enough review.

30 Min. of Instruction
Please write in point form on the board your intended steps and grammar topic. This way we know where the lesson is going, and if we are on time. This allows the student to know how when he can interrupt.

30 Min. Group Discussion
This can be divided into 10 or 15 minutes. Please be sure that the students get long enough periods of time to talk. One or two minutes each is not enough.  Timed periods are fine but please be sure that speaking opportunities are lengthy or plentiful.

Please try to cover the elements of the Class Structure.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: keeperofalstooth on July 02, 2010, 11:10:39 AM
I like having a free talk period, but she seems almost uncomfortable with that.  Maybe she prefers structure and control? or is just used to teaching high school students who need that kind of structure? I think we all are able to hold a basic conversation without much interference on her part other than answering questions and generally participating in the conversation.

I like grammar explanations because I tend to be more grammar oriented, but i understand that not everyone has that type of learning style. (changing na to ni to make it adverbial, transitive, intransitive, etc.)

Overall, I think the lesson seemed very unfocused.  I was familiar with that grammar points, so I could follow it, but if it were a completely new grammar topic for me, I probably would have been lost.  I don't mind asides and stories, but it seems like she didn't have much of a plan that I could recognize.  Also, we weren't given much opportunity to actually speak. A bit of a lecture style is sometimes needed, but a lecture isn't much good unless we are given an opportunity to produce. (makes me feel like I'm a japanese junior high student in english class  :-P) she does have interesting things to say, but i'm taking a class to improve my speaking skills. 

I also found the kanji bit annoying without the furigana given that they were not simple and she honestly has no idea how much kanji we know. (I, for one, don't know very much and the ones I do know are typically contextual).  maybe she assumed because we studied the sheet with mika, we studied the kanji as well.

I also need class to end relatively on time. Not only do I have a long drive, but after an hour and 1/2 of nearly all listening, it became very hard to focus.  I honestly find it rude that to keep a class that late.

About the fee for the class, I understand if she increases the price, but I don't quite understand the photocopy fee. I don't think paying a little extra will affect any us financially, but if we're already paying her 1500-2000, charging us a photocopy fee seems in poor taste and more effort than it's worth, in my opinion.  but if that's typical for a conversation class in japan, then i guess it makes sense.

I do feel like her use of english was limited and appropriated, so maybe getting what we want out of her class will be a trial and error of telling her what we want.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Electric Barbarella on July 02, 2010, 01:53:46 PM
I agree, I like the free talk time and I like just chatting with you guys in Japanese.

She was much, much better about not using English than last class.  That was good.

And the lesson was unfocused.  I guess it was just review and then answer any questions we have.  Maybe she's still trying to get a feel for our level?

I don't think that the lesson has to follow a strict structure, but there were more asides than focusing on review.

Kanji is important, but furigana is needed if it's used.  I don't have fancy dictionary, so I can't look up a kanji if I don't know it.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on July 02, 2010, 05:27:02 PM
Thank you for your feed back. You can read my ridiculously long post if you have time. Of course, I would appreciate it but understand if you are busy. I think you summed it up. It was unfocused. Yes, I was lost. I'm glad that my own classmates can understand are sympathetic about the Kanji. Please do e-mail her....Will you do so? I'm not sure that I want her to read my posts here....she is also my friend. We could make a facebook page but I can't access facebook at work, and when I did at my old school facebook was really slow.
Thanks for your patience. She is willing to learn but she doesn't realize that teaching once a week to adults is different. Could somebody recommend she do a level check on us maybe? I think she doesn't really know our level. Thanks guys.

Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Drew! on July 02, 2010, 06:17:39 PM
Here's what I thought about yesterday, not necessarily in order of importance

#1: End class on time

I was wrong about what time the next train was, and ended up waiting for bout half an hour.  I don't expect constant excitement in my life but that was especially boring and I'm not doing it again.  If she goes over time again (and I don't honestly think she will, because no one was happy with that and she probably realizes so), I'm leaving class at 8:40 at the latest

And I feel bad for not paying her for the lesson but Beth was right, that really wasn't our fault and we had to rush to get out of there.

#2: Put furigana over all Kanji

This should be a given, in my opinion.  I know Kanji is important and I don't want everything to be 100% hiragana, but in a group class where you don't know who knows what Kanji, write a furigana.

#3: "The lesson was unfocused"

Well, I honestly believe part of that is because we were reviewing something that a different teacher taught.  I really think that if she was teaching some new topic with her own materials and lesson plan and blah blah blah then it would be alot more focused, she seems like a pretty serious Sensei. 

I don't mind reviewing the older material (cos I didn't pick it up too well the 1st time), but I'm curious what her class would be like if we're learning something new.  I was really surprised that we were working off the same worksheet, and I don't think it was entirely necessary to do that thing where we had to describe the old words in Japanese, but that's a pretty minor point so I don't want to harp on it too much.

#4:  Say it with me now, "BRING BACK FREE TALK TIME!"

I never realized it until yesterday, but the reason free talk at the end was so great was because it let us cool down and relax after studying the grammar for an hour.  Sure, I usually didn't learn a new word or grammar point from the free talk, but I still think it should be part of the class.

Finally, I'm sorry for derailing the class twice with my questions!  When I asked if you could dekakeru a tegami   at the yuubinkyoku it lead to that whole tangent about transitive/intransitive verbs.  I remember that clearly because I felt bad that it was taking so much time.

But WHATEVER!!  Yesterday is in the past now and I'm a guy who doesn't have time to look back!  I still think Nobuko is a good Sensei and I'm more than willing to cut her some slack for the moment because it was her 2nd time with us and there may have been some misunderstandings about stuff.  I think if we're honest with her about what we expect we'll all figure out what's best for the group pretty quickly.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Drew! on July 02, 2010, 06:21:12 PM
Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  Where's Robert San?
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Electric Barbarella on July 02, 2010, 06:42:57 PM
I think that he couldn't make it to class anymore.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on July 06, 2010, 10:27:44 AM
Has anybody e-mailed Nobuko to give her feedback?

 If you had time to read the end of my post I wrote that she is expecting to hear from you. In fact I sharred some of my feelings with her after class. She was quite taken aback and did not expect that anyone else would feel the same. I have not e-mailed her any negative reaction because I spoke to her in person. In fact I e-mailed her the points I thought she did well and some recommendations on communicating with us to find out if we are happy with how the lesson is going. But if she does not hear from you by e-mail she will not be convinced to change her strategy. Even though I asked her to teach, I am also a student and not exactly neutral in her eyes. Therefore, she told me directly that she thinks what I tell her will be influenced by my own feelings.

If you want I can copy what you wrote here and send it to her BUT I would only ever do so if you reread it and asked me to do so. And since it is Tuesday I would have to do it ASAP.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: keeperofalstooth on July 06, 2010, 10:47:30 AM
i'll email her later today
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on July 06, 2010, 10:58:30 AM
A side note:
In regards to payment. Nobuko agreed that she would continue the same system as Mika. Originally it was agreed with Mika that we would pay for example: for 4 lessons in July at the last class in June. It was also agreed that if we knew we would be absent/vacation in July we should say at the last class in June. In such a case we would not have to pay for classes missed due to vacation. The price is low enough that if we miss class then taking a monetary hit doesn't hurt us too much but keeps up the teacher's salary and motivation.

 I hesitate to raise the price of class. The International Center sometimes has teachers for 500 yen a lesson...and we are the most expensive weekly class at the Volunteer Center. The center is being very liberal with us because they likely don't know how much we pay per lesson.

Another thought, we don't all make the same salary. Many teachers are working part-time outside of Jet like Rob was.   So I'm taking that into account.

Another thing, Nobuko should prove herself, especially before a raise. She has not responded to me about salary, I expect I will catch her this evening.

Therefore, I suggested a photocopy fee. Paying each lesson would be annoying. It could be included. Why not give her an extra 200 yen a month when paying for lessons. That will be 4 lessons 5 copies a lesson, lots of room for printing mistakes. But if a photocopy fee is paid in advance, and doesn't give you many, then that might be annoying for you.

Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on July 06, 2010, 11:31:45 AM
Nobuko's cell phone is AU I think.
k-tie   090 9290 1550
Home 055-254-0657

Something to think about before and after this Thursday.

How many classes do we let Nobuko Sensei teach in order to prove satisfactory?
How many lessons before you feel frustrated? In June I "mentioned" to her to teach 3 lessons and to let us see how we feel after. So far I was surprised as I actually thought she would be able to read us better and adapt during the lesson. How patient do you want to be?

Dont forget she is checking to find out if we are satisfactory too. She told me that if  we want her to end on time, that she expects everyone to show up on time. So if we can't be on time let's call/ktie text her/e-mail her. She either feels stronger about this or is more vocal than Mika.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Drew! on July 06, 2010, 05:25:46 PM
I just emailed her. 

Coming to class on time is no problem for me, if we get started right @ 7 on the dot then we can expect to end @ 8:30 every time?

Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Electric Barbarella on July 06, 2010, 05:48:12 PM
Michelle-time does not always match Real-time.  I will pay the full price regardless.  I say, start class without me/late people.  It's our own fault for being late.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: keeperofalstooth on July 06, 2010, 06:28:33 PM
I understand that being on time is a common courtesy, but if someone is late for whatever reason, that does not make it ok to keep everyone else late.

free talk time has typically been at the beginning of class anyway, so if someone is late, they usually don't miss the grammar point. and as michelle said, we will pay the full price anyway so unless lateness just really bothers her for some reason (everyone has pet peeves, afterall) then I don't see what the big deal is.  i don't mind going over 5 minutes or so to finish up whatever we're doing, but last class she started whole new activities with no time left.

and about the copy fee, i don't mind paying an extra 200 if the price is still 1500 per lesson. i was more objecting to paying the fee AND playing 2000 per lesson.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on July 07, 2010, 03:34:07 PM
Yah I hear you.
I think Nobuko requested that we all be on time partly because that is the culture she is used. She likely expects japanese adults to be seated before the meeting starts and likely expects highschool students seated before the bell. According to her resume she has taught at jukus, highschools, and what appears to be language schools. I don't see any actual experience teaching at an American college like Mika. I got the impression she had worked with young adults.

I understand that we all have things going on in our lives and we pay the same price no matter what. I also agree that you don't miss much of the lesson if we chat first.

However, you are missed if you are not there at the start. A great chat requires us all. Nobuko also wants to introduce the basic grammar point before chat. She wants it to already be in our heads when she finishes chat and starts the grammar explanation.

I'd just say, as you always do, do your best to come soon. I'm lousy at it myself. I am happy to move the start time to 7:15 How about that? then she can't go overtime so much too.

Again I recommend you share your opinion about start time with her. She likely has no idea if you feel strongly about it.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on July 07, 2010, 03:36:58 PM
Hey Nobuko said she would email me after 8pm today Wednesday. I waited all week but got no email despite sending her 2 emails. Hopefully, she will try again Thurs. eve. from 7pm. Please check back here Thurs. afternoon. I have 6 classes Thurs. but will try to update you asap.

I have no reason to believe she will bail but I'm a bit nervous. If she does I recommend we still meet to talk unless it is pouring cats and dogs.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on July 08, 2010, 02:44:20 PM
to be honest I didn't get any e-mail from her. I'm not sure she sincerely intended to e-mail me or not.

However, I did catch her on gmail chat just now and she said she will be there tonight at 7:00.
She did not respond when I asked if she was teaching grammar, level check or a easy social class I don't know. I guess we will find out.

I know she is very tired from her computer course and she said she was going to prepare for the lesson tonight this afternoon. I don't know what that means...hopefully she already started preparation but I have a feeling that she may not have. Well, lets see and be patient for abit.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on July 15, 2010, 02:03:13 AM
Well, last class was much better neh?

 I just hope she can stay away from tangents...and not default   into them in a couple of weeks. Please help me keep Nobuko on her toes if she needs it. Please e-mail her a couple points that you liked last time so she realizes how important it is for her to keep a reign on herself. Otherwise she may not be motivated to keep a basic structure and stay on task.

It was more interactive, and more focused but I'd like more than 15 minutes of time actually using the grammar. Seems like she is catching onto giving us practice/chat time but is short on the grammar production time.

If anything, I would like her to start worksheets earlier. Again she started new worksheets at 8:15 and after that I didn't catch a couple of her answers for the sheet. The other thing is I would appreciate if she would do the conclusion during class. When she asks what we learned as we are putting tables back it is distracting and nothing solidifies.  Well, step by step.

As for some of the homework, the heavier homework sheet has too much language that is new, the other one seems ok. I'll see if I can get a hand with it at school. If it is too tough...well let her know if you want her to go over homework before she gives it.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Electric Barbarella on July 15, 2010, 12:34:10 PM
There were two homework sheets?  I thought there was only one; the one with Doraemon/Nobita in the snow.  I didn't think it was too hard.  There were only a few words I didn't know.

A problem with the homework is that the questions in part one are about Doraemon and if you don't know the characters you may not get the answers.  But I know that Jaian can't sing and is a karaoke hog.  Also Nobita is a terrible student.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: kashii on July 15, 2010, 05:23:22 PM
Sorry guys but I won't be able to make it again. I feel sick and can't make the trip out tonight. Sorry I can't offer any feedback yet.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on August 12, 2010, 01:08:06 PM
We didn't have class last week but it is on this week again. I will be attending...if you check back here just write if you are attending 12th 19th and 26th of August.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: keeperofalstooth on August 13, 2010, 08:10:48 AM
i can attend on the 26th
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Drew! on August 15, 2010, 01:04:03 PM
i'll be there on the 19th and 26th.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on October 02, 2010, 12:10:54 PM

Mika Sensei is leaving the beginning of November...It looks like she has Oct. 22 and 29th available...both Fridays. How about we give her a proper send off? Maybe at The Rink? Are both dates OK? I'm recommending the 22nd. But I'm flexible. Please let me know as she wants to reserve the date a.s.a.p.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: keeperofalstooth on October 04, 2010, 05:29:34 PM
Can't do the 22nd. The 29th isn't great either to be honest, but it's possible.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Electric Barbarella on October 04, 2010, 05:41:41 PM
At this moment, I think both dates are okay for me.

What about meeting at a restaurant or izakaya downtown?  Depending on how many people are also at the Rink, it may be harder to have a conversation.  At a restaurant or izakaya, we can be in our own little group.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on October 08, 2010, 11:09:07 AM
Thursday night Pre-Intermediate Class...

 Beth will be gone on the 22nd. Rob and others seem available on the 29th.  I have yet to hear from Katrina...I say, we jump on the chance and do the 29th.

I know Halloween is the next day but we don't have to stay out late. And I imagine that we would likely agree that mixing Halloween with a Farewell Party for Mika would not work...(I think I will invite her to show up at the Rink/Vault on the 30th if she wants...I assume Halloween will be the Sat.)

Anybody interested in the Okinawan restaurant next to Melody on Iida Dori? But I think it is too noisy as the inside is small and the few tables are only seperated by decorative white is popular but I've yet to eat there. Or an Izakaia...on a Friday night a restaurant in Ekland might be quieter but low on atmosphere. Which place is kinda festive/popular but not smokey and quiet? Please give me your recommendations...

OHHH...I know a Thai place that is really elegant and quieter, south of Kofu eki 10 min by is quieter, cheap and has great food and atmosphere and a semi-private big tatami table ...I recommend it! But is Thai food ok for you all? I can double check if it is all spicy or not and if she likes spicy food...

Nevertheless, where ever we eat, how about Oct. 29th meet at Kofu eki? Do you want to meet at 7pm or earlier?

Is anyone driving? Rob, Michelle,Katrina,Drew,Beth wanna share a taxi from Kofu eki or I can take 3 in the back of my car. I don't recall if Mika drinks.

I know that Mika speaks English often at class parties as I asked her when I first interviewed her. So that is ok with me...but is it what you are expecting? Her English level is pretty fluent if you have never spoken to her in English I'm sure she would appreciate the chance.

I'm thinking we should share the cost of her dinner/drinks and if she wants to drink I could likely drive her if need be.

I recommend we invite Nobuko Sensei too.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on October 08, 2010, 03:20:41 PM
Also Mika's private students are welcome to join. Emily, Amanda, Hang and whoever else studies with her please let me know soon if we should expect you.

Mika says the Thai restaurant is fine for her and she will get her own ride/car.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Drew! on October 08, 2010, 07:11:33 PM
Sounds good.   As of right now, I'm planning on going, so count me in please. 

Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: kashii on October 09, 2010, 09:08:05 PM
Sorry I haven't answered - yeah, the 29th is fine. I should be able to go.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on October 18, 2010, 06:21:08 PM
I booked the small, kinda new, always genki, Okinawan Restaurant directly next to Melody Kareoke on Iida Dori. This is very near Kofu eki just 8 minutes on foot. From Kofu eki walk south on right hand side, about only one block to the camera shop. Shop has a big cartoon of a boy in a cap on the sign. This is the intersection for Haeiwa Dori and Iida Dori turn towards the Immigration Center and Jonathan's Restaurant. The Okinawan Restaurant is just past Jonathan's and Melody Kareoke.  Meet there Oct. 29th 7:00pm. Seating for 8 comfortably. I have not heard from anyone else other than below. I had to book as both places I had in mind are very busy. I assume the private students are not interested but if they are we might be able to squeeze in 1 or 2 more.

There is taco rice and a papaya salad, and many dishes appear reasonably priced. One beer is 500 yen. You can order nomihodai from 7 to 9pm for 2,000 yen. I don't know if we have to all agree in order to get nomihodai. I doubt it as some will drive. They said you can decide once arriving.... But if you don't mind please decide now and let me know so we can get our drink on as soon as we arrive. Ordering will take some time as there aren't any photos no the menus nor take-out menus for me to post here.

Just an after thought...we could do kareoke afterwards?..But the next night is Halloween so you might wanna take it easy.

Oh crap, I just realized I have to go back and check the date that I booked. It should be Oct. 29th 7pm. I gotta confirm the date with you again. While I'm at it you didn't wanna meet a little earlier did you? Let me know.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: kashii on October 28, 2010, 02:01:28 PM
hey, I'm so sorry, but I need to back out. I had forgotten there was something else I committed to.  :-(
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: keeperofalstooth on October 28, 2010, 03:08:21 PM
I may be a little late tomorrow. I'm having a packaged delivered between 5 and 7, so I can't leave until it comes. hopefully it'll be there before 6 though.

Also, is there parking or will i need to use a pay lot?
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on October 28, 2010, 07:46:42 PM
Ok, looks like Katrina is out...and Nobuko too!

Beth, parking at Melody should be fine, there is always room but if you are nervous then yes, you will have to use a pay lot, sorry!
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Electric Barbarella on October 29, 2010, 10:05:14 AM
I may be late too.  I have English club tonight, but we should be done around 6 or 6:30.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on November 04, 2010, 11:21:07 PM
Hey Beth, Drew, and Welcome Back Katrina, since you were at class tonight, I need your feedback.

I talked to Nobuko after class. I had a number of recommendations and a couple questions for her. We were studying the "to make someone do something" verb...and when she introduced to "make someone put on a hat/clothes"...The grammar "to make someone do something" I wonder if it is not rather an advanced grammar? I wonder if there are not other grammar points one should learn before this?

I just didn't understand her direction and purpose.

It is only moderately useful in my life and not something I'm excited to study. I can ask any kid at school to teach it to me how to say "wear things" ect. I want to be interested in what I'm learning. Sorry, I'm a tough sell. What grammar do you want to learn?

 I realize this class is only once a week but there is no regular or monthly summary of vocabulary review. She doesn't make a vocabulary list. Nothing measurable. No review quiz. She doesn't check my spelling/translation in my notes as she is too busy talking and keeping a "rein" on the class. But I know she is trying. learning when/how to give the class freedom and breath is one of the hardest things.

 She asked us to take the verbs/grammar, describe our friends' clothes and use the correct verb with the "teiru" form for putting on: hat/necklace/shirt/pants etc.. Maybe this is not a big step but I would call this production not practice.

  I think it would be good if she would separate 1. teaching a concept, from 2. practice and  3. production. I want to do more drill before we are asked to take something which has barely been taught and struggle to fluently adapt it to a new situation.Yes, some pressure is good but being put "on the spot" to produce but after only listening to an explanation is poor technique.  We all struggled somewhat to do it fluently without much spoken drill in class. I feel frustrated when the teacher's talk time is much more than mine.

I'm sorry to break into so much English and show frustration during class but I was really frustrated and confused with her direction.

Last week she told me that Katrina was coming. So, I expected that she had prepared accordingly, adapting however she might need to catch Katrina up to speed. Teaching the basic conjugation of the "to make someone do something" form, I think, is not so hard. One week ago, when she taught it. I felt she was rather long winded, finally explained very simply how to conjugate which left just enough time left in class to figure out how to make the grammar practical to my life.

As I recall, one week ago, there was also no worksheet. She introduced the new grammar which we reviewed I would have expected a worksheet so I don't have to keep up listening 100% of the time (which is kinda what she expects) and making notes. Was she unprepared last week? It seemed random to introduce the grammar "how to make someone do something" and kinda unrelated to recent topics/worksheets. If you recall, I asked how can I make the most recent verb form useful to me at school.

On another topic, last week Nobuko told me she was expecting Katrina today. Katrina, this is in absolutely NO way, your problem. We are very glad to see you and you did just fine!

Today, Nobuko said to me that she "changed her lesson plan" when she "realized that Katrina" was indeed attending. Nobuko directly said to me that she was not prepared for your attendance (?!). I was very displeased by this...perhaps it is cultural as Japanese confirm events/times/attendance much more often than we do I think.

  I sympathize with Nobuko that sometimes students are absent and others show-up. So, she changed to what she assumed was a simple topic of "putting on clothes" so that she could add the "make someone do something" form to it. But, I think she with very simple explanation she should have been able to catch Katrina up on the grammar from last week without introducing "to wear something" which made it too complicated too early.

 I understand her intention but she should have thought more about it or asked us if we were ready to combine 2 opinion she assumed we would be confident about the forms of "putting on/to wear" even though we've never been taught it here

 A teacher has to be able to adapt to all kinds of situations no matter how unexpected or frustrating. I have emergency lessons that can be adapted to review past grammar. I expected she would have adaptable lesson structures for unexpected situations like when an absent student returns... I know she doesn't want regular attendees to be bored if she has to catch someone up. Ultimately, if she would break the lessons down into one point each time then it is easy for others to catch-up.

She told me that today she wanted to continue teaching from the copy of the long example "Email" worksheet. We have been working on that for about 3 weeks. So, I suggested that if she wants to teach us from long "letters" or long or extensive reading samples, then could we do part of one, a paragraph, each week so that it is easy to review the vocabulary and easy for absent or returning students to match the pace and get caught up to speed. I emphasized it twice. But, for some reason, she did not react to this at all.

In fact, last week we talked about her making a worksheet (similar to the e-mail we had been studying right?) We had asked her to write new furigana by hand more clearly, and also enlarge it the Kanji. I thought we would be studying a new e-mail or sheet of writing I was kinda confused.

 So if you have any advice or questions at all for her please do e-mail her this week. Please be honest with her, I'm trying to get her used to my way of thinking but she doesn't seem to be very reactive.....maybe it needs more time.


Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: kashii on November 08, 2010, 04:15:29 PM
I'm a slow learner regardless of what I'm learning, but I think I did fine eventually catching on to the grammar point and then applying it.

But huh, maybe she didn't actually believe I would show up Thursday night what with my history of being absent for a long time.

Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on November 10, 2010, 02:35:58 PM
Well, nevertheless, she sure pissed me off.

I'm sorry to bore you all to tears with my long rant. I'm sure it complex and maybe convoluted...And I know I can come off as a "Old Bag" but really, I still feel the same. I think she did not plan for the last 2 lessons. It seems like she chose the current grammar randomly.

This grammar she is teaching, has anyone studied it before? Does anyone have a Japanese textbook like Genki or Minna No Nihongo? Can anyone tell me what level it is?

Do you still want to review Mika's grammar points? I really would like to build fluency with them.

We don't use a textbook so do you think she should have a short term/long term plan? I once asked her if she would plan one....If you want to review our old grammar then please mention it to her in class...I can't say everything or I will come across like a old are all likely scared of me already!!!   :lol: :evil: and just for kicks this face too  :mrgreen:
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Drew! on November 18, 2010, 04:45:52 PM
Hi everyone,

This will seem totally random and out of the blue and whatnot, but I just joined a Taiko club this week and we have a practice on Thursday nights so....I had to drop the class. 

But I had a great time studying with you all and I think you're all cool people!  Good luck with Nihongo!

Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Electric Barbarella on November 18, 2010, 04:52:23 PM
That's too bad...but good luck with Taiko!
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on November 22, 2010, 02:27:51 PM
Well Drew, we are sorry to have you go as you know from my PM. I'm sorry to lose your attendance as you certainly add color and help balance the academic level. You are rather laid back so it is good to have someone to add balance. You help me stay in perspective.

I do have a request, if anyone finds they are having a hard time attending the class or if anyone intends to quit, I would appreciate if you would let me know before you do. Also give the teacher a "heads up". If you are studying elsewhere then why not ask Nobuko to review the grammar you are studying...Don't spread yourself too thin. If you must quit, then I would also appreciate if at your last class, if you would confirm you are leaving and say good-bye.

Also, if you have decided or are intending to take a private lesson with Nobuko please let me/us know. Nobuko has not told me as much as Mika did and it makes it awkward for me to speak on her behalf or the students' behalf after the facts/situation. Perhaps communication/updates from the students via the forum has also been abit weak since Mika left. Please keep us updated.

Nobuko has a particular hope for the group, that we will all "Gumon through distractions and maintain a healthy and happy group". She feels very strong about this but has made a point to accomodate our lifestyles/work situations. She hopes if you will be absent that it won't be for long and that you will be eager to come back to the group.

Nobuko is really hard up for cash. She doesn't have any work other than a few students. She wants to teach Japanese and that means having another job is difficult to schedule, let alone get in this economy. She is dedicated to the class but if we can't keep it running she may have to get a night job at an eikawa or something.

Well, ultimatley we pay by month, not by term so perhaps we do feel maybe a little more freedom than we ought to...Usually Japanese students either attend for pretty consistantly and also pay for all the days and often pay for all the days even if they plan to take a holiday when class is in session.

Since Nobuko's financial situation is so poor she will likely be reverting to the system I originally recommended. Please be prepared to pay her for December and tell her this week (last full week in November) when you plan to take holidays in December. I expect she will not charge you for classes you plan to miss in December...that is IF you tell her and pay her before the end of November.

Do you have any grammar points you want to review? Please say! Can you think of anyone who could replace Drew? Please invite...


Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Drew! on November 22, 2010, 03:41:14 PM
You're right Bonnie, in retrospect it's not really cool to just up and leave like I did, taking my monthly fee with me.  Joining Taiko was a spur of the moment decision, and I wasn't thinking ahead and obviously i didn't think about anyones feelings enough.  I feel really bad about it now, it wasn't my intention to be this disrespectful or hurt any feelings, I just wasn't thinking.

So, for what it's worth, I apologize for leaving with no notice or stopping in to say goodbye.  I wish I'd done that alot differently, although I definitely want to pursue taiko over class, I really disrespected Sensei and all of you by quitting this way, of course I apologized to her last week, but now after thinking about it some more, I think i'd best do it again.  I hope you guys can accept my apology :oops:

I hope you guys continue the class and have a good time doing it,

Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: keeperofalstooth on November 22, 2010, 05:34:51 PM
Drew, I'm sad you left and it was very sudden, but I don't think you should feel obliged to tell anyone, other than the teacher, what your plans are.

I hope to see you around sometime.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on November 26, 2010, 12:59:48 AM
Hey, your welcome to have a different opinion and voice it. I am speaking not only on my behalf but on behalf of Nobuko who again talked to me about this situation today so I again tried to help her accept that Drew is committed to Taiko and can't be expected back. I accept it. This is life. I said to Nobuko and Drew, had I known Drew had several different areas of Japanese study going on I might have been able to suggest a strategy/choices to help him feel less overwhelmed. As Nobuko said, learning is not always a steady climb, there are plateaus. There is so much to study and I remember wanting to improve everything, I got frustrated when I reached a learning plateau and needed advice. I would appreciate a chance to offer a perspective that might cause students to reconsider leaving. (There are days I don't feel like coming but I keep in mind that a group requires people so I rarely miss.) Never the less, everyone should have a physical hobby and Drew still takes private lessons so that is good.

The reason, I prefer to know before anyone "stops showing up" is because I started the group and feel some responsibility to all group members and my own learning. When students are absent/quit the dynamic changes. It can also be hard for the teacher to know how to much to teach as Nobuko worries about how to "catch-up" absent students so that the class flows. She has to adapt when we are absent and like any good teacher has to act like it doesn't throw her off. I have noticed she has a little trouble adapting and has impulsively completely changed her lesson plan a couple times which also unintentionally changed her direction/goals.  Also, she expects that I try to replace students so she can maintain the income she is expecting. I have had private lessons in the past and found it extremely hard to get teachers who would show up on time and they never prepared at all so I don't want the group to disintegrate.

 I also like my classmates a lot. I miss you Michelle!

Cheers, Bon

I thought today's class was really good especially because I had a nap before and was kinda my more jovial self. Currently she is building on concepts which is great. She asked what you want to study. If you want 1 or 2 day, one point review lessons of Mika's grammar points just say, I generally carry my book of copies.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Electric Barbarella on November 26, 2010, 11:07:36 AM
Why should we be reviewing stuff we did with Mika-sensei, in class?  It's been a few months since we changed teachers.  We should be moving on to new topics, and studying stuff we don't get by ourselves or with a private tutor or asking Nobuko-sensei outside of class time.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on December 01, 2010, 09:45:02 AM
I was thinking "review" not as in re-teach but as in challenge our fluency with what we learned through a warm-up or quiz or something. We don't have a curriculum so there are no scheduled end of chapter reviews. The advantage of (good) textbooks is that everything you learn gets repeated throughout new chapters.

I think I'm still not solid on all the conditional forms how about you? What would you like to study? Will we see you this week?
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: kashii on January 13, 2011, 04:12:34 PM
I'm out of the loop - was there a lesson last week and is there one this week?
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Electric Barbarella on January 13, 2011, 04:13:22 PM
I don't think there was one last week, at least I didn't go.

There should be one tonight.
Title: Re: Feedback on Nobuko's Sensei's Demo/Classes
Post by: Bonbon on January 28, 2011, 11:15:59 AM
How is the class going for you? Things seem ok, I just thought I would ask. Hi, to Drew too. How are you?