English in the classroom

            English in the classroom. First of all, there is the reputation of the English Department for producing graduates with good spoken and written English skills. Each of us has an important role to play in making that possible. In promotional literature for the English Department, we claim that all IEP classes are taught in English, including those classes taught by Japanese instructors.

            But we want to go much further than that. We expect everyone teaching in the program to make a special effort to get their students to use English exclusively in class. Time and again, we read course evaluations in which students are grateful that their teachers made them use English exclusively in the classroom. Returnees enter the English Department at Aoyama Gakuin University with the impression that they will be able to maintain the level of their English ability. We need to support them in that endeavor by setting a high standard for all the students in the class.

            If we keep that standard, the returnee students will feel more comfortable using English and will not feel embarrassed, that they are “showing off” in front of other students. A number of suggestions are made in the IE Core Scope and Sequence. In brief, these include negotiating fines with students for speaking Japanese in class, creating student contracts, or simply exhorting students to make greater efforts.