After several weeks at Acura Acupuncture Clinic, I feel that I am really getting into a routine. I have started mastering tasks, and I feel like I’m starting to get to know the other staff fairly well. During the past few sessions, I began giving English lessons.
To plan my lessons, I decided to think about language from a Japanese person’s perspective. Before coming to Japan, I never realized how simple sentences in English sometimes have incredibly complex grammatical structure; even small words can have nuances that I never noticed. I ultimately decided to structure my lessons in two ways. First, I think about a situation that might occur in the clinic. This includes scenarios such as speaking to a patient on the phone at the reception desk or trying to communicate with a patient during treatment. Then, I think about one or two grammar rules each week that can be easily applied in the clinic, and try to relate them to the scenario for that week. Even though I have only given two lessons thus far, I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the clinic.
In comparing my two English lessons, I have noticed some things that worked well and some things that I can improve upon. I believe that the sessions are most productive when I get a lot of participation and questions from the staff. During my first session, the staff seemed really engaged in the lesson, since they asked a lot of different questions about when to use certain words or how to best phrase sentences in a certain situation. My backgrounds in writing tutoring and learning Latin have been most helpful in these cases, since they provide me with the experience and knowledge to explain why certain grammar rules exist.
Going forward, I think I will write more on the notepad that I use to present information. Seeing full sentences written out might be useful, since I have found that many Japanese people can read English more easily than speak it. I also want to use example sentences a lot more. I found that providing many different sentences for examples was useful during my first lesson. Sometimes only giving one example makes it hard to see how a word or grammatical construction can be used across many contexts. Hopefully I can make some small changes to my lessons to improve the experience for everyone participating and make my English lessons the best they can be!