I am very pleased to report my impressions on your students. So far, I went to Koshigaya 3 times and I taught English to 4 deferent groups.
Most of the pupils at Koshigaya High School seem very familiar with the basic patterns of English communication. They also seem to understand instructions conveyed in English most of the time. I noticed that every group has positive leaders who are eager to answer or to give examples of what teachers are asking during the lesson. Sometimes it can be difficult for them to understand explanations that involve particular grammar points but I always try to add examples while rephrasing in simpler terms to make sure that the different parts of the lesson are understood. I believe it is fortunate that your students are not at the same level within their groups. It makes pair work and team work effective since weaker pupils are helped by stronger ones while the teachers are circulating to give support and additional explanations during the main activity.
The length of a single lesson is slightly longer than what I am used to at Urawa Higashi. I believe that is why teachers can spend more time to analyze a particular component of English language with their classes. This is fortunate since students have more time to understand what they do before putting it into practice during the last 20 minutes of a lesson. So far I never ran out of time during a lesson and students were always able to assess each other. I appreciate that the teachers plan their lessons in order to make them relevant but also fun and appealing for the students.
I had the occasion to meet with some of the students of the English Club during my second day. I was glad to see that some of them want to learn English to study abroad. They all had different interests in learning English and I was able to chat with them in a genuine way. I plan to attend the club every week so students will have a better understanding of Canada and other English countries.
Marc-Andre Laforest, October 6th 2014