So, this week sees me in the home stretch of teaching in Japan. I’ve been teaching here for two years now and I’ve done lessons on all sorts of topics from favourite foods (and favourite this and that!) to ‘virtual water’, do google that if you’re interested. Once you start reading, you won’t be. So for my last lot of lessons I wanted to do something special to me and interesting to the students. Well I try to make every lesson interesting for the students. I have done a range of lessons on different travel-related topics which often involve an English grammar point, but this week I was given the topic of ‘your favourite character’ to make a lesson for the first years.
So yes, my friends will know where I went for that topic! I finally got to do a lesson about Doctor Who! Well, it’s not my first, I have used Doctor Who here and there in a couple of lessons, but never as the central theme of a lesson. And so I spent the weekend creating a short video about Doctor Who (none of my students have heard of Doctor Who except through me of course) introducing the character of the Doctor and choosing some choice bits. I wanted to explain why he is my favourite character – so I talked about his ability to change his face, about facing danger, being brave, funny and caring for his friends.
I kept the message simple – a must for all lesson plans here, not always the easiest though with some of the topics I get thrown (see ‘virtual water’). I included some scenes from Doctor Who featuring the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and ninth Doctors (unfortunately Adobe couldn’t handle the files from the tenth and eleventh because I had some moments in mind) and it was interesting to watch their reactions. Not a lot of dialogue of course. They laughed at Patrick Troughton posing for the camera as soldiers stormed past him, and went ‘awwwww’ in amazement as Tom Baker turned into Peter Davison. The Orgons they found particularly funny in ‘Day of the Daleks’ and then the video asked them – ‘who is YOUR favourite character?’ (well, it said favorite as we are using Ameriglish here).
Mickey Mouse has proved popular, I was expect a lot of Doraemon, according to the net the most popular character in Japan. Not one from the first class! Actually, in contrast to many of the typical ‘favourite’ exercises I’ve given my first graders, I had a surprisingly wide variety of answers. And no, none of the students can borrow my ‘Terror of the Zygons’ DVD. But I do hope one or two look ‘Doctor Who’ up on the net after that.
Imagine it’s your last class, what topic would you like to bring to your students that is important to you and who you are?
Andrew is a travel blogger and the writer of the ebook series ‘Short Journeys’. They can be found on Word Press.