Creating motivation in the English classroom is a challenging proposition in Japanese schools. This is especially true with junior high and high school English curricula. The textbooks try to be stimulating, but usually the content is out of date or is of little interest to students. To get enthusiasm for English back in my classrooms, I have been injecting more popular culture(TV, film, music, sports etc.) into my classes and finding success. I find there is a fine balance in what you can talk about, and this depends on the students’ interests and the amount of time the schedule allows. I would like to talk about my conclusions and then have a small workshop to discuss how we can spice up our English classrooms and make learning more enjoyable and productive.
Jason Hill is Instructor of English at elementary and junior high schools, and currently works for the board of education in Hachimantai City, Iwate. Over the past eleven years, he has taught at every level of primary and secondary education as well as teaching classes for hospitality workers in the tourism industry. He was a participant the JET programme from 2003-2006 and continues to strive to make learning English an enjoyable and worthwhile endeavour.