How Do I Explain the Difference Between Hotcakes and Pancakes?

As Japan becomes more Westernized, their traditional Dora-yaki snack has transformed into pancakes and hotcakes.

Dora-yaki has been a popular treat for children in Japan for over a thousand years. Made of sweet red bean paste and held together by two miniature pancakes; it still is popular today. However, it is quickly losing out to the recent newcomers; hotcakes and pancakes.

dorayakiAs hotcakes and pancakes arrived together on a wave of Western culture known as the “Post-McDonald’s Great Influx” back in the late 1970s, their terms have been interchangeable in Japanese society. Students are often surprised to learn the myriad of differences that hotcakes and pancakes hold.

Hotcakes are served with margarine, and have syrup spread on them with a knife. They are generally smaller than pancakes, and make great snacks for long train rides. Pancakes, on the other hand, are always served with butter, and can use either real maple syrup, or ordinary maple syrup. Due to batter ingredients, pancakes are between 50% and 75% fluffier than hotcakes. Hotcakes may never contain chocolate chips.

Of course, this isn’t a complete list, but it covers the most important points. As this topic is one that lends itself well to oration, you may have the student write down the information as you say it. When they have copied down everything that you have mentioned, they may add to the list. Quiz them to confirm comprehension.

It is hard to bring hotcakes and pancakes into the classroom, so why not bring the classroom to the hotcakes and pancakes? Invite your student to share a hotcake breakfast with you at your home, and you can teach them in an interactive, and relaxing environment.

How Do I Teach Children?

Teaching children is no simple task, and is even more complicated when teaching them in a foreign language. Not only do children have different needs than their adult counterparts, but also cry much more frequently than adults. As much as being chosen last or being laughed at by the teacher is enough to reduce the child to tears. Rather than placing the child in the Crybaby Corner and using them as an example of bad behavior, the teacher should realize the different needs and embrace them.

Children should be rewarded for good behavior with stickers, almonds, cashews, and gum. Children who have bad behavior should receive more stickers than the well behaved students to encourage them to be better.
At ages under 6, having winners and losers can be detrimental to the child’s self-esteem. Losers will clam-up and not want to participate, so it is a good idea to always have the teacher be the loser. That way, later in life they have reason to associate foreigners with failure. For children between the ages of 7 and 12, splitting up teams based on gender works well, as the natural hatred of the opposite sex burns brightly at this age. If there are uneven numbers of male and female students in the classroom, move the most effeminate boys to the girls team or butchy girls to the boys team accordingly.

After 13, hormones kick in and the students will not participate well in front of the opposite sex. Alternate having one sex sit in the hallway during the lesson to maximize teaching ability. If any student is too embarrassed to speak, find an embarrassing flaw about them and remind them that their English ability isn’t as bad as the flaw. They will realize that it isn’t what is in their mind that matters, but what can be visibly observed by others.
After 18 the children are no longer children, but in Japan the age of consent is 14. Plan accordingly.

What Should I Do If I Cannot Stop Coughing In The Classroom?

Coughing is a reaction wherein the diaphragm convulses violently in response to bracial irritation. If you didn’t have brachii, you would not cough. Removing your brachii is beyond the scope of this blog, therefore you would need to find the cause of the coughing and do your best to remove it from the environment.

These irritants are often in the form of toxic, microscopic white board pen remains that accumulate in your lungs. Although your body does a good job of removing these toxins, it still can take up to 5 years for them to work their way out.

Other irritants manifest in the form of sunlight poisoning – especially affected teachers in high-rises with large windows, smoker’s musk, arsenic gas released from newly installed carpets, and high static environments. Most respectable ESL schools will have de-tox kits located next to their earthquake kits.

If a coughing fit occurs, and shows no signs of subsiding, do not stop the class. While still coughing, let the student know that you are coughing, but you wish for them to continue learning. Write your directions on a piece of paper, and use this time to have the student read ahead in their book, or listen to a recorded activity.

Students are often more prepared than teachers when it comes to coughing fits. A good number of students wear face masks to prevent these kinds of awkward situations, and for good reason; coughing fits are very distracting.

How Do I Teach Number Pairs?

In Japanese, the words 13 and 30 are identical, and the meaning must be gained through context. The same holds true for the pairs 14 and 40, 15/50, 16/60, 17/70, 18/80, and 19/90. This is one of the reasons Japanese are so good at math.

When speaking English, they often confuse the pairs, as they cannot properly be represented and thus become mixed up.
To practice differentiating these numbers, bring one hundred pennies into the classroom, and a noisemaker. The noisemaker can be in the form of a bell, a bike horn, a musical instrument, or anything able to produce noise. Have the student begin counting the pennies. When the student reaches one of the difficult word pairs, create a noise and say the number. Have the student repeat the number. Repeat the activity several times until the student is able to count to 100 unassisted.
Next, practice speaking by writing the word pairs on a whiteboard or sheet of paper. Point to them and have the student recite the word. This can easily be turned into a game for groups, where each correct answer gets one point, and each incorrect answer gets 0 points. All teams play to 100.

How Do I Convey English?

When teaching English to Japanese students, it is important to remember that one of the key points to learning is volume.

Use your loudest voice possible, as it aids in the learning process. If the student asks you to be quieter, it is an indication that they are hesitant about learning English. If possible, speak even louder. If you cannot, move closer to their ears.

It is your duty as a teacher to aid the learning process in every way that you can.