Language Sensei

A Language Teacher's Journey

Counting, Shopping and “The Bank”….#AuthRes #AuthTask


MP900385312What to do when we introduce the Chinese Characters and counting above 100 – way above 100?  How to introduce in an authentic way? What #authres (authentic resource) to use? And what #authtask (authentic task)?

It is of course, for me, shopping. With the average Tshirt at 2,500yen what other authentic task do we use such large numbers for? And so we went shopping – and visited the ‘bank of Mom’ as well as ‘the cash register’ to complete the process.

The #AuthRes – I have a large number of “Uniqlo” (a hip Japanese clothing company) flyers that I obtained on my last trip to Japan – students practiced their numbers/counting by looking at clothes and figuring out the prices.  If I had access to reliable internet or a lab – we would have gone e-shopping – but we don’t so regular paper ones had to suffice.

The SetUp Story – I wrote a story – with a recurring character that we have – in which the character finds money in his wallet and is off to “Uniqlo” to shop!  Basic shopping phrases, comparing and even haggling form part of the story. On the back of the story was a collection of vocabulary students might find useful in getting what they want.  We read, reviewed and questioned our way to understanding.

The “Key” Authentic Prop – I have inherited (from somewhere) a collection of Japanese play money – 1,000yen, 5,000yen and 10,000yen bills and plastic coins of various denominations. I have a huge amount of 1 yen coins which we turned into ’10 yen’ coins for making change.

The Visit to the “Bank of Mom” – Time to shop – but how to get some cash to shop with? Come see the bank of Mom (me). Students had to come and ask to borrow money. “Mom can I borrow….?” They had to ask correctly and for an amount that I felt was reasonable. Sometimes they asked for too much and we haggled/negotiated until we agreed on an amount. Then they went shopping..

Making Change at the ‘Register’ – Shopping ensued with students playing the roles of clerk and shopper. When a purchase was confirmed the clerk had to figure out the change and come to the teacher at the “register” to get it. That required them to say it properly – and ask correctly. When the transaction was done – they switched roles.

The students were so into it that they asked to start the next class with another trip to the store – so we did.

A fun way to work in #authres – in an #authtask kind of way!




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